It’s been almost a year—a damn long year—since we began our worldwide pandemic lifestyle. I have learned a lot and I have suffered a lot, just like the rest of us. Although some of my friends are actually happy in this state of solitude, and it hasn’t really changed their lives, for me, it’s been too much, too limited, and totally depressing. I NEED to get back to my traveling, my monthly escapes from the dull routine. I need to begin to anticipate fun parties and events, concerts and theater, and especially music–playing music. The vaccination that will bring us back to normal is rolling out, thank God.
It’s all coming but I am having a hard time being patient. I got my first vaccination shot last week in South Deerfield’s new gigantic brewery, Treehouse Brewing, which graciously lent their big recently purchased building to the town to administer shots. I saw two members of our select board there, in the orange vests helping local people with the process. Truly this has brought out the best in our village and in our state, and it makes me proud.
We’ll have a party when we can invite enough vaccinated friends and family–I know that this time is coming. I was thinking that we’d have to insist on everyone bringing their vaccination cards, which I predict will become the most important passports of all. I think the time will come when the unvaccinated people in the world’s poorest countries will rise up and fight to get the same shots as the rest of us. I shudder to think of what this might look like.
But for now, the feeling of blah and the feeling of having so few things on the calendar continue to annoy me. I pester my daughter to have me over to enjoy some time in their cozy home in Northfield, and I ring up my olds pal Ed and Steve to come join me for dinner and drinks around the kitchen counter.
I still get to savor time with my friends, just not in my familiar ways, like visiting Northampton’s best bar, but it’s closed up for at least another month. The wood-paneled Wiggins Tavern, boy, I miss that. And as my friends and I age, things become different, as a friend told me recently, as I tried in vain to help him install a podcast player on his squirrely little Android Galaxy phone. “I can’t learn any new things,” he said. “I just can’t remember them.”
We are all getting old, indeed, that’s one of the things I never stop thinking about as I move through the stages of life. After the effect of the pandemic on content marketing campaigns, (dead in the water), I decided to get my government hand out and signed up for Social Security. Like everyone my age, I had to wrestle with the notion that if you wait longer, you get more. True that. But you don’t have anything at all for four years that you wait to get older and increase your benefit.
For me, the bird in the hand proved to be irresistible, and today they said it was an official go. So more time for fun, more time for travel, and fewer worries about the revenues and the campaigns we have lost.