Jeg fortæller mig selv, at det er livet før corona, der er det normale.
Slowly, the world is waking up again here in the United States – and it feels strange
I tell myself that it is life before the corona that is normal.
It’s been some wild weeks here just outside of Seattle. At least if you think about how we have lived the last almost 1 ½ year. For savagery in these times, must be measured on something other than the scale we normally use when measuring life-changing behaviors.
A few weeks ago, our governor, Jay Inslee , said that you no longer had to wear a mask outdoors if you were fully vaccinated. It has otherwise been a requirement, and it still is, if you are in a densely populated area outside. The strategy has been different than in Denmark, e.g. it has not been common practice to let oneself be quickest.
It was still a requirement to wear a mask inside when you had guests, which you were only allowed to have by the way.
The other day, Inslee said that it was no longer necessary to wear a mask indoors if everyone was fully vaccinated. 60 pct. of adults in the United States have received at least one vaccination stick.
It almost felt like too much, and our local radio station has spent the last few days interviewing everything from quite ordinary citizens to epidemic experts about their views on this. We have lived so isolated since the end of February 2020, the kids are still being taught online that it has become the new normal to live a life with restrictions.
Maybe it’s comparing apples and pears, but understand me right. I’ve been wondering if this is how prison inmates have it? First, they are deprived of their freedom, and they have to get used to it. Once they have endured their punishment, they must be locked out of society again and learn to commit themselves again.
My point is that we are now going to live normally again. But we have to do it after we get used to living a life with a sea of restrictions that a short time ago would seem completely unthinkable.
Specifically, I think there needs to be a gradual habituation to for many, my own inclusive.
Yesterday our electrician came to fix something, because now we have to follow up on the projects that have been waiting while the USA has been dormant. I was standing on the balcony and he was standing in the driveway while we exchanged updates on our lives over the last year. Our electrician is fully vaccinated and so are the adults in this house, so we decided we would try the new guidelines that had come the day before and let him work inside the house without a mask.
I must admit that at first it felt somewhat strange to have a stranger in the house who was not wearing a mask. But that is what is normal. And it is the new normal with masks, hand alcohol, no social activities, online schooling or cultural events that is the abnormal, I must remind myself.
Later in the day I went for a walk with my daughter and our little dog, Coco. In the middle of the sidewalk stood an elderly lady without a mask. She asked, “May I give your dog a treat? – I have both dried turkey, beef and lamb and also dog cookies. ” She showed us her neatly arranged selection and began to tell us about herself and her life. She was 91, her husband 98, they had had dobermans all their lives, “but now we only have that one,” she said, pointing to her front yard where a ceramic doberman was looking after the house. During the conversation, I was constantly aware that neither of us wore a mask, when will that feeling go away?
Shortly after, she said: So! Another dog is coming, ”and I understood in the tone of voice that it was time to walk on and let her greet a new dog.
These anecdotes may sound trivial. But imagine that you are an old lady, maybe your children live several hours flight away, which is often the case in this huge country. You have been indoors for over a year and now, finally, the world is opening up. And if there was anyone who was ready for it, then it is the elderly such as. this lady, armed with various dog treats and a desire to pet fur animals and talk to people after a life in isolation.
Marge , as the woman is called, is obviously not the only one. Everywhere here in my neighborhood, the area is waking up again. The cars are no longer in the driveways, the children are running and cycling in the area, and the day before yesterday my daughter of 13 got her first vaccination plug. Now she can soon have a normal teenage life with friends.
After her vaccination, we celebrated by walking around the mall where she got her vaccination. It may sound banal, but this is the first time in over 1 year that we have been out in a mall in the US. Again, it felt strange to walk close past strangers and move indoors in a building that is not my home. My daughter felt the same way, but was exuberantly happy. I rejoiced at the glimpse of the bubbling spirit of life that lies ready just below the surface. We wore masks, but slowly, step by step, we are locked into society again and get used to an everyday life without limitations.
The same is far from the case with the millions of older Americans, where every single day is precious. The hourglass of life flows out for them, a year is a long time for the older generation.
That’s why it was so life-affirming to meet Marge outside her house with her dog treats – she and her husband, and with them millions of elderly citizens, no longer have to sit in their houses for fear of a disease that ravages but can again move out and pet all the dogs they can get near, talk to their neighbors and enjoy their retirement. I let myself be inspired by Marge , life is right out there, in front of my front door.