Enjoy the Halftime Show
As I type this, I’m sitting on a deck overlooking the beach in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. I’ve been here 4 days, and I will stay here 2 more days. Since my arrival, I have sunbathed, shopped, toured historic sites, purchased groceries, and talked to strangers. Nobody – I mean nobody (OK, maybe a handful of people) – wears facial coverings. Every morning, I drive 5 minutes to Outer Banks Coffee and order a large latte with skim milk and an extra shot of espresso. Please note that I’m not ordering from a drive-through window. I park my car and actually enter the shop and converse with the barista – sans mask.
Last night, I ate dinner in a restaurant for the first time since the beginning of March. Not just at a restaurant, mind you, but in a restaurant. Actually, at the bar!
Thanks to Airbnb, I’m staying in a spare bedroom of a stranger’s house. Someone else is staying in her other spare bedroom. The stranger is a restaurant owner, and the someone else is a nurse. I would think either one of them has a substantial likelihood of giving me Coronavirus. But am I worried?
In the meantime, a high percentage of the houses around me are being rented by large groups of teenagers, who are celebrating Senior Week. Yes, the sadly unfortunate #classof2020, the graduating seniors who stole our hearts when everything got cancelled, is laughing in the face of our collective sympathies. Stuffing anywhere from 16 to 22 kids into each house, they’re drinking from floaters, sharing toothbrushes, licking door handles, and even tongue kissing.
Friends, it’s time to stop crying for Generation Corona, because they are all here in the OBX, living it up like a bunch of animals.
Things are probably extreme here in the state of North Carolina, but back home in suburban Philadelphia, I hosted a small Happy Hour last Saturday. And the Saturday before that, a family party to celebrate Ryan’s graduation. Human contact is happening again.
In fact, we’re entering the third week of nationwide (worldwide!) protests over systematic racism and police brutality. Virtually all major cities, plus smaller municipalities, towns, and communities, have seen massive groups of people join together in the streets, day after day, night after night, to show their support of Black Lives Matter. To achieve results, these large gatherings are absolutely necessary. Also, many participants wear facial coverings.
Worldwide, 421,393 people have died from COVID-19 since January. In the US, there have been 115,575 deaths. But in these recent days, it’s possible to believe COVID-19 has disappeared. Oh, sure, we know it still exists. Certainly, there’s someone in these United States who has Coronavirus, but like, I don’t know any?
I’ll tell you what. When I get home from this mini vacation of mine, I think I’ll do some casual prepping. Nothing major, but you know: rice, beans, toilet paper, Krimpets. And then I’ll party like it’s 1999. Fuck social distancing.
It’s Halftime, folks. Enjoy the show.