My home state (Massachusetts) recently announced that it will fully reopen in less than two weeks! Almost all restrictions will be lifted and life will proceed as we once knew it. Restaurants will once again operate at full capacity. No more limits on the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings. Business as usual - with the exception of mask requirements in a limited number of settings. Yay!! Time to rejoice. Only, why am I feeling mixed emotions if this is what I've been waiting for?
I am so used to measuring risk that I don't know how easy it will be to stop the mental calculations I've grown accustomed to making every time I leave the house. I want to see and hug my friends who I've only seen from a CDC-dictated social distance; share a meal together around the same table; lift our cocktail glasses and toast to having survived the last 15 months. And I will do all of these things, but not without wondering if the party at the next table is vaccinated; if the servers have recently traveled; if my comings and goings could put an unvaccinated person at risk even though I, myself, am vaccinated.
I am beyond ready to let go of the emotional drain that has left me exhausted for the past year and yet here I am wondering how will I do this. Is this the Covid-equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome?
I will persevere to overcome my trepidation because I value the benefits of resuming the life I've missed beyond measure. I will not deny myself the pleasure of an in-person social life which is one of the many parts of my old life that I've been missing for far too long. And while it might feel strange at first, I will participate in my favorite activities without allowing my brain to overthink.
I am counting down the days until I am fourteen days past my second vaccine. Nine to go!