Sometimes I feel this little electrical vibration. It’s almost like a hum or crackle, and it’s raw and I can feel it in my fingertips and toes. Honestly, I sense it a little bit everywhere — the feeling that everything has sort of gotten a lot better, but something almost indefinable is definitely still off.
And then I remember the still-ongoing pandemic. I’ve been vaccinated, as has my wife and most of my friends and pretty much everyone I know. Face masks are disappearing, we’ve hit up our favorite bars again and I’ve played a gig. My wife is back in her office after a transition of zero days because her corporate CEO is convinced of the power of all the personal interaction without any sort of transition, which is a very ivory tower thing to think. We’re going to fly to two states to see family later this month, which will mark the first time we’ve been on a plane since November 2019. I went to a ball game Friday that was 90 percent like any other ball game I’ve gone to in my life. And the whole time, I’m still wondering: What the hell just happened?
That’s usually when the crackle shows up. There’s all of this normalcy and near-normalcy while only about half of the population has been vaccinated, and it’s entirely possible we’ll be battling COVID for the rest of our lives. But it’s also as though life took a long, long breather and has now fired up where it left off. For example, I’m getting ready to go to Vegas in August with my longtime Vegas boys’ crew as though nothing has happened, and this feels like something I need to do. But there’s a nagging guilt: Is returning to Real Life an insult to those who died or got severely ill? (There’s that crackle again.)
I’ve lived a lucky life. There’s been no real long-term, sacrifice-causing war since Vietnam, and that ended when I was a kid. 9/11 was off the charts, sure, but this pandemic is the only national event that has caused truly mass death in my entire life. Still, no one close to me died during this and only a couple got sick. We kicked that ridiculous fool out of the White House. There is reason for optimism, even pure hope.
But I feel that vibration, and I suspect it will be a long time before it calms down.