between vaccines: a potential threshold18 Apr 2021
we (in america and other places that are rapidly vaccinating wealth and/or tiny populations) are moving into the next phase of our COVID reality. as vaccines roll out and spring arrives, people are turning their attention and plans back towards in-person connections.
but all of us are changed. and some of us didn’t make it.
if you know me well, you know i am a big fan of reflection. and i asked folks, in honor of my birthday, to share some top pandemic reflections. thosee can be found here. thanks emilia, tanner, ari, casper, and katherine. yall are the best!
the reason i was thinking about this now is because i am in the middle of two shot vaccination window. i had my first shot on monday 12 april and my next will be 3 may.
transitions are always important. they are often hard. the transition into covid was abrupt. the transition “out” will not be. even if everyone gets vaccinated (did you know half of republican men don’t want the vaccine?), it’s clear that that won’t be the end of covid collectively. but we are definitely entering a new phase of it.
this slower, as opposed to abrupt, transition out could be of great benefit. why? because transitions are a great place for reflection. i was in a conversation with two friend, rachel and maanav, and rachel used the threshold and that opened up a whole thought process for me. what if we thought of the weeks between our first and second vaccinations as a threshold like in a pilgrimage? what if these 3-4 weeks were a time to slow down, reflect on what we learned, gather those lessons, and think through how to apply them into the next phase?
i certainly can’t force anyone to do that reflection and lots of people have already gotten their second shot. but for those of us who haven’t or have only had one, how might we use this in-between space, this liminal window, to harvest what’s been gained and prepare ourselves for whatever is next? what practices might we create to ritualize this?
here are some of my between-vaccines reflections:
- i can do very well with more alone time than i had previously allowed myself
- having a smaller social circle feels great. there is some loss and it might be worth the slower, more intentional pace i get to move at
- i am leaving behind my previous pace of flight. i could see myself taking maybe two flights a year; maybe fewer. i could imagine one west coast and one south flight per year. or maybe those alternate years and my second flight is an international one. or maybe i fly only every two years.
- i want to take long-distance trains and busses more
- walking to a body of water 5+ times a week is a practice i want to keep
- talking on the phone when both people are in the woods is a magically connecting experience. this is especially true if the woods are similar.
- my solo grief practice muscles are much stronger. my collective grief practices need work
- i think i don’t miss spontaneous connections
- knowing my neighbors has a newfound importance
i’m sure there’s more but here’s what i have at the moment. and now i need to go do my weekend clean routines and zero out my inbox.
words / writing / post-processing
577w / 20min / 6min