July 9, 2021 — We anticipate summer forever and then it seems to rush by. A friend told me that her grandchildren return to school in less than a month. Returning to school in early August is a silly thing. Why do children need to spend half their summer in school? When I was a kid (there it is, old person lingo) we didn’t go back to school until after Labor Day. Of course, there was no air conditioning, and that was a big part of it. Still, on the East Coast, many children do not return to school until mid-September. This feels right to me.
In truth, it is not summer I highly anticipate. It is spring. In southwestern Indiana, summer means ozone days and chunky air. My home sits smack dab in the middle of five coal-fired plants, that are noted for polluting the air. Combine that with the humidity of the Ohio River Valley, and summer can be daunting. With my lung disease, I don’t go out much in the summer.
This summer has seemed strange to me, but not nearly as strange and quiet as the Great Summer of Lockdown 2020, but different. On one hand, we are delighted that things seem to be opening back up But everyone seems confused. On my one trip out of the house since Monday, I went to the local Post Office. A small sign on the plastic window stated, “Masks are required inside the lobby.” Which lobby? The outer lobby? Or this one where the sign is? Did I miss the sign on the outer door?
I am fully vaccinated. What should I do? But I also have several health conditions and I’m not a teenager anymore. (I’m 37, two years younger than Jack Benny, a name which also dates me.)
Yesterday Pfizer announced that those individuals who received its MRNA vaccine would likely need a booster within six months of their last dose. Wow. How will this be managed? Will folks who received the Moderna jab, also an MRNA vaccine, also get a this shot? And what about those who received one shot? What will the tiny sign on the PO window say, “For those of you who have not received your third booster if you had two shots, please mask up.” Huh?
And the Big Elephant in the American room that I’ve not yet mentioned are those people who refuse the shot. Imagine that all over the world, people are clammering for vaccines. We’re so fat and sassy in this country that many people are just blowing it off like it is nothing. I have news for you. If there’s any virus left anywhere in the world, it is coming for you if we don’t vaccinate. Remember from the old commercial: It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature. And, frankly, you can’t. You can run but you cannot hide.
So, months into the pandemic, we are still in a holding pattern. Or are we? A relative who drove to Indiana from Chicago this morning told me that, “Chicago traffic is back.” Everyone — it seems — is going everywhere again. And that’s how the soup was made before.
I will likely wear a mask out in public for the foreseeable future. We will mostly stay at home, thankful for hobbies than engage our minds and spirits, and be awfully careful. What is your plan?
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