For the most part my days seem normal. I’ve kept routines, waking early, commuting to my couch for work, walking every day, even lucky enough to be able to go to cottage country and be surrounded by water and nature.
Then I’ll have a moment of panic. A “this is our lives now” moment of realization.
It happened this morning when I went out early to grab groceries, there are no lineups anymore but masks are mandatory, obviously.
An aside: If you are someone who refuses to wear a mask (and you don’t have a medical condition), are you selfish or stupid? Just curious.
So I’m going through checkout and the woman was an absolute delight. She was smiling underneath her mask telling me how she’s a fully non-caffeinated person something I didn’t even know existed. Are you a unicorn, I ask? Not having caffeine to begin my day is a foreign concept. Then out of nowhere, the panic slammed through my entire body.
This is it. This is life now. Smiling behind masks, crinkling the corners of our eyes so those around us know the smile is there.
The elephant weight of it crushing down on my chest in the middle of Farm Boy.
I still smiled beneath my mask but it no longer reached my eyes.
I sat in my car, head pressed to the steering wheel with the stark realization that if I met fully non-caffeinated woman on the street when she wasn’t wearing a mask, I wouldn’t recognize her. Today, the new normal can go f*ck itself.
Tomorrow will be better.