I suppose that at a certain point during a global pandemic everyone gets a little fed up. So, for the record, I am about five months past “fed up” and one month beyond the point of “over it.” Shouldn’t we have turned the corner by now?
In fairness, pandemic pundits did warn us that this winter was going to be brutal.
I wasn’t prepared for them to be right.
The emergence of super-strain variants and the literal doubling-down on mask wearing has thrown me for a loop. Did anyone see the multiple mask wearing movement coming? I could have been blown over by a concealed sneeze when health officials recommended wearing two face coverings and urged for even more restrictive social distancing measures. Of these two safety revelations, I am most troubled by the concept of wearing doubled-up masks—it seems like a new low.
On the flip side, I’ve got the socially distant thing totally nailed.
Maybe it’s just the winter blues, but the “bad news bar” has been lowered so consistently that I shouldn’t be shocked anymore when I am expected to shimmy underneath it with the grace of a contortionist. The only thing keeping me going is Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi’s positively buoyant emails to parents. He has a knack for cheering me up and putting challenges into perspective. Taking a page out of his book, I cannot help but imagine how resilient we are all going to be after this pandemic is over. Maybe it will be the dawn of the “Teflon Age,” as we will eventually become so unbothered by anything that nothing’s going to stick to us and everything will just slide right off?
Meanwhile, February is going to be one tough month to power through, even for character-building overachievers. Since I’m not a patient woman, it will be hard to stay the course, even with our superintendent as my personal shaman. It’s tempting to dismiss some restrictions, but in all honesty, there’s little to do and few places to go anyway.
Who knew that fighting for survival would be so darn boring?
Alas, I will remain a team player and get back to the business of doing next to nothing—though, I am not sure how long my social skills can go unchecked before they are deemed utterly useless. The thought of mingling outside my bubble is daunting. I am already concerned that when society is given the green light to reboot, New Canaan will be the first to organize a huge, over-the-top coming-out party. I can envision everyone gathering on a blocked off Elm Street, where we ceremoniously remove multilayered face-coverings, like Mardi Gras beads, and reveal our (gasp) naked faces once again.
I’m not sure my social skills, or my face, can handle a relaunch.
Until we all must come out of hiding, I may adopt my teenagers’ approach and further withdraw from society by hiding under a New Canaan hoodie. It seems almost ideal to ride out this bleak winter nestled in a drawstring-sealed cotton cocoon. And as luck would have it, I have gathered enough data to know one critical tidbit about this pandemic fashion staple: When the hood is up at full-mast, one must proceed with the utmost caution. These sweatshirts are a foolproof mood indicator, which have the potential to protect a person from recklessly engaging a fully donned hood-wearer in conversation (or making direct eye contact). Through extensive research, I have determined that a hoodie is equal parts security blanket and shroud, so I think it’s just what I need to get through February and sidestep any unnecessary social encounters or double-masking mandates.
Clearly, the convergence of seasonal depression and pandemic fatigue has created the perfect storm in my head. It’s safe to say that I would be best served by hibernating in a hoodie and waiting for some good news to break. Avoidance seems like the best defense mechanism of choice, for now.
Just let me know when it’s all over, because I’m so over it.