It’s Time to Start Again a guest post by Holly Frost

It’s a truism in homesteading and prepper forums, or was back in the early aughts, that TEOTWAWKI–The End Of The World As We Know It–happens to someone every single day.  Sometimes it happens to a lot of someones: things like The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11, the world as we knew it ended.

In March of 2020, the entire world ended.

Not uniformly, as best I can tell quite a few places noticed very little beyond the end of tourism and a few corrupt fat cats getting even fatter and smugger.  Some places took a few weeks off and then got back to normal.  Some made some modifications and got back to normal.  Some places seem to have decided that normal is impossible.  (If you’re in one of those, please get out.  Life’s too short to voluntarily commit yourself to an insane asylum.)

Here’s the problem: we all stopped.  Just stopped.  Stopped doing the things we’d always done.  Stopped eating out.  Stopped seeing the dentist.  Stopped seeing the doctor.  Stopped going to church, the library, the park, the farmer’s market, the parades, the concerts, the theaters . . . the list is long.  Yes, yes, we couldn’t do those things because they were closed, canceled, banned, restricted to only certain folks, etc.  Stopping is understandable.

It’s time to start again.  Start taking care of yourself and your loved ones’ health.  Start doing the things that you enjoyed before.  Start minding your business the way you used to.

Now, a lot of us can’t start again, not exactly.  A lot of us fled to new places, to places that weren’t quite so crazy as where we’d been.  Time to meet new people, find a new church, a new coffee shop, new haunts and new friends.  A lot of us learned that certain people, certain places, in our overall all right location, just plain don’t want us, and so we reciprocate.  Time to find new people, new haunts, right where we always were.

It’s hard.  I know it’s hard.  I know I’m blessed to live in a place where people didn’t go very crazy, to not have to move to escape.  I need you to do this, though.  We need you to do this.  We’re losing too many, too fast, too soon.

We need to start again.

Make a list of the things you did before.  It seems a lifetime ago.  Church, doctor, dentist, gym, clubs, associations, restaurants, everything.  Go through your calendar.  Make a list of the things your family did before.  You can’t trust half those people, I know.  I lost friends too.  But you can find new friends.  People you can trust.  People you can love.  People who will show up.

It feels safe at home, on line, and the connections are good.  The people are good.  People will show up in every way they can online.  I’m not saying you should abandon these people.  I’m saying we have to start living life again.  In fact, I think you should take a road trip and meet the online people in person, maybe move closer to them even.  Many of our number have done just that.  It’s a good thing.

We can’t build under and build around if we’re sick, injured, out of shape, exhausted mentally, spiritually, and physically.  We can’t build under and build around if we’re isolated.  Isn’t that the point?  People who think they’re alone might at most try the crazy lone suicidal route; people who know they are not alone are an actual threat to those who want power and don’t care who they hurt to get it.

Pick up the phone and call a doctor.  Make that appointment.  Go see a play.  Go to church, even if it’s not your old church.  Go to the park.  Get a coffee.  Try that gym.  Take the plant identification class.  It’s time and past time.

We have to start living again.

(From Sarah- Dan and I were talking about this this weekend. We had a plan when we moved here. It involved his convertible and driving around exploring our new surroundings. Last summer went by without doing this. And we know we should. And we’re trying to get ourselves to do it.
We know it’s hard, but she’s right.)

181 thoughts on “It’s Time to Start Again a guest post by Holly Frost

  1. Decisions Decisions

    Should I tell Sarah that she posted Holly’s post twice?

    Nah, I’ll let her find out on her own. [Very Big Crazy Grin While Flying Away Very Very Fast]

        1. The Reader thinks that might be ‘Word Press Must DEI!!!!’.

              1. Zombie WordPress, the Undead Edition! 😀

                But would it actually be any worse? Other than groaning “Brains!” incessantly, that is.
                “Oh, no, we can’t call them ‘brain-eating zombies’! They are partially ambulatory formerly-living persons with specific dietary preferences and a limited vocabulary.”

