I came back to my apartment mid-October. Everything wasn't quite the same as the Before Times, but a few more tenants had also returned. The night is still quieter than I remembered. Before leaving, I had forgotten a jar of "something" given to me a while ago in the fridge. It's amazing what terrifying delights may grow in a sealed container, unbathed by a suitable climate, for a few months. Not too different from sealed homes or hearts.
A lot of people have forgotten what desperation genuinely feels like. What war feels like and what it means to fight to exist. Like gawkers flocking to a receeding wave before a tsunami, there's a non-trivial percentage of people still insisting on being spectators to their own undoing instead of heading to higher ground. In this case, that's simply covering their nose and mouth with a piece of cloth. This isn't entirely unexpected, but it's a slowly unfolding tragedy that's entirely preventable.
When wrapped in the warmth of complacency, gathering kindling for fire feels foolish and sharpening an axe feels premature. The biting cold of reality feels unwelcome in thoughts and actions.
But the cold is coming.
Here in New York, there's a slight uptick in the number of infections and I expect that, and accompanying deaths, to grow exponentially as seasonal flu is added on. The price of participating in civilization seems like a fool's bargain on some level, but it's still the only mechanism of cooperation in collective memory that we know to have worked. It can still work.
My roommate had come back early November and we're resuming some semblance of normalcy. My immediate neighbor greeted us as usual and we're back to chatting of fun times. I'm looking forward to her Thanksgiving pie this year too.