If I read another story about how we are all slowly going crazy being in this prolonged quarantine, I probably will, well, go crazy. Just when you think you have reconciled yourself to the pandemic and have designed a workable routine that keeps friends and family safe, someone publishes an expository quoting shrinks essentially saying, “Doesn’t matter, you are in deeper shit than you know -- and it will last a long time.”
As proof, they mention all these ways your psyche is being hammered -- and you can’t help but think, “Yeah, I never thought of that, but it’s true.” And pretty soon you have a list of symptoms and conditions that rivals the diseases your kid looks up on the internet every time he/she gets a pimple.
Even if you were relatively content in your new normal, such a list can send you down the rabbit hole convinced you are madder than the hatter.
Not that there aren’t many developments that should have helped cheer you up, like the return of college football and the fall TV premiere season (OK, that last one is a joke -- in more ways than one).
You might live in a school district that has decided to put your kids back into the local elementary Petri dish, which is nice because they are no longer lounging around the house complaining that you won’t let them watch the good stuff on Netflix. On the other hand, they will probably bring Covid home and compromise all the careful quarantining you’ve done since March.
Some have wandered back to “the office,” which now resembles a biohazard laboratory. What’s the point if you can’t assemble in the kitchen and dish about the boss and you-know-who? And to add insult to injury, you still have to do Zoom calls, since there are still folks working from the suburbs (or Cape Cod). Just once you’d like to see the Zoom attendees break out in a spontaneous chorus from “Les Miz” like those little kids do on YouTube.
About half the country (you know who you are) has stopped wearing masks in public because it is an affront to their rights as an American not to be able to do something incredibly selfish and stupid. Not surprisingly, incredibly selfish and stupid is also keeping Trump in the race, although he seems to be making a heroic effort to alienate every block of voters in the nation.
Yesterday my wife accidentally went into a local department store without her mask, and a woman WITH a mask came up and thanked her for “not wearing one” before ripping off her own. Mortified, my wife headed back to the parking lot to gets hers. I told her she is now a card-carrying member of Antifa. When she asked what that meant, I confessed that no one really knows, but it is au courant to be labeled as an extremist.
I have yet to go back to the movies, but based on the box office for the two “blockbusters” that have been released so far, it appears not to have been worth the risk anyway. On the other hand, I am so deep into Amazon Prime war movies that the films are all in Russian and Turkish. Oddly, the Nazis don’t shoot straight in THEIR movies, either. It’s a wonder they got as far as they did.
Finally, I met an adult last night who said he saw something cool on TikTok. What is the world coming to?