  2. It is hard to restart your life and social circle in a new place, but it is both good and necessary.
    Friends remain friends, even at a distance, and those who denied you because the narrative told them to were not trustworthy or aware enough to be true friends in the first place. It hurts more when those people were family, but that’s who they are now.
    Acquaintences will not get up at 2 AM to help you fix storm damage. That also means that you should try to be the 2 AM people for your good friends.
    Thanks to all here for contributing to my continued sanity.
    Such as it is. :- 》

  3. I’m a homebody. I always was. But I am also contrary, so during Covid I took more, and more importantly longer vacations, and I learned a couple of things about myself that I regret not learning earlier. First I learned that I need time outdoors in beauty. Need it! I get to Yellowstone or the Beartooth Highway, or the Tensleep canyon, or a million spots in Utah, Idaho or Montana and I feel my soul wake up. Second I learned that I absolutely love people in the mountain west. Finally I learned that having a couple weeks on the road, with the absolute right to extend that time if needed, is a luxury beyond any price.

    1. Yellowstone or the Beartooth Highway

      Or Tetons. Or Rocky Mt (well to lesser extent). Even with the crowds.

      We’re headed to Banff, Jasper, Waterton, Yellowstone, Tetons, May 23 – June 8 (might extend if we can, but we have to be home June 11). Beartooth will be open by the time we get into Yellowstone, but is the routes in from Waterton to Gardiner or East entrance from Cody up the Dunraven Pass. We haven’t ever come in from either of the two latter routes. (Usually come in either from W. Yellowstone up the Madison, or from Tetons and southern entrance. Been over Beartooth once and that was lately.)

      Planning a fall trip through the Utah parks and Grand Canyon. Maybe up through some CA parks. Dang Timed Entries are a PIA. Oh we’ll figure out a way around them. Not that hard. But still an irritant.

      1. You might keep an eye on fire reports from Canada. Apparently they’ve had some controlled burns (Banff) that got a “little” out of hand this season.

        1. fire reports from Canada

          Will check that out. Thanks!

          Aborting the Fall 2022 trip (same trip had a scheduling conflict) was blessing in disguise. Jasper had an electric storm roll through. Huge fire (well east of) east of Jasper eventually resulted in Jasper being evacuated. Not to mention the smoke was horrendous by reports. Last time we were there, Fall 2019, the beetle kill is a tad noticeable to anyone let alone non-practicing trained Foresters. PTB were/are working diligently to get the dead and dying trees out of the surrounding campgrounds and where they can further on out. Intent to give the town a defensible space. But they can’t get everything everywhere, and there is no guaranty what they do, works. No way is Jasper doing controlled burns. Given the beetle kill noted in 2019 (and it hasn’t gotten better in 4 years), a controlled burn will go out of control no matter how wet it is, unless the snow is still deep, and then it won’t burn. Note, in 2019, Banff was not having the same problem. I am surprised Banff is having controlled burns, it has been iffy on whether the actual park roads (other than Banff itself) will have the park roads open on schedule mid-May, which means getting rid of the snow load on the roads.

            1. harvesting the dead trees would make too much sense

              To be fair a lot of the trees are soooo not reachable, except maybe by helicopter logging. Even then getting them down would be a challenge. Not impossible. Definitely a challenge.

          1. Apparently the Banff fire was a pre-season, controlled-burn training exercise for a new, special class of firefighter trainees and something went “Whoosh!” Not quite as exciting as Cerro Gordo over in NM (aka the “Lost Alamos is Toast!” fire) but it raised a lot of blood pressure and eyebrows.

            1. From what I read they’d planned on wetter weather. Not only did they not get that they got wind. Oops. Wind caused fire to not only jump the designated boundaries, but the road too pushing the fire (worse smoke) to Hwy 1 (main freeway) and Banff. Didn’t get far. But had a few PTB hearts pumping. Hey (been a long time) I’ve been on controlled burns (slash burns back then) that jumped lines, wondering “why?” Straddling the fire line, one foot next to the fire, and the other in snow … Now days they’d let it burn and just keep an eye on it. (Not in a wilderness area, but back country.)

  4. Never let the bastards win, be happy, because they are not, all they have is their misery, and they want to make as many people as possible as miserable as they are. Let them keep their misery, laugh in their faces when they try and make you mad. They block a street, point at them and laugh, and move on. They block every street, park and walk, and laugh at them as you go by. Laughter is indeed the best medicine. Ridicule is indeed a powerful weapon. If they respond with violence and you can’t turn the other cheek, respond in the Chicago way.

