The Pandemic Isn't Going Anywhere, so I'm Changing My Personal Protocols Instead

A photo as if the viewer is sitting across the table from a woman who is wearing a health face mask and holding up a coffee cup as if to cheers.
Photo by Vince Fleming.

First, a caveat: I am writing all of this as someone living in a region that has followed reasonable COVID safety protocols since the beginning and has clear safety regulations for gatherings and businesses. Here, spread is mainly happening from social gatherings and workplaces that break protocol.

My friends! I have recently had a revelation regarding the pandemic: it's going to be around for a long time. That means I need to start letting myself do some things and enjoy life a little bit more if I'm going to get through this with a semblance of self.

Yes, I hunkered down for "Team Canada" with everyone else. I did my part to protect society by staying home unless absolutely necessary. Then, once things opened up and summer hit, I continued to do my part by only meeting up with friends outdoors, keeping distance, and not even considering indoor activities that weren't strictly necessary.

That means that despite things like movie theatres, restaurants, and dance studios being heavily regulated and allowed to open, I didn't even consider it.

The thing is that this is actually our lives now. If we can't start actually living and doing some fun things (with all these safety restrictions in place), then eventually you have to ask, what's the point? 

Nobody is actually asking us to stay hunkered down anymore. They are asking us to maintain physical distance, to wash our hands, to wear a mask, and to limit our close contacts.

We can do these things while seeing a movie! The movie theatre wouldn't be able to stay open if we couldn't! (Also, fun fact: you could live in the same house as someone and not be a close contact.)

I'm not saying we go out and run amok. We still can't have big ol' sweaty parties or do karaoke or kiss someone just because we feel like it. What we can do is wear a mask and follow an orderly protocol to walk into a theatre and sit six feet apart while an artist (who is twelve feet away or behind some plexi or on a screen) pours their heart out.

We can feel like a whole person with a whole life.

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