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.