Another step toward normal

Staircase to my rooms, Fa’side Castle, Scotland

I get to do something today I haven’t done in 2 years. I’m going to a feast put on by the Barony within the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) that I associate with. Stringent COVID protocols are in place, and I am grateful for those.

It’s a step back to normal, one I desperately need to do.

I’ve said it many times, extroverts don’t quarantine well. The isolation, the concern (not fear), and the social distancing have taken a heavy toll on me mentally and emotionally. I’m fully vaccinated, and have gotten my booster. I have to start taking steps back to doing what I loved before the pandemic hit or give them up completely.

I have to decide what those things are. No one else can do it for me.

There are people I’ll see today that I consider my SCA family. There will be hugs, probably a few tears, because we survived the Long Winter.

Honestly, I’m really starting to see it like that. COVID put our lives on hold, even as time and the seasons moved on. The long, dark, cold isolation that came with doing what needed to be done took a toll on a lot of people.

Do I think we need to stop safety measures entirely? Hades, no. I always believed that I’d be getting a COVID shot each year, like my flu shot. I think masks can and should be worn in situations where you can’t be certain and/or businesses decide not to check vaccination status/proof of negative test.

I do not mind showing my proof any more than I mind wearing a mask if asked.

There’s a section of society who claim it’s wrong. That it’s the start of something far worse. So is death. Me choosing to get vaccinated, wear a mask, and social distance myself had nothing to do with being afraid of what the virus would do to me. It had everything to do with the devastation I’d feel if I gave it to someone I cared about because I didn’t want to take precautions.

Vaccination rates around me are high, and the likelihood of me being hospitalized is low. That was the point of getting the shots. To stay home, with a mild case, if I caught it. Not overwhelm a hospital already too full of patients who needed care. To not be the patient who infected a nurse who took it home to their newborn. To have the strength to keep my friends at a distance until they were fully vaccinated. And, yes, even the courage to warn them if I ever tested positive.

I’ve had one close call that had me getting tested in November. A co-worker I don’t interact with much at work tested positive. Problem was, my manager did interact with them and then with me, several times. He was fully vaccinated, and both tests came back negative.

This is how we get back to normal. Not with conspiracies or stubborn refusals, but by being more concerned about what could happen than burying our face in the sand.

Today, I get to have fun. They’re checking vaccination status and/or proof of a negative test within the last 72 hours at the gate. Doesn’t matter if they’ve seen it before, you gotta show it again or you will be turned away.

But I get to go in, laugh, hug friends, and regain that small bit of normal.

BB/Chan Eil Eagal Orm

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