Grace Vosen, Contributor
My mind inevitably goes blank when someone asks me what I did yesterday (or over the weekend, or on Tuesday — wait, isn’t today Tuesday?!). Lately, though, that response has been close to the truth of what I’ve been doing: nothing. At least, nothing that strikes me as worth talking about.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been working, volunteering, and doing the various small projects that make up a Grace’s life. I’ve visited and been visited by people I love after a winter of isolation. It just all feels too normal compared to the events of last year. While none of them are boring, these things that might have seemed worth chatting about in 2019 now have to compete with tales from a global pandemic.
Neither am I reducing the pandemic to a conversation starter. But for the conversationally challenged among us, it was helpful to have a shared experience to refer to. “How are you coping?” “Where are you spending your quarantine (to misuse the word)?” Or, a bit later: “What’s the first thing you’re going to do when this is all over?” It’s hard for me to feel like I’m contributing something of interest when I talk about my daily life. COVID changed that — for a while.
The feeling is qualitatively different now, at least in our corner of the Driftless. For the first time, we have enough relief from pandemic woes to see the end of the tunnel. We’re not to the end, of course, and we don’t know how much light awaits us there. But I never thought I’d be so glad to report that nothing is happening.