We all know how we got here (see The Lost & Found Year(s): COVID Trip Report), but the question is how we will get out of here. By here, I mean the bureaucracy of dealing with the Covid mess. Having spent the last two years in Puerto Rico, one by necessity (see COVID 2020: TPOL’s Most Productive Year), there was no way I could justify staying for a third, especially with the continued idiocy of PR’s Covid response (see Covid Test to Enter Puerto Rico: Another Asinine Policy). To get away, I booked a trip to NYC pre omniforce in the hopes of getting my Where to Party NYE list back on track.
I arrived on December 29th to find no party. Instead, I found a city beaten to the core. After months of suffering blow after blow, it was not a surprise that the city is on life support. What was a surprise is how this dreadful situation is accepted as the new normal. From midtown to downtown, I did not see anyone dressed for a day at the office. The suit and tie are dead. Everyone cashed in their stimulus check and adopted Costanza’s sweatpants policy, signaling that they too had given up on life.
Besides the demise of the office is the demise of personal accountability. Why are workers forced to ask patrons for their papers? Every bar, restaurant, brothel, and hotel greets anyone seeking admission with the intrusive line, “Your papers, please.” Those without ID and vaccine cards are denied entry. Those with both meekly accept that such intrusions are necessary for normalcy.
Wake up New York! It does not have to be this way. Enough of these mitigation measures. They are not working. It’s time to accept the reality that the anti-vaxxers will never be vaccinated, the vaccinated can still get Covid, and the vulnerable will always be vulnerable. At this point, we should demand the old normal where risk of death is the trade-off for having [a] life.