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Imagine Magazine Question For 2/1


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It's the first of the month, folks! And that means a brand new question for you guys to chip in and give us your two cents on the topic! Let's see what you got! :)

2020 Wasn't really something that any of us could really see coming the way that it did...not that it would last as long as it has. And here we are an entire year later...still trying to deal with one of the worst pandemics to hit the planet in over a century. You know those old history books you used to see, with wagons full of bodies during the Black Plague? Yeah, that was us in 2020. And a few generations from now, school kids will look back at us the same way.

BUT...it's 2021 now. Plans are in place. Vaccines. Safety measures. It may still be a while before any of us can claim to be getting back to normal again. Or at least a new version of normal. But the question is...medical advances and assurances aside...can we really just go back to life once it's all over and done with?

I mean, think about how long it's been. The masks and the gloves and the hand sanitizer and the social distancing...how long do you think it'll be before you can just see a friend in public and just give them a warm hug? Before you can hear someone cough or sneeze around you without cringing? Before we can kiss, make love, feel safe going to crowded parties and sports events? It won't happen overnight. Some people will be eager to rush out and be reckless about it, others might be reclusive and hold out for a while before they feel completely comfortable again. Where do you think that you, personally, will fall on that scale? Because I've adapted my life and my daily habits SO much, for SO long...that I sometimes wonder how long it would take me to just relax and sort of 'weave' myself back into a sense of what it was like to live without that added sense of caution following me around every time I left the house. Not panic...just caution.

What do you think? Not just about people in general, but you specifically. When everything opens back up and we're given the green light to go back to normal...will things ever be the same? And if so, how long would it take for you to feel completely safe again?

Give us your thoughts in the replies down below! And, of course, anonymous replies are always welcome, either here...or in my email at Comicality@shackoutback.net

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Indoor dining is now allowed again, but at 25% capacity with masks and distancing. As for when things will get back to normal? I can't wait to go to the beach again, or see a concert, or just watch a non-Netflix movie with a big bucket of popcorn! I think I would be somewhere on the middle of the scale: going out to do all of the things I did before, and maybe even trying some things I didn't do before, but erring on the side of caution.

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I've been wondering for a while now how I would adjust to things going back to normal. To be honest, I think I would still be a little bit hesitant, even if everyone started saying that it was 'safe' to just go back to work, to restaurants, to parties, to school, etc. Honestly, we've been lied to soooo much fort he sake of rich people wanting to keep being rich...that I don't know if I could trust anything other than the numbers of people who are still getting sick and dying on a daily basis. "Just go back and live your life again. It'll be fine." Says the millionaire broadcasting from his private studio in the basement of his house with access to nearly infinite healthcare options.

I lost a good friend of mine to this. She got sick one day, and two weeks later she was gone, leaving her husband and kids behind. None of us could even go to the funeral because of the pandemic. I had to watch it online. Maybe this thing is no big deal to people who refuse to wear a face mask for fifteen minutes while they shop for their groceries at Whole Foods or whatever...but to me? I take it personally. I've had a few scares within my own family. I've had my relatives catch it, and I've had to babysit their kids so they'd be ok. My uncle (Who thankfully survived) had to be rushed to the hospital when he had trouble breathing. My mom's little brother. Do you have any idea what that does to you? Thinking that the last time you saw someone close to you...might actually be the LAST time you see them ever? We couldn't go to the hospital. Couldn't even call because they took his phone. This is a serious situation. And I've had a lot of near misses since it began. It's a helpless feeling. It really is.

So, after living with that for a year now...I can't say that I could go back to regular 'life' without some apprehension for quite some time. I mean, eventually, the fear will fade and my precautions will relax a bit...but it's not like Covid-19 is just going to just disappear. Or the flu. Or the Chicken Pox. The Black Plague, Ebola, and Malaria, are still out there. And even if they were all cured and eradicated tomorrow...you still have heart disease and cancer to worry about. But you can't live life being worried about that stuff 24 hours a day. You just can't. At some point, we've all got to move on and get our lives back on track.

But I will definitely be one of the ones who will be taking their time integrating myself back into my every day life. That's just the honest truth. I haven't been all that freaked out by the quarantine. At home, I've got this laptop, my stories, music, movies, video games, food in the fridge, and a steady supply of alcohol! Hehehe! Exactly where is it that I NEED to go??? Maybe I'm just not one of the 'outdoor' kids. And all of my closest friends are back in Chicago, so I can only talk to them online or on the phone anyway. So life has been pretty normal for me, personally. I do understand the desire to get out and go be social and gather in large groups and all...but not at the risk of your health and potential survival. That's crazy to me. That's like angrily storming out of the house and demanding that you be allowed to go to somebody's birthday party during a friggin' TORNADO!!! Like...WTF are you doing? There will be more birthday parties. Maybe you skip this one? Maybe? No? Well...alright. Good luck. :P

So, as much as I'd love to go back to the mall and see fireworks on the 4th and take my mom out to a nice restaurant for her birthday...I think it will take some time. Call it Pandemic PTSD. Let me take a few weeks, maybe even a few months, to get used to shoulder-to-shoulder crowds again. Then I'll be fine. :)


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