We are seeing a yawning gap in perspective depending on where you live.
But the truth was that our time in Florida was the most “real life” for us since the pandemic began. We enrolled the kids in sports. The boys played soccer and our daughter played softball. There was no discussion about the kids wearing masks while playing—they would not. Masking outdoors was rare in Florida in general. In February, Governor Ron DeSantis posted a photo on Twitter of himself and a Little League team, no one in masks. There were some gasps on Twitter. Just the week before, I had watched my daughter take her own mask-less team pictures with tears in my eyes. Normal felt amazing, even luxurious. When my daughter’s softball team won the championship, the kids all hugged. It felt human and real in a way that seeing other people as disease vectors for nearly a year had not.
Two months later, Anthony Fauci said, “The risk when you’re outdoors—which we have been saying all along—is extremely low.” He had not, in fact, been saying it all along, but some people, DeSantis and many Floridians among them, understood the low risks and adjusted their behavior accordingly. New Yorkers largely had not.
I’ve traveled a decent amount in the last year – not as much as I used to, but quite a bit. Some areas were opening as early as last May and have been almost completely open all of 2021. While you see some people wearing masks, omnipresent sanitizer, and a little bit of social distancing, everything has been operating at full capacity for months. Schools are open. Businesses are open. People are going about their normal lives.
In other states and areas, people are still living under the oppression. Schools are virtual or hybrid. Businesses are closed. Capacity is limited. Masks are required. People are living like it is a post-apocalyptic wasteland where the very air is poison.
That’s why when Fauci or someone talks about how NOW it is safe to get rid of the masks ourtoors (or whatever his latest quackery is), half of the country shrugs and says, “we’ve know that since last summer.” And when people freak out over a picture of a crowd of party-goers, half the country can’t even comprehend why it’s an issue.
For those of you living in the totalitarian zones, there’s are swaths of Free America still out here. Come join us, but leave your politicians at home.