Coming out of the cave

If you went to live in a cave for a year or two and then came out, the world would seem a bit different. Some things would be the same, but others would be oddly unfamiliar.

I think what is going on now in the U.S. is a little like that, except that everybody is coming out of the cave at the same time. Those of us who get the vaccine are walking into stores without masks, and sometimes seeing the faces of the people who work there for the first time.

We may have known these people for months, yet never really knew before what they look like. And it’s also the first time they know what we really look like.

There is still that weird moment of alarm when I touch an object or a surface that somebody else has touched in a public place. Habits of caution tend to run deep, especially after so many months.

I need to remind myself that the world is now safer than it was. But maybe it’s just as well that we are a little more thoughtful about things than we were before.

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