California is on the cusp of re-opening fully. Maybe other parts of the country are there already, but we’re not and we’ll do it in our inimitable west coast style – easy, laid back, and not rushing into anything that isn’t a new iPhone release party at the Apple Store.
Ever since I got my second COVID vax shot (Moderna, in case you’re wondering, and I know you are, because everyone asks ‘which one did you get?’), I’ve been waiting for this moment, that time when I can not only feel safe for myself, but safe about other people. SF is at the much vaunted herd immunity level of 70% fully vaccinated and our numbers have been good and steady for more than 2 months now. While I’m pretty sure about my own behavior and ability to keep myself safe from this disease, other people are, well, they are other people, and they have their own level of sanity and sanitation. Being “fully vax’d” takes on a different meaning when it’s the whole city you live in, as opposed to just yourself.
There is a joy that I’m experiencing, of being able to see friends and be social. I’ve been going out more and doing more things in public venues and enjoying myself. Events are going to be happening and we’re all going to better for that. We’ll be completely weird and unsure how to interact with each other after so long a time of living in such a limited fashion. And that’s fine. Be patient and gentle.
There is also the grief, I have several friends who have lost husbands, wives, children, parents, and grand parents to this. And there is also the general loss in or communities – restaurants, bars, venues, small businesses that are gone and will never come back. Things are not going back to how they were, but things never go back to how they were, do they? That is the challenge of grief – realizing that change is the only constant and acceptance is the only way forward.
But I’ll probably be a proper San Franciscan and complain about how things were better before, when I first got here, when the city was cooler, when tech was not so ubiquitous, and rent was lower. After all, talking about how the city used to be is SF’s favorite pastime, and I’ll get to enjoy it again with my friends.