I’m a bit numb

If you’re reading this blog post and you live in NSW, I’m curious: how do you feel about the freedoms for fully vaccinated people that kick in next month?

Admittedly, the government has been a bit obtuse with the details. It’s supposedly a “three stage” roadmap, but they didn’t explain what happens when we reach 70% vaccination, other than a vague assurance that we will exit lockdown.

However, there are extensive instructions on the freedoms we will have from the Monday after the 80% vaccination milestone is reached, including:

  • Up to 200 people can attend COVID Safe events
  • Up to 500 people can attend controlled (ticketed and seated) events
  • Hospitality venues can operate with one person per 4 sqm inside and one person per 2 sqm outside, with the requirement to be seated while drinking indoors removed. Group bookings will be limited to 20 people.
  • Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can operate with one person per 4 sqm, capped at 5000 people (or by exemption).
  • Entertainment facilities (including cinemas, theatres, music halls) can operate with one person per 4 sqm or 75% fixed seated capacity (whichever is larger)
  • One person per 4sqm (uncapped) for weddings with dancing permitted and eating and drinking allowed while standing.
  • Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask while outdoors

It’s like they just picked random numbers out of a hat. And I’m feeling a bit numb about it.

I’m fully vaccinated, so is DD, so is my ex. The youngest got her first jab yesterday, the eldest gets his second one on Thursday. By the time everything reopens next month we’ll all be second jabbed.

But it seems completely unreal to think we’ll be blithely hanging out in pubs and attending events without masks.

Having the jab doesn’t mean you’re not going to get COVID-19. You just have to see what’s happening in the UK, where there were 33,000 new cases of COVID on Sunday alone, with a total of 965 deaths recorded over the past week.

However, leading experts say COVID-19 will resemble illness as mild as a common cold by the European spring next year.

I can’t imagine that right now, but then, it’s not like you hear about people getting Spanish flu or the Black Plague these days. I suppose we just have to hope the current pandemic also burns itself out.

I’m excited and nervous in equal measures about the kids going back to school and seeing their friends; plus DD and I going out for a Sunday roast again. We might even make it to the Karma County reunion concert if we’re very lucky.

However, the spectre of catching COVID-19 wasn’t hanging over us the last time we left lockdown. It had been stamped out.

This time the NSW government has given up on getting back to zero.

Our new living-with-COVID world hasn’t quite solidified yet. It’s still a bit wobbly, like a baby foal learning to walk for the first time.

I wonder where we will be 12 months from now and how we will look back on the events of 2021?

I’m pretty glad I did it as a Gen X, as I watch the tumult around me. I thought this meme was pretty funny …

Generation X – people born between 1965 and 1979 – is sandwiched between the much larger Baby Boomer and Millennial generations.

We’re very self-reliant because, according to a 2004 marketing study, we went through our all-important, formative years as one of the least parented, least nurtured generations in history. We were the first generation that experienced both parents working outside the home.

Many members of Generation X were the infamous ‘latch key kids’, who stayed home by themselves after school until their parents returned from work. Society hadn’t quite worked out the finer details of after-school care yet.

We’re the resilient ‘survivors’ who, while cynical, pessimistic, and suspicious, have pretty successfully negotiated the current challenging social environment.

As a fellow Gen Xer tweeted: “We are used to staying home sitting in our rooms listing to the radio. We’re the only group that knows how to use tech but can live with out it. I’ve been practicing being in quarantine my whole life.”

Another noted …

Actually, it’s the stupid and contagious part that this cynical, pessimistic, suspicious Gen Xer is worried about right now.

Bracing myself for “Freedom Day” …

PS And the main pic on this post has me yearning to order the ultimate Gen X movie, Reality Bites, on DVD.

Song of the day: Nirvana “Smells like teen spirit”

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