    1. Happy Jack by the WHO, it didn’t load but the lyrics are fitting
      ‘The kids couldn’t hurt jack they tried and tried and tried
      they dropped things on his back they lied and lied and lied
      But they couldn’t stop the water lapping
      and they could stop jack from being happy’

      Be Jack because the kids aint alright anymore.

  5. I normally go to the 7:30AM Mass of a Sunday, it’s nice and quiet and there’s no singing. — modern RC hymns are vile. On Easter I felt compelled to go to the 10:30 hoping it would be packed and hoping beyond hope that they would sing the traditional hymns. It was, they did. I needed Easter to be crowded.

      1. The Hillbilly Thomists are already bringing bluegrass gospel — to the Grand Ol’ Opry no less… But the more the merrier!

      1. Well I’m sorry to say the music ain’t any prettier over here in evangelical christianity. There are so many bad praise songs (for some reason the word hymn was abandoned for being not “seeker” friendly). At least the ones which I refer to as “Jesus is my boyfriend” have mostly gone the way of the whales (actually whales are doing significantly better). The problem is most praise songs are initially meant to be sung by a trained singer as a solo. So complex motion, long dramatic holds and complex intervals/harmonies abound. Having a congregation try and sing these works as well as trying to have a bunch of untrained singers try to sing “Bohemian Rhapsody” as written (as few, well none, of us are Freddy Mercury). Add to this that matching syllables and accent to rhythm seems to evade the writers of the lyrics, and that they have a tendency to commit outright heresy from time to time and it makes for great fun. The only comfort I have is that I look back at some late 19th century hymnals I inherited from my maternal grandmothers line and realize that I have never seen three quarters of hymns and half of the tunes. Trying to sing or play hymns these makes it evidently clear why 🙂 . Over time the dross will get refined out and maybe a few tens (e.g. In Christ Alone) of the best, most singable uplifting praise songs will get added to the collection of great hymns. Meanwhile new dreck will be added to be tested out. To steal from the Mandalorian, This is the way…

          1. Jasini I think that falls under my heading of “outright heresy”. As bad as the 19th century bad hymns were they usually had the theology right to a first approximation. The other thing that happens with “praise songs” is because they are meant to be sung by a single singer or duet or small group you get one person performing rather than a congregation worshiping in song.

            The other difference is the musical knowledge of average folk. In a time without radio, tv or other mass media people tended to amuse themselves. Many people played simple instruments, and group singing was common at parties and gatherings. Even in my grammar school education in the 60’s there was music class and we sang in parts (mind you rounds or similar) starting in 4th grade. My daughters had FAR fewer music classes and part singing wasn’t really seen until 7th to 8th grade. This often presents an issue with older hymns which are pitched for soprano/tenors assuming other voice ranges will go sing parts. Comparing keys in a 1930’s Pilgrim Hymnal to a modern hymnal one often sees hymns pitched down by a third (or more) to put them in the more general singing range.

        1. We RC’s are not typically good at congregational singing it being a fairly recent phenomenon (essentially post Vatican II). The first go round wasn’t so bad since we lifted the basic Anglican hymn book — nice common time thumpers in easy to sing keys — but then we had the happy clappy stuff and then it got worse. It’s all so dreary.

          What I wanted for Easter was O FIlii et Filiae, Ye Sons and Daughters, the only hymn that still gives me goose bumps. That and Wesley’s Easter hymn was good enough for me. That’s what we got, for a change.

          I particularly loathe a hymn called City of God and always sing it’s chorus as It’s all, all about me. me me me me mememe. It’s all all about me. me mememe me me. Number two son says he’s going to have it played at my funeral just to see the coffin bounce.

          1. This is good, too.

            Lord of the Dance is my favorite.

            I danced in the morning when the world was begun,
            And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun,
            And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth:
            At Bethlehem I had my birth.

            Dance, then, wherever you may be,
            I am the Lord of the dance, said he,
            And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
            And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.

            1. Ahh that is one I learned in youth choir as a kid. I think we did it for a Maundy (Holy) Thursday service. It is set to “Simple Gifts” but the words were written in 1963 I always loved this verse:

              I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black;
              It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back.
              They buried my body and they thought I’d gone;
              But I am the dance, and I still go on:

            2. oh yes, and that awful walking along the seashore thing, homoerotic much? It gives the we are church people a run for their money for pure awfulness.

