What is your new normal? It’s your choice.
I think my life is forever changed, even though I’m not sure what that means. I believe the pandemic has had a profound and maybe permanent impact on my life. Around the time this shutdown began, I received a serious health diagnosis. This one-two punch was powerful.
In the beginning, we only left our home for doctor visits and groceries. For Christmas, our daughter signed us up for Instacart, a shopping home delivery service and I haven’t been into a grocery store since Dec. 23.
I wear a mask out of the house always and when I visit the hospital for chemo/immunotherapy treatment, I add a face shield. I wash my hands and never pass a hand sanitizer opportunity. When the pizza man comes, he leaves it on the porch, rings the doorbell and leaves.
I realize my life has been reduced to an exceedingly small size. Partly out of necessity. Partly from following the alleged science that seems to change before our very eyes ... and partly ... maybe mostly ... out of fear. I think many Americans are frightened because the available info changes within the moment and we really do not know what the healthy and safe protocols are.
“Masks don’t work” ... wait ... “Masks do work and are mandatory” ... wait ... “one mask doesn’t work, so wear two” ... “After vaccination, masks won’t be required” ... wait ... “Masks should be worn into 2022 and maybe beyond.” Here’s the real kicker ... “Follow the science.” ... wait ... But we’ve learned that we really have been ignoring the science when it comes to schools and the classroom. Instead, the teacher’s unions are leading the way with no scientific basis at all.
Who do we listen to? Who do we believe? Who do we trust? No wonder so many are frightened.
I believe most health officials and politicians continue to act on the best information they have. I’m not a conspiracy theorist and refuse to buy into that brand of anguish. Has the virus been politicized? Of course. It’s an unfortunate part of our democratic system. I think most can see through and past it. Are we safe? Will we be again? Were we ever?
I’m told that until we achieve 80 percent herd immunity there are still risks, but again ...
I’m tired of living my life waiting for the next health directive. Arlene and I are vaccinated. It was an easy decision for us. Being vaccinated makes sense to us, and we are happy with our choice. I don’t know what to say to the anti-vaccination crowd. I have two friends who are dead from COVID. One died early in the pandemic and one in February. It’s real. It’s not going away soon. We all must make our choices based upon our personal research, beliefs and needs. I’ll encourage all to be vaccinated but will also respect your choice regardless. Do your research and take the proper precautions to protect you and others.
The late, great Vince Lombardi said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all,” and I think most of us are fatigued by this pandemic. Get out. Take a breath of fresh air. Do not be afraid.
I do believe it’s time to step out of the darkness of fear and into the light.
For Arlene and me, it’s time to take our lives back and we started by going grocery shopping and a visit to Staples. Small steps but positive steps toward normalcy.
I began by asking, “What is your new normal?”
It’s our choice to make. I’ll wear a mask, but I’m not putting on a second. I’ll social distance but I’m going to start living my life outside of our home. I can go into the store and pick up my groceries. I can greet friends. Maybe I’ll bump fists for a while rather than shaking hands. I’ll be cautious. I won’t act stupidly or irresponsibly but I will no longer allow the fear to determine my actions nor rule my life. We have a finite number of minutes on this Earth, and we plan on living them, unafraid and with family and friends.
I encourage you to properly protect yourself and others, then do the same. Step out of the darkness of fear into the bright light of life. Walk in the sun. Say hi to your neighbors. Catch up with each other and once again, breathe in the fresh air of life. Hug your family. Eat in your favorite restaurant. See a friend you have not seen in a year. Make up for lost time.
When the nurse put that needle in my arm for the second vaccination, I felt like screaming “Freedom!” I felt like I was given my life back.
Southwest Airlines has a tagline where there is a “ding” and a flight attendant says, “Your free to move around the country.”
It’s time. I hope to see you outside.