Though we haven’t fully succeeded to escape the sobering desideratum of humanity – namely, interminable and seemingly incremental medical and dental attendances, renewing debit and credit cards, health cards and driver’s licence and getting a haircut – we have however shifted from that tedious zone into a moderately less constrictive one of muted desperation. We’re not out of the corral but with the advent of the sun reaching its maximum declination on June 21st, the horizon outlook is now fully visible. I’ve decided that the date aligns with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s anticipated opening of the Canadian border for non-essential vehicular travel on July 21st. It affords further though hesitant anticipation. Meanwhile there is nothing to do but languish in the summer haze.
The universal assessment of the last year’s COVID isolation is dreariness. When we’re not staring at the wallpaper or television it has been like watching firecrackers splutter. A completely new computation of evolution has arisen – though in fairness Darwin’s theory of gradual evolution over vast ages was never retailed as particularly brisk. Evidently without the addition of life’s moderate allusions our agenda have dissolved to nothing but the most prosaic matters. Casual shopping has all but fallen off the radar. Summer vacations are a thing of the past. Family barbecues are right out except for the most republican among us. We hardly dare congregate with others outside our regular bubble. Everything has been put on hold, tainted by, “when we can do this in person“.
Judging by the gusto I patently derive from chatting on the bike trail with friends and acquaintances, the central feature of society is the communication with others. The fact that few of us have anything to communicate is somewhat deadening but it doesn’t entirely dilute the strength of the conviviality. There is a nodding agreement that we all have nothing to report – except perhaps the progress of vaccination which by now has graduated to the level of assumption, no longer distinction.
The sweeping government of optimism within the human spirit will undoubtedly erase much of the hardship and limitation we’ve had to endure. Like the sudden relief from pain, its memory quickly fades. Naturally there are those who will proceed but cautiously. I am counting on a new commonality of acceptable social distancing – butting of fists instead of handshakes, sign language for hugs and kisses, comic dance steps for elbow contact. It is all designed to recover our instinctive though much imprisoned reactions. I have given up prediction of the outcome. Instead I have conditioned myself to observe with as much tranquillity as possible the gradual developments of society as we now know it. Never have we seen such global restraint, such international quarantine.
For the first time in my life we have been required to submit to the chains of immobility. While I haven’t any appetite for it – nor the intention to contradict it – I have decided as a rational retort that I shall adopt a leisurely response. More than once lately I have found myself transforming from anxiety or impatience to an evolving quietude. No longer is life merely about reservations or plans or products.