Mid 2020, our Nu Amẹríkà already reopened its doors in most areas of society. This upcoming 4th of July holiday will be radically different from last year as mandatory mask wearing has been officially made a thing of the not so distant past. Many citizens will gather for fireworks and BBQ’s while restaurants are humming again with customers eager to socialize freely. Entertainment venues are even announcing their summer and fall line ups. This is the type of summer we were all used to experiencing before 2020. Yet, some are still hesitant to simply rush back into the old groove of life – – including me. Perhaps, we’re not the only ones a little cautious to fully engage “willy nilly” like nothing ever happened. Maybe we just simply CHANGED or perhaps evolved and need time to make sense of this new US. Surely, there are others resonating with this sentiment.
There are obviously still some need for concern with the new Delta Variant of COVID-19 quickly spreading. If you really think about it, many questions still abound even if we’re optimistic with the vaccines and other strategies being enacted by the government. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued new guidelines for engaging but this NU world is not the same as before. Our daily movements require some level of social distancing depending on the environment. Since not every American has been vaccinated, employers still have to figure out their plans for their workforce (in-person or not). There are also unnecessarily ridiculous masking disputes (actual physical altercations) on occasion even though they have been proven to be effective and are not required in every establishment. If you are like me, then perhaps you are giving some people the side eye if they come too close. I have no shame in admitting to practicing some of the same old strategies enforced during 2020 yet I am branching out and engaging more people. It all still feels weird to me at times. Do I let loose or naw? The French word “jamais vu” means “never seen” and is the phenomenon of experiencing a situation that one recognizes in some fashion but that nonetheless seems novel or unfamiliar. This is precisely what I think is happening to me after examining my thoughts in certain settings – – metacognition – – thinking about my own thinking and reflecting on my own behavior while venturing out into the world.
Just like some of my ancestors in Texas who did not know they were free until June 19, 1865, I am also coming to terms with the renewed freedom now granted post 2020. It’s going to take me a minute to decrease my heightened edge and reintegrate old norms back into my routine. Until then, it would behoove everyone to stay 6 feet away – – get back – – unless I know you well enough and we’ve had “the talk” (any coughing, vaccine, fever, energy check etc). LOL My energy is different too – – much more loving but also equally guarded now. Something has definitely been said TRIBE but this time it is related to ME. Now isn’t that something?