I must say I’m finding the new world very odd and I feel a bit conflicted. I’m still wearing a mask in shops, out of respect for the staff and customers and at work, following the sensible guidelines and to out of respect for my colleagues. The windows are open in meetings which is nippy but just requires me to wear a jumper. I don’t find wearing a mask a violation of my rights funnily enough only mildly annoying when my glasses steam up, and a bit frustrating when I get half way to work and realise I don’t have one in my bag so have to turn around and go home. Being more organised along with squinting at things in shops solves both of those issues. So there you are – I’m sensible and respectful of other people the vast majority of the time.
However, I’ve also been out a couple of times – most recently to see James Bond at the cinema and the Horne Section at City Hall. We tested before we went and showed our vaccination status on the door, but I didn’t wear a mask during the shows. I didn’t really consider for a moment whether to watch a comedy gig in a mask – no-one was. There was a lot of laughter and we were sat very close together and it was weird. It felt wonderful and normal but also slightly disturbing. I was pinged a few days later presumably because someone out of the 700 audience members had COVID (negative PCR and lateral flow after that so all good) which is hardly a surprise I guess. And the thing was it was so fantastic – we went as a family and everyone loved it and felt normal and relaxed and happy for a few hours.
Soon my OH and I are going on a night out, for dinner and a gig. Wonderful friendship and fun and a reminder of lost days – but it sits completely uncomfortably with my belief that I’m being considerate for others as I won’t be wearing a mask. I don’t feel comfortable wearing one for long periods of time (plus I wouldn’t be able to see the band if my glasses are foggy) and I’ll be totally honest the normality just for a few hours is just so good – that’s the truth.
So there it is – I don’t know the right way of doing any of this. I’m double jabbed and looking forward to my booster but I know that doesn’t mean I can’t have COVID or even just unwittingly pass it to someone else. I’m very careful most of the time but I also occasionally do something risky and sit near lots of people indoors just because it’s joyful and it makes me feel alive. And then I feel guilty about it afterwards. I suppose the thing is after I’ve done that I carry on within safety advice and I don’t see anyone with vulnerabilities indoors and test every day, but just by going I know I increased the risk of catching it and passing it on.
I feel bad even typing this because I know it’s not how others have to live, or choose to live, but it’s something I want to recognise. That this hideous situation is baffling and unfair and I’m trying to balance others health and my own. I guess the thing is I’m thinking about it and trying.