          2. I am familiar with RC congregational singing at least from the early 80’s (so well into Vatican II). In college one of the music professor and conductor of the Men’s Glee Club also was organist at a local RC Church (St. Peter’s in Worcester MA). There was a related school and boys choir but he needed male voices (particularly high tenor range) so he could perform some of the pieces he wanted. He had funds (not clear if it was his money or the churches, he had a massive trust fund) to hire voices. Going rate was $10 a week (rehearse+ one mass each week) and I being a halfway decent high tenor was offered one of the slots. It provided beer money freshman year. The choir would process down the aisle after having passed the presence (had to learn to genuflect hard to do in a cassock) and proceed to the back and up the stairs to the loft. Side Note: How the do you ladies do stairs in shirred skirts and heels? I nearly killed myself several times trying to ascend narrow steep stairs in a cassock and leather soled men’s dress shoes. I have deepest respect for your graceful movement I was an absolute dork in the cassock. In any case as we sang going up the aisles the number of parishioners singing could be counted on one hand. Strangest ever was one of the hymns was to the tune of Eine Feste Burg, more commonly known as A Mighty Fortress, composed by none other than Martin Luther. I knew the first verse to that in German and sang it with gusto going up the aisle. I did get a look askance from the conductor though no one else noticed.

            1. “Side Note: How the do you ladies do stairs in shirred skirts and heels?”

              If you are using the handrail, with the fingers of one hand, pinch the skirt in the center about mid thigh level, lift your hand up to hip or waist level (depending on the steepness of the stairs), and set your foot on the next riser ball first so that your toes are less likely to catch the hem.

              Not lifting your feet as high above the riser helps, and does pushing off the lower riser with your hind foot to give yourself a bit more air. Also make sure that you are stepping in line with the lifted area.

              If you are not using the handrail, drop your arms down to their full length, pinch the fabric under them on both sides, and lift to hip or waist level. You don’t have to be as precise with your feet this way, but it still helps to push yourself up with you hind foot before moving your lead foot forward to the next riser.

              And yes, you have to hold the skirt up going down the stairs as well.

          3. There are a few I love. Let All Mortal Flesh Be Silent is quite possibly my favorite, and I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say is very good. And of course there’s Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee, Holy, Holy, Holy, and Were You There?.

            But the one I’m sad to know I’ll likely never hear in church is Dies Irae.

            Probably not ‘seeker-friendly’, that one. At least, They wouldn’t think so. (Although honestly, I think a surprising amount of people would show up just to hear that played in-person, on an organ. And maybe stick around for the homily. Idea?)

  6. As an addendum, if you are privileged to live in a non crazy place and didn’t have to move, perhaps you might be on the lookout for those souls who have had to relocate to your area. There will certainly be some newcomers who would appreciate a kind word.

    My hubby is a really social sort and in his line of work he meets a lot of people. Since he’s lived here his whole life, he can spot newcomers right off. We have a LOT of newcomers. Almost invariably, they will say something along the lines of, “Don’t judge me but I moved here from California, Minneapolis, New Jersey, Chicago” or other crazy pants place. They know it was crazy there that’s why they left and worry that people here think they’re crazy too.

    And the thing is, sometimes they kinda are still crazy-ish because they have been so surrounded by it that they don’t really know how to live in a sane way. They just know they needed out but not what to do when they got out.

    So look out for ways to come up along side of them and help integrate them into sane society. You know, be neighborly.

    1. You know, I try to be understanding, but all the Californians keep moving to my lovely little mountain town and voting to turn it into a communist wasteland. They’re driving housing prices up so the locals can’t afford even the 70-year-old fixer-uppers, and they want Social Justice and More Diversity and they like where they’ve moved but they absolutely refuse to adapt to the local customs. They treat locals as quaint relics of a bygone age, insultingly and condescendingly. And then they have the nerve to complain that we must be bigots because we aren’t welcoming enough!

      Look, I want to be neighborly, but unless and until these newcomers realize that the name of the game is integration not invasion, I’m about out of patience with ’em.

      That being said, there are some of our new neighbors who are indeed just lost souls wandering, looking for refuge from the madness. And it’s not like they’re wrong that we’ve been living in a bubble, nor does it mean that our community was perfect before they came.

        1. You can tell the vacation homes in my neck of the woods by the signs our front Mount Lion Lodge, Cosy Cabin, Black Pine Cottage and whatnot. The signs are to let the vacationers know they’ve gotten to the correct rental.

