Masks off

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As the world creeps back toward normal as COVID-19 vaccinations ramp up in the U.S., I find myself on a slow track towards my own normalcy. 

First I spent the day out, getting a haircut and my nails done. Then my husband and I had a date night. The next step? A small gathering of vaccinated family members for Memorial Day. 

It was just my husband and I with my in-laws and my husband's aunt and uncle. Six people sharing a table. Inside. With no masks. 

On the one hand, it was absolutely wonderful to see people, to chat for hours and eat ribs together. Face to face social interaction is so precious, and I really didn't understand for most of the pandemic how much I was missing it. Talking about deep things, talking about silly things, it was just wonderful to be there. 

But there was still the part of my nagging brain that was worried, that kept me on high alert even as I wanted to relax. Was it OK that we hugged? That I was laughing so loudly? That we spent hours together inside? 

As my family and your start to resume some pre-pandemic activities after full vaccination, I know I'm not alone is feeling some pandemic anxiety even as our risk of infection is distinctly low. Just as we're going to have to re-learn small talk, managing latent anxiety is another challenge we'll be facing for awhile. But I'm proud of how I coped, of the happiness I was able to achieve in spite of my worry. I hope it is the start of a great, safe summer. 

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John Spacey

John Spacey