Since March 2020 -- almost two years -- I haven't sat inside a home with friends to eat, drink, and talk. My wife and I, being in our seventies, have been Covid-cautious.
Even though we're fully vaccinated with booster shots, we've been reluctant to take the risk of getting together with other people indoors for an extended period. Laurel has eaten occasionally at restaurants with friends. I haven't.
But today I dove into the deep end of life with Covid. And it felt great!
This afternoon we hosted a three hour meeting of our monthly Salon discussion group at our house. Eight of us enjoyed a potluck totally maskless. It felt wonderfully normal to sit in our living room enjoying the company of good friends not through a Zoom computer screen, in 3-D vibrant reality.
Then in the evening we went to a holiday gathering at a neighbor's house. Again, everybody was maskless (and vaccinated).
I talked for well over an hour with a man I'd just met. He was British, though living in this country now. Our conversation ranged widely, including discussing Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, parliamentary system versus our election approach, World War II, electric bikes, and numerous other topics.
It was delightful to stand close to a stranger for that length of time, not worrying that he was going to breathe Covid on me.
Understand: I'm not advocating a reckless approach to the pandemic. It isn't wise to socialize indoors with people who may not be vaccinated if you aren't wearing a mask. However, Covid is going to be with us for a long time, probably forever, just as the flu is.
Outbreaks will come and go. We might have to get an annual Covid shot to protect against new strains, as we do with the flu vaccine.
Life has to go on. Not totally normal. Just close to normal.
Today it was rejuvenating to finally feel normal in those two indoor gatherings. So if you're old and very Covid-cautious as I have been, consider lightening up a bit and start meeting indoors with vaccinated friends..
You won't regret it.