          This has gotten to be a very big problem here too. We have lost local families because rent has gotten so high they had to move elsewhere.

          Our town council is reviewing an ordinance to limit the creation of new short term rentals to try to stem the tide.

          Don’t know if it will work and I hate to see people being denied the ability to use their property how the see fit. However our property valuation for tax purposes has risen 30% in one year. That’s definitely not sustainable. It’s also part of why rent is getting so high.

          But we have definitely also seen just regular folks come in to live somewhere less crazy than where they used to be. And THOSE people tend to be good neighbors. You can tell who they are because they take part in community activities and try to be part of the community without trying to make it what they had to leave.

          1. The tiny town I grew up in has a zoning ordinance for exactly that purpose. It worked perfectly for its immediate purpose, which was to ward off a particular predatory “vacation cabin” builder who defaced neighboring towns, and as far as I know, it’s also helping to keep housing under the ownership of people who actually live there. It was modeled on one that the town of Escalante put together some time ago; apparently folks over there are willing to share their recipe.

        2. Well, their attitude, mostly. We’ve always had ‘snowbirds’ who come here to escape the Arizona summer, but they’re mostly senior citizens and happy to be here and partake of our thriving arts scene. The vacationers mostly go to the few resort lodges to enjoy the mountains, while the snowbirds rent out the college dorms for the summer and use the bus to get to their opera and art shows.
          And the newcomers from California and New York? They’re rude to the cashiers at the local market because we don’t have a big city’s selection and threaten to sue the local bakery because racism, and they try to start Pride protests on the courthouse lawn while the farmer’s market is happening and insist that our history makes us locals wrong and maybe even dangerous. They complain about the religion and the trash car races and all the traditions that make us unique. They want us to be just like where they came from, but somehow without the problems that plagued them there.

      1. Huge problem in the recreational gateway communities. You should read the vitriol about VRBO/AirBnB’s. Apartments are now rental VRBO condos owned by non-resident. Long term residents, the ones who work in and around the gateway communities can’t afford to buy and there is nothing to rent. Substantiated rumor says the workers have to commute over an hour to work (since these areas have two seasons: winter snow and July and August, that takes a toll). Volunteer for NP system? Better bring your own RV. Housing is not there.

      2. That’s been my experience with Californian emigres too. The region where I grew up is plagued with them.

        1. I overheard a (louder than normal) conversation at a restaurant somewhat before lockdowns. A new purchaser of a place at the fanciest resort in Flyover County was incensed that a rancher had the Nerve! to drive his tractor and big implement on the highway. There Ought To Be a Law, so she could drive at her preferred speed.

          I had to resist mentioning that that stretch of road was famous for cars going into the big lake, with consequences ranging from totaled car to fatal. No room to improve the roadway, modulo some creative blasting.

          Our winters slow down the Cali-expats, but during Covidiocy housing prices spiked to the point where our dreams of moving a bit closer to town (and hospital, etc) became untenable. $TINY_TOWN doesn’t seem to be vacationer bait, and I haven’t been by the gateway town for the local national park. OTOH, that park usually has lots of housing for the worker bees. Haven’t seen a housing boom in Flyover Falls yet.

          1. Covidiocy housing prices spiked

            Locally here too.

            gateway town for the local national park

            Crater Lake Has? a gateway community? Oh. Prospect, Shady Cove, or Diamond Lake resort. None of these are the typical towns that get overran by the tourists. Would say most stay at the Diamond Lake resorts. Also, none are particularly close.

            that park usually has lots of housing for the worker bees

            Would have to. Crater Lake has no rental housing closer.

            W. Yellowstone has some employee housing. Just not enough for seasonal employees. There are dorms for some seasonal housing for park and other employees for those “lucky” enough to score a bed, even though the lodging is not particularly good (mostly just old and run down). Less now after last spring flood. Gardiner lost more than one bunk house.

            1. There’s a small gateway town, Fort Klamath. Mostly some campgrounds, maybe a fleabag no-tell, though outside of Chiloquin, there’s a decent sized hotel associated with the tribal casino. That’s very slightly north of the US-97, OR-62 junction, so it could be missed.

