“Everything’s getting better with Covid, right Mom? Numbers are going down?” My ten-year-old looked at me with wide eyes, imagining a bright, festive season filled with friends and family, not another pandemic holiday.
Omicron, it must be short for omigod-are-you-effing-kidding-me, right? (And, by the way, did you know they skipped a couple letters when they named this one? How mad was Delta airlines when they found out we can skip letters?) All I want for Christmas is a promise that if we get to omega it will be the last one. Let me know who I can talk to for that assurance, please and thank you.
But the funniest part? Oh god, my stomach hurts, I’m laughing so hard with this one. The FUNNIEST part is that we waited so long (BAHAHAHAHA), SO LONG, for covid vaccines for our kids, AND NOW—oh, it’s a gut buster—now there’s a new variant these vaxxes might not work against. GOTCHA!
Of course, I’m still getting the shots for my kid! I’m not stupid! Because what if they do work? And because before I can even start to get worked up about this new variant—before I can fully luxuriate in a cold sweat-inducing anxiety about omicron—I need to deal with good old delta knocking on our door right this very minute, just in time for my own vaccine immunity to be waning! WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
And just in time for the holidays! FA LA LA LA LA, LA LA LA LA.
As riotously funny as all of that is, I have to admit, I was starting to get a wee bit bummed out. It was starting to feel like after almost two years of doing battle with this coronavirus–after throwing the entire weight of all the world’s top resources at this pandemic—we were back in the same infectious boat as we were last year. Had we learned nothing at all?
But of course we learned! In the glass-half-full spirit of festive optimism, let’s celebrate all the ways life is better now than it was last year.
5 Reasons Why this Pandemic Holiday is Better than Last Year’s
Yes, we have toilet paper!
Hands in the air if you wiped your ass with Kleenex, paper towels, napkins from McDonald’s or even had to resort to using the inner cardboard tube of the toilet paper roll. If your hand isn’t raised, you’re either lying or sitting on a small two-ply fortune.
You no longer need a PHD in grocery shopping.
Getting groceries was FRAUGHT for a while there! We were weaving through the aisles like ninjas with a six-foot force field around us, whisking whatever was still on the shelves into our carts. We needed to do a full-scale reconnaissance of the check-out procedures to figure out where and how to line up and how to navigate around all the newly installed plexiglass barriers. Never mind if you tried to go to a different supermarket where none of the rules were the same.
Playgrounds are open!
I’ll never forget how they literally cordoned off the play structures with caution tape. Talk about the apocalyptic cherry on the pandemic holiday sundae. And even when the tape came down, every trip to the playground came with dirty looks from pandemic-weary neighbours. “We’re in a bubble!” we’d call out pleadingly into the void.
Surfaces won’t kill us.
The first time I had to press a button at an intersection to cross the road, I froze in terror. I finally resorted to using my elbow to hit the button and then felt phantom coronavirus germs tingling on my bare flesh for the rest of the outing. Buttons, doors, packages, the whole world was a giant contagion out to get us. God help us if we left the house with our children. DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING!
We’ve overcome the naïve hope that this will ever end.
This is the greatest gift of all, that we’ve learned to bid farewell to hope and usher in a new era of withering despair. While once we counted down days and made plans for when “the pandemic is over,” we now embrace defeat. We cloak ourselves in the knowledge that sickness is everywhere and always shall be. Let us not mourn our hope-filled innocence, but rather be grateful that we ever lived in such carefree times. As we watch our foolish dreams evaporate into the viral-laden air, we’re left with the cold comfort of our collective jaded eye. Expectations dashed, plans shelved, the roads not taken, they are many.
And think of the children! They will be able to lord this pandemic childhood over future generations for the rest of their lives. That should be gift enough.
May your next quarantine be merry and bright!