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Katie’s Musings: COVID Time

Katie Miller
June 24 2020

I think the weirdest thing about COVID life is the passage of time.  

June is almost gone.  But May was only yesterday.
Remember the Australian wildfires?
No?
Don’t blame you, that was 5 years… no, I mean, 5ish months ago.
I’m pretty sure the summer is going to swoosh by, fleeting and unfulfilling.
But it’s also going to slog on, blistering and relentless.

Pandemic time is weird.

And yet, all around us things are returning to normal.
Stores are opening.  People are seeing friends and getting hugs again.
I did a wedding last week.  Normal.

… you know, except for the fact that everything, every action, every movement is a game of risk-mitigation.  Of calculating how much time to spend in a place to avoid the COVID.  Of finding the place to sit at the oil change place that will present the least amount of risk due to airflow. Of reconfiguring special awareness for the 6foot rule, moving through the world in a dance.  Shopping now reminds me of an acting exercise, where you can go anywhere in the space you want as long as you stay 6feet from everyone.

Pandemic everything is weird.

I can’t shake the feeling that literally everything has changed.  Is changing.  The way we move in the world, sure.  But also the way we interact, the way we relate to one another, the way we view ourselves and others within the world.  And I don’t know that much of this change is actually avoidable.  Or should be avoidable.  Or reversible, really, whenever it is that we reach that hallowed, mythical moment of “all clear!”

Pandemic everything is weird, and it’s also laid bare all the systems that don’t work.  Systems that have never worked.  Systems that have benefited some but been to the detriment of others.  Systems built out of convenience and comfort for the privileged and not out of compassion or equity.  And now we are being forced to look at them and rethink how they work and change… and change is never easy.  It is, however, necessary.

So.

Would all this change be better if we hadn’t been forced?
Would all this change be easier to digest if it had come gradually?

Would all this change even be happening if it hadn’t been forced and abrupt?

I don’t know.  Maybe.  Maybe not.
I do know… pandemic time is weird.