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the return

I was looking through old blog posts the other day trying to find out the last time we went to Mount Misery and I came across one from June of 2020 where I suggested the pandemic might be drawing to a close. Hah! In my defense, it's hard to remember those early days when we washed our hands—and changed our clothes!—whenever we came inside, when streets were empty, and when we tried to only go to the grocery store every two weeks. For sure, compared to that summer 2020 was a return to a semblance of normality—normality with masks—and even when cases were up again in the winter we had mechanisms in place to see other people and generally live our lives. And go to stores, because that's what we do in the USA. We didn't ever forget about Covid, really, but we weren't living in constant fear.

And now we kind of are, again! In the week between Christmas and New Year Bedford saw, I'm pretty sure, more than double the number of new cases than we had in any week previous. In-person Kids Church was cancelled last weekend, and now all of our services are going remote for the next two weeks (the "at least" doesn't need to be said out loud). And everybody knows someone who's gotten it. And yet, when I stopped by the grocery store this afternoon on my way home from a restorative bike ride, the place was packed. Shouldn't people be more afraid?! Or maybe they actually were, because I sure was and I still waited in line to get my giant box of spinach and my potatoes and my soyrizo. But we might not go again for a little while, and certainly not every day. It kind of feels like a real pandemic again! I wonder what will happen next?

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