This is getting weird

Let’s have a chat.

It’s getting a bit weird now, isn’t it? The whole lock-down thing I mean. In the beginning there was panic, there was fear, there was a clear enemy we needed to avoid and a numerical victory to be claimed.

Flatten the curve, help save lives, help those on the frontlines by staying home, avoiding the outside world at all costs, do your part in the war against the pandemic. We did that. We may have slipped up from time to time, we may have done things we weren’t supposed to do in the name of sanity, love or boredom. But collectively we did it. The curve has been flattened.

Now what?

I found all of this easier when we were in siege mentality. We took the word of doctors and scientists and we refrained from meeting friends and family, we cancelled all of our sports, all of our concerts, the damn ploughing championships, nothing was sacred!

Thankfully, my family and my friends were largely unaffected by the first wave of COVID-19. Those of us who are at risk, high-risk or otherwise, were shielded and protected and it means that looking back on what was one of the scariest and strangest times in all of our lives I have predominantly fond memories. Is that weird?

Watching Tiger King, marvelling at my friends creativity and talent, spending a tremendous amount of time with my wife, safely and securely working from home, completely losing track of what day it was, looking forward to the new episode of The Last Dance each week, continually winning our weekly Zoom quiz…

Now it’s getting harder.

Perhaps there was hope in desolation. When it was March and things were kicking off, the summer seemed a million miles away. Maybe I thought by the time we reach the summer months we’ll have figured this out. We’ll have figured how to have people together safely. Maybe all those projections that this could last years rather than months would be wrong, maybe we were all over-reacting and sure it’ll be grand.

There was a light at the end of the tunnel but now that we’re getting close to that light it’s not the celebration that we hoped it might be, it’s an awkward, socially distant existence where nobody seems too sure of what to do.

Are things ever going to go back to normal? Is this the new normal?

My friends and I have been adding songs to a playlist on Spotify and every day there is a new category. Today’s category was ‘A song you want to hear at midnight at a festival’ and it made me realise that I can’t remember the last time I sang at the top of my voice. Can you?

Are we going to tell our grandchildren about how we used to stand in fields and scream at the top of our lungs before sleeping in a tent surrounded by thousands of people with complete disregard of hygiene best practices for a whole weekend?

What happens next?

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