              There’s a fair amount of people visiting the park from the east side, though a lot fewer than from the west. OTOH, there’s a lot of snowbirds on 97 in the migration seasons, and tourists who’ve braved the rural highways. I see the occasional Class C or A motorhome on OR-140. More on US-97, but aspects of that road (2 to 3 lanes, high traffic and killer loose-rock hogbacks) offend my sense of survival. AFAIK, the only fatality from a big earthquake in the ’90s was a rockfall that got a motorist Northbound on 97.

              The times we’ve been to Crater Lake, we took OR-62 from the east, and it’s a pleasant drive for those accustomed to hilly driving (for values of “hilly”).

              I’m spoiled; only see interstates twice a year, and that’s plenty for me. 🙂

              1. A lot of RV snowbirds (and truckers) that are going straight to/from CA take 58 to 97 from I-5 because although 97 is only two lane, the speed for those rigs isn’t any worse, and there aren’t the multiple passes (just Willamette Pass coming up 58) that there are going down I-5 to Weed (where, for those that don’t know, 97 and I-5 merge back).

      3. My thoughts on Californians moving to Utah are unprintable on this family friendly blog.

    2. This is why I phrase it the way I do. I tell people I ‘escaped’ from California. I brought with me my love of being left alone and my deep dislike of people telling me I’m doing it wrong and do it their way, or else.

      1. We did much the same. After almost 20 years, most people forgive our previous residence in California. Most. 🙂

  7. Hmmmm. The homily this week was about leaving safe places and going where the Spirit leads. You know, like going to church in person instead of attending on-line, or volunteering, or accepting a Vocational call. glances over shoulder in a slightly nervous fashion

    1. The Reader wonders if you open wine bottles with that maneuver?

  8. Hopefully, covidiacy was a one-time epic stupid on their part. Because I suspect that some folks, who I do not know, have decided they want to serve the spicy cold dishes next time.

    Gazpacho, Gatchaman, CenTOOri, CenTARRRRi….


    1. I’m not sure Covidiocy was stupidity. I lean towards malice, especially for those of us under leftwing rule.

      1. Once you have the chains out, never put them away unused.

        They red-pilled a whole bunch of their own folks.

      2. As has been said once or twice, embrace the power of “and”. The malicious are seldom very bright, and the opportunity to exercise their inherent malice tends to override any smarts they might have.

  9. , and so we reciprocate.

    You triggered the family “what is that word” trigger, and That Word Makes No Sense.

    :Reee Sip Roe Kayt: etc.

  10. This reminds me…how do people get invited to the Huns Discord? (Not sure if I’d qualify for one; just figured I’d ask.) More contact with people who aren’t insane would be a very nice thing, even if it’s still only online.

    I’d love to find some like-minded people I can trust in meatspace, but not sure how to do that out here in the progressive wilderness. Heck, I’m not sure how to do that in the best of circumstances; awkward introvert is introverted and awkward.

    There must be more people like me, even in this “progressive” wasteland…but how to find them? Must ponder.

      1. Haven’t been on MeWe in a long time. Not much of a social media person, but since I’m on Discord all the time for games, I thought maybe…

        If can get back on MeWe, I’ll try to look you up. You’ll know it’s me if the handle is some variation on Ing, probably with reference to an outdated but awesome rifle cartridge. And the Slap! follows me everywhere, too. 😊

    1. er… you’ve been here a long time. If we’re friends on FB ping me. Else email me first and last name at the heated mail. I’ll send you an invite.

  11. My daughter and I never really felt hampered by the Covidiocy, even when it was at its’ worst. Mercifully, the authorities in Texas remained rather sane about demanding closures, masks and vaccinations. My daughter and I walked with the dogs every morning, worked and studied from home as much as we had before, and have since. We decided firmly that we wouldn’t mask (save in medical facilities) once the governor lifted the mandate. This was, I think the hardest thing to do, going out to the grocery store or somewhere else and not masking – and being on edge the whole time lest someone create a fuss. Although no one ever did, and we had some nice conversations with other non-mask-wearing rebels and nonconformists. We felt awful, for all those people confined to tiny apartments in New York City, and for those stuck for months in cities and states whose governors took a particularly hard line on lock-downs. No wonder that a lot of people went completely off the rails, then and since…
    It was lovely beyond words, though – a long spring road trip we took to Marble Falls, for my veteran’s quilt presentation by the American Legion lodge in Marble Falls… the spring flowers in all the fields, the Lavender Festival in Blanco going full strong that weekend, boats on the water, everyone out and having fun. The only masks in sight were on a half-dozen Army troops in a convoy to Fort Hood…
    Will the authoritarians try it again, the next time some epidemic threatens? Have people been utterly cowed, or will enough of us be defiant?

