Monday, November 15, 2021

Lost Innocence

I am writing this before going away to Budapest for the weekend in order to redeem a hotel voucher before it expires (I was supposed to go there last May with my mother and am now travelling with Highflyer). So far, we're still allowed to be out and about but in view of the recent explosion of infection rates in this country and many others I am very close to becoming a recluse who will politely decline invitations. Even last week when I attended a workshop with a large group of people (our vaccination and test status got checked so we didn't wear masks) and met friends 3 nights in a row, I felt I was challenging fate a bit. At some stage during the weekend (I usually switch off my work phone) I thought "What if someone from the workshop had tried to reach me to tell me they got infected/were a contact person. Should I check my phone to make sure?" I didn't, in the end, but I am quietly weighing the pros and cons of each potentially risky encounter and a train journey and hotel stay are probably not something I would have booked for November if there had been other options. Then again, I keep telling myself that worrying yourself to death is not a sexy option, either and as long as I do everthing I can to stay safe, this already makes a big difference. One of the friends I met last week called me a few days later and - since she doesn't call me that often - my first thought upon seeing her caller ID was "OMG, she's probably calling to tell me I'm a close contact now" and her polite "how are you?" even reinforced my paranoia. It really made me think that many of us have lost their innocence when it comes to certain social scenarios and hearing someone cough or sneeze nearby will always make you flinch and look at the "offender" with suspicion. At the moment I can't imagine enjoying a live concert or other event with a really carefree attitude, but I am confident that some day, this will be the case again.


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