With truckloads of vaccine doses scattering across the country and the first people receiving their shots, I’ve already lost count of the number of times I’ve said or written “the finish line is within sight.” That’s what we’ve been told to hang on and wait for since the beginning, right? Immunize enough of the country to develop at least a substantial degree of herd immunity and we can start to put the nightmare of 2020 in the rearview mirror. But not everyone wants you to start feeling a bit of hope, nor should you begin getting any ideas about returning to what passed for “normal” before the pandemic came into our lives. Over at Vogue, Molly Jong-Fast wants all of you peasants to know that you won’t be crawling out from under the thumb of the government any time soon.

One of the many problems with having no federal government guidance is that we Americans are getting our guidance, ahem, elsewhere. One look at my Instagram feed shows why this is a bad idea. Half of the people I follow are locked up, eating cereal all day, watching Netflix, trying not to die (me) and half of my feed is people on vacation pretending everything is normal.

Everything is not normal. One look at the fire engine-red New York Times coronavirus map should be confirmation that the pandemic is not over. It will be over soon; we won’t live like this forever,. But we absolutely need to live like this for a few more months.

We have to hold on through this lonely Christmas. We have to hold on through this gray season. The sun is coming, spring is on its way, and with it will come more vaccines, an economic recovery and eventually a return to normalcy. I know it’s so hard. I look at my unhappy teenagers, my lonely mother, my sad stepmom, and I beg them to hold on. I tell them the cavalry is coming. It’s just not here yet.

Look, I’m not entirely unsympathetic to what Jong-Fast is saying. She tells a sad story of making her mother cry by calling to say that her family won’t be coming to visit for Christmas dinner. She implores everyone to “just hang on.” I get it. The virus is still out there and we’re definitely experiencing another surge.

But what if we wait until the vaccine has been widely distributed and then there’s something else? The “something else” in question could be one of many things. Perhaps they’ll tell us that the immunity received from the vaccines isn’t lasting as long as they had hoped. Maybe we’ll be told that the vaccine worked as intended, but now there’s a new strain of COVID coming out of Great Britain or some zombie minks in Denmark that it doesn’t protect against. Maybe the Chinese will just unleash another one and we’ll have to start all over again.

At that point, it’s not hard to imagine what’s coming. Sorry, but it’s still not safe. We’re going to have to keep the mask mandates in place and the lockdowns will need to continue. We know how tired you all are of this, but we know what’s best for you and you’re going to have to just adjust to the new normal. That’s just how it is.

Sorry, but I don’t think so. People are already in open rebellion in various places around the country. Living this way isn’t normal. Living this way is never going to be normal. We’re not a nation of sheep that simply follow instructions when the government decides to turn our homes into detention camps. We’ll make our own decisions about when and how we interact with our friends and families, particularly during the holidays.

Look, I don’t want to die from this virus any more than the rest of you do. And I’m in one of the higher-risk categories, so I’ve tried to be particularly careful. But the survival rate for people contracting the virus remains over 99%. At some point even people like me are going to have to suck it up, take our chances, and get on with our lives as best we can. If the vaccine looks to be effective without too many people kicking the bucket from unanticipated side-effects, I’m eventually going to go get it. After that, I will have done about all I can do and I’m simply going to have to go rejoin the world in a normal way and hope for the best. I have young, healthy neighbors who have already thrown in the towel and resumed most of their normal activities, betting that they will survive the disease even if they come down with it.

That’s pretty much the bottom line as I see it. Adults are going to have to make up their own minds as to how much risk they are willing to take and how much authoritarian suppression they are willing to tolerate. So feel free to advise us to “hang on” if you wish, but try not to be too disappointed or turn into a scold if not everyone is willing to listen for much longer.