    1. It was really bad here in northern NJ for the best part of a year. I’d say it’s 95% back to normal but the Gauleiter is still there in Drumthwacket though he got a real scare in the election, which seemed to chasten him about the WuFlu Nazi massacree he’d been pushing.

    2. What’s interesting is that they lifted the mandates for masking last year in general, and for schools last fall, and most people just went with it with no screeching.

      It”s interesting because this is California. And I’m still hearing the “mask up!” drum coming from the Bay Area, and NYC, and things like that… but almost everyone here just quietly dropped it. I mean, we don’t poke at the kids who do still wear masks everywhere (though as a person who does photography production, I WISH those kids would take them off for 15 seconds for the group photos), but we simply don’t care anymore.

      1. My local supermarket here in LA County finally removed the plexiglass barriers between the cashiers and the customers.

        I see the occasional person at work still wearing a mask. Other than that, they’re gone. The question at this point is how upset the general populace would get if Sacramento mandated them again. I think the population would go along. The question is how many people would start getting cranky.

    3. I’m guessing that you don’t live in The People’s Democratic Socialist Republic of Austin. The covidiocy here was rather extreme. It is still somewhat in place. I really need to get out of here.

      1. Austin didn’t become authoritarianism-loving overnight, did it? How might a freedom-loving culture be installed or restored there?

        1. I really wish I knew. Austin used to be very liberty minded. A “do your own thing” kind of place. People of all kinds got along much better than they do today and, or because of, less authoritarianism.

    4. Oregon got a lot of mandates, and Despicable Kate Brown was at her thuggish if someone she had some power over violated her edicts. One beauty shop owner decided that violation was better than bankruptcy, and DKB got incredibly upset. Trying to sic Child Protective Services on the shop owner was a bridge too far. When that got publicized, I think CPS decided that retreat was the better part of valor.

      OTOH, our county wasn’t so eager to go along. The restaurant closures (takeout or delivery only) were to be administered by county health departments, and one place got famous for posting a “Hungry Lives Matter” sign just above the “Dining Room Open”. Lots of orders from the state, but county health, backed by the supervisors, said to pound sand. (I’m limited in my diet, and couldn’t participate in that bit of defiance. OTOH, the parking lot was full every time I drove by.) One other place tried the defiance, but backed down and got really strange. Knock, and the server would open the door to order. They were one of the few places I could eat at, but wouldn’t under that set of rules. I suspect the state thugs found a lever against that owner. Glad Kate is out of office.

      Mask mandates were more-or-less complied with. Enforcement varied, with the most annoying at medical facilities. Modulo the doc who had people masked in the lobby, but once in the examination/consulting room, we’d both drop the masks. One clerk and a male Karen at Costco objected to my not covering my nose. Both cases, I complied until out of sight. I like to breathe, and excess CO2 is a really bad idea. 🙂

      1. Glad Kate is out of office.

        The new one is any better? (Note, rhetorical.)

        Had one Karen yell at me at the local Costco. Had the mask off. Yelled back. “I’m eating”(subtext “stupid”). I too like breathing, and the mask (I suppose excess CO2) makes me sneeze.

        1. Tina the Tyrant seems to be deploying her inner Stalin on Green Nude Heel issues, but so far she hasn’t been so much in our face like DKB. My mental picture of that one is with the grotesque mask she wore, complete with snow-globe. It struck me like a hat from Beach Blanket Babylon as worn by Cthulu. (For those not familiar, see the Wiki, and note the show poster and the picture–the hats are that ridiculous)

    5. Fort Hood? There is no Fort Hood. There has never been a Fort Hood. Any reference to this mythical “Fort Hood” is wrongthink and a hate crime.

      Thaqnk you for your attention, comrades.

  12. I made a point of standing on the little dots in line and Loudly proclaiming that “COVID couldn’t get me because I was on the magic COVID spot”. Most people giggled. Yes, I was insufferable.

    1. I told the clients we had the Magical Plexiglas Sheet of Protection.

      1. For my sister-in-law it was all the ‘one way’ signs on the grocery store floors. “Because viruses only get you when you go the wrong way down the aisle, and definitely not when you stand there for ten minutes contemplating which mayo/ketchup/chips you want while breathing all over everything,” she complained.

