As America comes out of the COVID bubble, what should we do now?

What now? After a year of COVID-19, with its body counts and job losses and Zoom meetings and vaccines.

What do we do now that the mask mandates are easing and the weather is changing and people are slowly, cautiously, starting to come out from behind the walls that kept us so far apart?

Over a year where we watched our politics go off the rails, with a president who refused to join the rest of us in reality. A year where conspiracy theories took control of the narrative. A year where gun violence spiked, and businesses closed, and government slowed when a mob tried to overturn an election.

It’s been a year of protest, a year of pain, a year of watching with mounting disbelief as a president told one lie after another. Until finally those lies walked alongside a crowd that stormed the capitol to try to make the lies come true.

So now what do we do? We watched thousands of people, many of them armed, attack the cops and walk away. But we saw a single unarmed man named George lose his life to a knee that day. And we marched and shouted. We were teargassed and bludgeoned. But somehow we came out of it intact. And in fact, we are stronger than we were before. So, now the question is simply this.

What do we do? How should we move? Where should we go?

I want to be in a place where there are no needles and no masks. A place where if I want a cool drink I don’t have to ask. A place where I can put my toes in the sand. A place where I don’t have plans. A place where the lessons of this last year are firmly tucked away behind the smile that tells me I’m finally, and utterly … free.

Photo: Covid By. Daniele Marzocchi

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