I am horribly, painfully, desperately bored. Bored. Boooorrrred.
Not with life. Not with my job. Not with my family.
Just bored with it all. All of it. Done.
Here’s my routine: Wake up. Make breakfast. Check email. Wake up the kid. Read news. Really wake up the kid. Read some more news. Now kick kid out of fricking bed and make him log on to Zoom School.
Now, settle into my work chair on the back porch and begin real work. Do that for a few hours. Stop and eat some lunch, or go to lap swim, then eat. Work more, with a break to wander over to the home office and ask my wife how it’s going. Walk the dog. Do more work, then stop.
Watch some YouTube videos and the evening news. Drink one alcoholic beverage. Make dinner. Talk to wife and kid about their day. Read. Go to bed.
Maybe now and then I go out to get lunch. Or I go to a bakery and get a donut for breakfast. But not much lately, because I’m trying to eat better.
I do this five days a week. Weekends I read more, watch a streaming movie with the wife, and go for a hike with the kid.
It’s not such a bad life, but dammit, I’m really sick of the routine.
I want this pandemic to be over so I can go be inside of other places. Change my environment and soak in the accidental and unintended presences of other people.
Mmmm. That all sounds so good.
Earlier this week I took one step closer to that possibility, as members of the U.S. Army ushered me into a former Sam’s Club an then to a table occupied by Shae, who gracefully slid a needle into my arm with the Pfizer vaccine.
It was well ordered, staid, and glorious.
In three weeks I’ll get my second shot, and by the end of April I should be fully vaccinated, ready to sit in a coffee shop for hours!
I’m keeping some basic goals. No concerts, sporting events, or travel on the near horizon, since my wife is lagging a few weeks behind me on the vax schedule, and I want to make sure she and my son get to do those things with me. Joy is best experienced with others.
Still, it is not entirely clear to me how things will open up, since vaccine distribution is so uneven, and the reality of our world is that the unseen people, the ones not getting vaccines, are the people who make our world go. Kitchens won’t have cooks, concerts won’t get gear hauled in, hotel laundry won’t be washed until all these people get their vaccines. And how long will that take?
So many of these people are forgotten, or suspect of a government that has failed them. How will we reach them with vaccines? They won’t line up. We’ll have to bring the vaccine to them, and that will take a massive effort, bigger than any census count, voting drive, or organizing effort we’ve ever undertaken.
I don’t think our local governments have really taken that into account.
And for that reason, I’m not counting on anything close to normalcy for some time. Pieces of it will come. Like schools reopening, but probably not spectator sports inside of a gym. Big city hotels reopening, but not the Hampton Inns next to interstates. Some restaurants, but not all. It will all depend on who has access to vaccinated employees. Big cities will have large pools of vaccinated labor and coordinated vaccination efforts. Smaller cities and rural areas, not so much.
A new, concerning divide will arise. The vaccinated, and the unvaccinated. For a time the unvaccinated will include people who haven’t had access to the vaccine, but at some point it will become those who reject the vaccine.
How many will this be? 25% of America? 40% of GOP-leaning areas?
Will it mean new pandemic surges, coursing through vaccine-denying communities? Will these areas be shunned by the vaccinated? Their economies crashing, while anti-government conspiracy theories metastasize?
I’m bored right now, but I imagine I won’t be for long.