The first few months of the year 2020 started out in the wonderful way I expected.
I went to a Boston Bruins game and in early February went to Aruba for a week, to leave the cold New England weather. I bought my tickets for the Spring Pops (now cancelled) and have reservations for Maine in August, a Red Sox game in August, Nashville in September, and Universal Orlando in November.
At this moment I doubt that I will make it to any of these places in the year 2020. Actually, I am not entirely certain how much time I may spend outside my apartment for some time.
Perhaps many of your own plans, those already committed and those dreams that you were going to make come true, have evaporated into the ether,
We all know why, but perhaps at the same time we don’t know WHY. We ask more questions.
When will life return to normal?
What is safe distance?
Do I need to wear a mask?
Can I go to the store?
Is the food safe?
Am I vulnerable?
Can I go for a walk?
A bike ride?
…and there are so many more questions, most that have unclear and ever-changing answers.
Now we have heard that our friendly neighborhood — oh, meant to say, global — virus may not even give us a chance to return to normal, unless, and until there is a successful vaccine for about 6 Billion people. To me that sounds like it may take some time.
Now, we are told to stay home, shelter in place, and stay physically distant. The world is shut down and need to restart, and the only plan we hear is that those with the “antibodies” will be safe to go back to work.
Welcome to the first phase of the new normal, what I will call the Pre-Vac world.
It will not matter if you are rich or poor; if you are black or white, or brown or yellow, or any other color under the sun.
Society will be structured into only two classes. The classes will be those with or without antibodies. The former will be free to be out and about, work, go on vacation and perhaps feel they are returning to normal. The latter will continue to wonder, ask questions, stay sheltered and most likely live with anxiety and fear for some time more.
The question is how will these classes treat each other? For how long will this last and what will the impact of it be? It will impact families, friends, schools, jobs and just about everything else that we bundle under the large title of human relationships. Humanity is about to be placed in a new petri dish of some social experiment.
I fear that the entire concept of equality is about to be shaken up in unimaginable ways. Those with antibodies will be free to roam as they see fit, without a care, and those without will live in social darkness. We will have no way to tell the difference, and the latter group, will each day decide on their own risk to be out and about. Of course, this will be unmanageable, and the psychic wounds and traumas will ensue in ways that are also unimaginable.
Welcome to the Pre-Vac world. Open the country, open the world, create the new haves and have nots and sit back and think the crisis has been resolved.
I think we need to all think twice about the idea of returning to normal. We may never get back to where we were. We need spend more time thinking about where we want to go, when we really are all together with recent memories of a global pandemic. Are we really different based on color, economic or even antibodies?
What kind of Post-Vac world will we, hopefully together, want to live in, or rather make?