Yesterday someone asked me the inevitable Monday question, “What did you do this weekend?” My answer, almost exactly what it would have been had they asked it at the same time last year, was that I did a little yard work, cooked, and spent broad swaths of time reading. With the occasional exception of journeying out on a quest for new (old) books or carry out, it’s what you’ll find me doing on weekends in the summer when the weather cooperates.
My decided preference for people avoidance has almost nothing to do with the Great Plague, although the notion of drowning in my own secretions adds a bit of reinforcing menace. What struck me most over this weekend wasn’t the continued riots/protests/rabble in the streets, which has mostly faded to background noise. The more horrifying scenes played out across social media was of friends and family streaming out to restaurants, bars, and all the other crowded places – as if they somehow believe boredom alone will make them immune and save them from consequences.
I’m not generally impressed with hype. I don’t think COVID-19 is a death sentence for most people. It is, however, a pernicious, creeping illness… and one that can be largely prevented by avoiding places where people gather. People have to work, I understand that. I haven’t been able to completely avoid the office myself. It’s the risk we take to pay the bills.
Heading out for a night on the town because you can’t manage to entertain yourself, you’re just tired of sitting in your living room, or three months of togetherness has made you hate your wife and kids feels like just about the most ridiculous thing someone could do. It’s almost the definition of a high risk, low reward scenario. To each their own, I guess.
If the last three months have proven to anything to me it’s that my already low estimation of people as a group was likely too high… and that my desire to avoid them as much as possible is more intense now than ever before.