Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Pandemic Is Passe'

 Spring Refugees,

  It is spring break in Texas and Jenny and I never saw the Bucky's at Interstate-10 and Highway 183 nearly as crowded as it was last Sunday. Bucky's huge parking lot and gas pumps were all jammed. Gasoline went from under $2 per gallon to over $2.50 a gallon this month, because people are burning it.

  A couple of weeks ago (Republican) Governor Abbot declared that mandatory masking would end, because COVID infections, hospitalizations and deaths had dropped below a threshold. There was fear and derision in (Democratic) Austin, but it has been fading fast.

  The two camps in Texas are both done with COVID. The fearful maskers have increasingly "had both shots" and are making up for a year of lost socialization. We looked at a house in San Antonio, with our daughter and her husband that same last Sunday. As we walked out, an elderly couple, Bill and Yolanda, introduced themselves, explained that their house had the same plan, and invited us to join them on their walk around the neighborhood, to their house and into it, without masks (We offered). "We've both had both of our shots". Bill and Yolanda were very friendly and helpful.

  Yesterday at Home Depot I heard an older, and apparently at-risk woman with a mask declaring things about "the whole year" of the pandemic, in the recent-past tense, to a Returns employee.
The vaccinated elderly are broadly engaging their social calendars, making up for that missed year.

  The Rural Patriots were already done with COVID, though the elderly have become used to wearing masks while shopping, the Yoakum newspaper gave up showing people wearing masks in official photographs by early February. Group photos with masks became group photos without masks again.

  At the clinic, there are very few COVID tests each day now, like 5-6, not 35-36, and a positive result is a surprise again.

  This looks like herd-immunity. After the Valentine's Day Ice Storm, people have had enough, and are getting outside, and have been socially engaging each other on the streets , almost like we used to do in the 1970s. 
It's at least normal to engage openly and in a friendly way with strangers one encounters. 
Eye contact and smiles are way up over last year.

  We will know by April Fool's Day if the Governor's gamble was right. 
I suspect he may have won big, and half the state will credit him, while the other half credits the vaccines.
I credit our immune systems and getting out in the sunlight more since it came back a month ago.

  Texas traffic is up to pre-pandemic levels, and I suspect the whole economy will be there soon. 
People are done with the COVID-Pandemic-Lockdown. 
Everybody has a politically acceptable out. 
Everybody opts out.

  Jenny and I are hosting a Spring Equinox Garden Party in Yoakum Saturday. 
People seem enthusiastic about participating. 

Busy Spring Gardener 
(pictured with Jenny this morning)


  1. Lovely to see your blossoms.

    We are still locked down here in the UK. No tennis, no golf, kids masked at school - all day. All hospitality (restaurants and pubs) and non-essential stores still closed.

    It's nuts.

    I've been "invited" for my jab three times now. Ain't going near it.
    Although travelling around Europe will be difficult as vaccine passports are pretty much a done deal.

    Our lives here are forever changed.

    1. I'm sorry to hear about that , Jeremy, and sorry to see the police response to the vigil for the woman, purportedly killed by a cop.
      Might I suggest central Texas? The weather is much different, but less bextreme than the weather in India.
      I'm glad Texas has not drunk all of the Kool Aid this time; never achieved critical mass of fear.

  2. I lived in CA for 23 years (1990-2013) before returning to my native UK.

    I'd initially left with one suitcase; returned with a wife, a 9 year old son, a dog and a 40' container!

    I'd thought I'd find a quieter, gentler way of life this side of the pond.
    Out of the frying pan and into the fire as they say!!

    1. Your work appears to be cut out for you, migo.

  3. Interestingly, on my arrival I drove E. to W. for six weeks cross-country in a Ford Country Squire station wagon from Philly to SF (via Brownsville TX !!).

    On my depart we drove for 8 weeks W. to E. in a massive camper van from SF to Boston (avoiding Brownsville!). Wow - those National Parks.

    Amazing country, amazing times.
    Life's good here in Devon -

    1. Devon looks lovely, like it's always summer in those pictures.
      How can that be?