By Caitlin Kelly
Nope, we are not “post” pandemic!
I now keep masks in my purses and the car and almost every pocket. I do not like wearing a mask, especially going 100 rpm in spin class, where it’s mandatory.
I wonder when (if!) we will ever be free of them.
But I also think we’re going to keep getting hit with variants for years and we will need to keep getting vaccinated and paying attention.
We are lucky and grateful to not have gotten this disease.
So, here’s how life is for me and Jose these days:
— I’ve booked flights and hotels for a month’s stay in California in June. I cannot sit here one more minute dreaming of all the travel I’ve missed for the past two years! I’ll be celebrating my birthday with friends, then doing a solo driving trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, meeting up in each place with friends who live there.
— Work has been a variety of things: coaching other writers, doing three Zoom webinars with a younger friend in Tennessee (we each made decent money when 35-47 people showed up at $25/head), sold my first story to the Financial Times, and blogging for two design websites.
— Entertaining! I have so so so missed having people over, so I had two colleagues up from New York for tea. It was a perfect afternoon, with little sandwiches and treats and two kinds of tea all served from my 19th c tea set. We’re seeing friends in the city next week at their new apartment as well.
— Culture! I’ve seen two plays recently and two concerts. The weather is less punishing and, as mandates ease up, it just feels safer.
— Inflation. So fun. This week’s groceries (including non- food items like cleaning products, paper products and a bunch of roses) $290. For two people. Gas has jumped to $4.49 gallon where we live, up to $6 a gallon elsewhere. Nothing to be done but deal with it.
— Fear. Fear of, oh you know, nuclear annihilation. Where are our passports? Is there anywhere safe while Putin remains in power?
— Grief. Ukraine.
— Social life starts again. Sort of.
— Professional events. We’re attending an industry dinner soon (dressing up!) and I’m speaking May 1 at an annual journalism conference.
Of course, we know dozens of people who have gotten COVID, thankfully none who died.
I lost my beloved breast surgeon to long COVID as she got it before the vaccines were even available.
I fear, seriously, for the millions who are now suffering from long COVID and whose lives are radically changed and worsened, from brain fog and crippling fatigue to heart issues and more. No government seems to have realized its impact, and I see people being denied disability benefits they need to survive when they can’t prove the problem.
Between war and climate change and inflation and COVID — how are you doing?