No Need for Social Distance, But Keep Your Distance is part of the Punxsutawney TPOL Trip Report.
When this all began, the mantra was “We’re all in this together” (see From Your Grade School Principal: Regarding COVID-19).
Today, it is clear that the only part of “we’re all in this together” is the enjoyment that others project at the sight of everyone being grounded. “Remember when you used to post photos of champagne?” is not a nostalgic reference to the glory days but more of a “How are you enjoying being stuck at home?” jab. Somehow these people don’t realize that the points game is not a zero-sum game i.e., my jet setting doesn’t preclude them from doing the same. Quite the opposite, this blog and my book, Everyone’s Advice Is Wrong . . . Including Mine, encourages everyone to get after life. While social distancing may have kept them away from me physically, I find that people are more invasive than ever before. I’m not talking about the blog trolls whose candor I appreciate (see Cancelled! Festivus 2020). I’m talking about people I
speak to text on a regular basis who have used my inability to travel to foolishly think that we are on the same level, that their opinion now matters.
Now that I am leaving the basement (see Miami Booked! American Airlines Reinstates My Voucher), the reaction is not one of celebration. It’s more negativity. “After all this, your first trip is to Miami?” “I don’t know why you’re going there, you’re still going to wear a mask.” Or, my favorite, “We’re all going to have to wear a mask for a long time.”
After not traveling since January of 2020 (see NYC Twice: A Recap of My 2020 Travels), Miami is definitely not the coming-out party that I had envisioned. I wanted to go to Monaco and pop bottles on my yacht. Unfortunately, Monaco is closed to tourists and I still can’t afford a yacht, yet (see COVID 2020: TPOL’s Most Productive Year). And as far as the mask topic, over a year later too many people still don’t understand the point of a mask. If I am vaccinated, I should not have to wear a mask. I only wear one because I haven’t received the Moderna tattoo on my chest letting the world know that I am COVID free. If more people received vaccinations, then it would spare me the ink appointment as the presumption is that more people are COVID free.
Apply this strategy on a world scale, where rich countries help poor countries eradicate infections, and the “We’re all going to have to wear a mask for a long time,” doom and gloom outlook can end for everyone. But that’s not what everyone wants. Much of the world doesn’t want this pandemic to end. On a micro-scale, those who were miserable before would like things to remain shut down, citing, “At least I don’t have to see your douchey photos on IG.” On a macro-scale, the rich countries are too focused on their own population, inexplicably ignoring that the ‘pan’ in pandemic means ‘all’. This short-sighted approach is of little consequence to wealthy nations whose economies will rebound while poor countries will continue to suffer (see North Korea – Level 4: Do Not Travel).
“We’re all in this together,” just not the way that they mean it.