• Rachel Paige

Zero to One Hundred

This is going to be a short and sweet post this week!

I went back to work last week and I know many others did, too. I'm happy to be back at work. I missed my co-workers, I missed my job, and I missed having something to do every day.

But in my state, I didn't just go back to work. The stay-at-home order was officially lifted. Everything is opening back up within the next few days and weeks. People are outside enjoying the nice weather, usually without masks on.

Life seems to be close to "normal."

I am not okay with that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that things are reopening. But I am also afraid that things are moving too fast. People seem to be forgetting that the virus isn't gone just because you can get a haircut again.

I am also feeling a bit overwhelmed in general. I got used to being home. I got used to leaving only when necessary. I got used to the group of people I came within 6 feet of having only 2 members besides myself.

That was 2 weeks ago. And it was like that for 10 weeks. But now? That group of people just got a whole lot bigger. I am close to my coworkers. I am close to customers. I am closer to people ignoring social distancing at the grocery store. On the sidewalk. In parking lots.

I want to tell all of you that it's okay to be overwhelmed. I also want to tell you that it's okay to be conflicted. Lockdown and quarantine were not every introvert's dream. They certainly weren't mine. But reopening and having life look almost normal within a matter of days? That's not my dream, either.

So if you're like me, an ease into the pool instead of jumping in kind of person, it's okay to take things slow. You can say no to events. You can talk to your boss about waiting to come back to work. You can still order everything online. All of that is okay.

I want to end this with a note to those of you ready to move back to normal life. Please be aware that the virus is not over. Please be aware that your desire to reopen directly impacts not only yourself, but also those around you.

You are impacting the people who have acted abundantly cautious in the last few months with huge sacrifices of their own freedoms and pleasure to do so. Ignoring social distancing makes all their work useless.

So please, enjoy your freedom. Enjoy the fresh air. Enjoy your summer. Enjoy the world reopening. But do so with respect to others. Wear your mask, stay 6 feet away, and remind yourself that this won't last forever.

The better social distancing is followed now, the less time it will be necessary.

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