The latter half of the year somehow gave me a false sense of hope that things were getting better. People were getting vaccinated despite a prevailing minority refusing to get the jab, and cases were supposedly in decline. We didn’t let our guard down.
With the appearance of the Delta variant, there was a slight tweak to relaxing covid restrictions. In what, to me, was a baby step back, masking in all public places went back to effect. In the office where we had been allowed to take off our masks in common office areas and only donning them in common areas in the building at large, we went back to masking everywhere beyond our immediate workspace. A small sacrifice and just a tad more caution which was still nothing compared to the lockdowns of the earlier months of the pandemic.
Nothing changed in my routine.
I still went to the office 2 to 3 times a week. I masked indoors and outdoors. I went through a 4 hour and 25 minute flight from New York to Texas without taking off my mask, only to discover that in Austin, people weren’t really masking up. In contrast with New York where masking was the norm and those not in compliance’s got THE look, my son and I felt the odd ball out wearing the masks we had gotten used to, so we took them off. I am happy to report that our vaccines held up and we went home healthy and untouched by covid.
The last couple of days, though, have changed the picture drastically. Suddenly, cases are doubling or tripling. Lines snaking around the block (not just the corner) where the urgent care centers and testing clinics are, are now commonplace. Companies like ours have pushed back the return to office of their employees from January to March. We are hearing of countries closing their borders again, reminiscent of the early months of covid.
I personally feel a sense of dread.
While I am vaccinated and in line to get my booster shot on Monday,(December 27), I feel boxed in and afraid again. I know I should have faith in Pfizer, but I have never considered it an iron clad shield against covid in all instances.
What to do.
I have a week’s respite from going to the office because of the holidays, and I am secretly hoping we are requested to work remotely again. Or maybe I will be able to shore up enough confidence to battle my covid demons before I am required to go back to the routine of working in the office so many days in a week.
New York, for the most part, is almost back to normal as far as the holiday crowds are concerned. The tourists are back, with many tourist buses crowding the main thoroughfares again. That’s both good and bad given the thought that each one of those is possibly carrying the variant. But I try to think of the positive and hope the businesses relying on tourism start to recover. The masking mandate is in full effect. Vaccination required in the offices now, even. But omicron doesn’t listen to mandates.
Just when we started thinking that maybe we were beginning to get ahead of this, it starts on a sprint again and then races off leaving us in the dust. And so we brace for it.