        1. Pardon me while I take some notes in case TPTB get that stupid/malicious again (or try to) and I can’t avoid all of it. 🙂

    2. I did that. used them for hopscotch too. At one point I was standing on the dot saying I wasn’t ever leaving it because I was safe there when I noticed that people seemed to be taking me seriously, which was not the point at all.

      1. It’s a problem with New Jerseyans. My beloved used to opine (when we lived there) that the way to control the deer population was to reintroduce wolves and mountain lions. The occasional lost pets and kids would be a small price to pay to do population control “naturally.” He had to stop because too many people: a) thought he was serious;b: agreed with him.

        1. In NJ we’ve decided that the best way to control the deer population, which is massive, is to use cars. Not for us the cheap, simple bullet. Oh No, we don’t do things because they are easy, we do things because they are hard. we’re going to kill the deer by hitting them with cars.

          How we’re going to deal with the black bears, which get bolder and more common every day, remains unknown,

          1. Minnesota DNR just euthanized a young black bear which had wandered into Minneapolis. Apparently this is now not uncommon, as in 2 – 3 / year. Most get relocated, I guess, but this one was injured (not sure how).

          2. That has nothing to do with hunting and everything to do with the fact that NJ people in cars ARE that crazy.

          3. I appreciate your motives and enthusiasm but after having seen some cars after they reduced the deer population by one deer, I’ll try hard to not participate in your scheme.

            1. I suppose NJ drivers should take inspiration from Mad Max when it comes to car modifications.

          4. Mandate those heavy “brush guard” bumpers. Add signage “because hunting is restricted”

            As a Loyal Citizen, you could trend-set and install now.

            Also enables “PIT maneuvers” and road-block busting if installed properly. Useful in some potential near-future scenarios.

            1. New Jersey anti-hunting types are…naive. At least they used to believe hunting licenses were designed by Evil Hunters to “bribe,” the Wildlife officials to allow Evil Hunters to kill innocent animals.
              One guy seriously suggested making food dumps laced with birth control mess in the woods to
              ” humanely,” control the deer population.

              1. Yeah, I heard the tale of a bunch of ‘Activists’ that got hunting banned in a state park in Michigan. The year they ‘won’, there were about 60 deer in the park. Over the next few years, the deer population grew and grew, until there were almost 600 deer. The ‘Activists’ crowed over their triumph.

                That was a harsh winter. About 40 deer survived, mostly because volunteers — almost all of them Eeevul Hunters — hauled feed into the forest in the dead of winter, and kept the bucks from hogging it all. ‘Limited hunting’ was resumed two years later.

                I doubt the ‘Activists’ learned anything, though.
                Not everybody should go to college. Some folks, you send ’em to college and you just wind up with an educated idiot.

                1. They haven’t banned bear or cougar hunting in Oregon. But they have banned bait stations and hunting with dog packs (unless the hunter is called in on a problematic animal). Result young bears and young cougars are expanding territory in to essentially urban areas. To be fair to the cougars they are following the deer population. But cougars are not apposed to taking a pet or three.

          5. I lived in New Jersey the first twenty years of my life, and never saw a black bear, despite lots of hikes in woods and mountains. A decade or more later I was visiting and hiking near the Delaware Water Gap and not only did I spot one on the way back, but it was standing near a switchback. The bear had traffic on the upper and lower segments of the trail utterly stopped for about ten minutes, until he moved far enough up slope that I was comfortable enough to continue down the lower segment.

            1. I’ve currently live in Oregon. Grew up in Oregon in a family who hunts, fishes, and camped, a lot (like every weekend during hunting and fishing seasons, and two weeks a year in August). I was in Forestry, I did work in the woods. Hubby and I camped and backpacked from the time we updated my equipment in 1980 (not every weekend, but a lot). We were involved with BSA with our son (Tiger to Eagle, and assistant scoutmaster until he left for college, then we backed off). Saw a lot of sign, but outside of national parks (even then a trip to a NP does not guaranty a bear sighting), I have seen 2 free roaming wild bears. Period. Once when I was 14 another working for the USFS. The former we were on a trail up to Little Crater Lake in Willawa wilderness, bear was on a ridge across a canyon visible from a switch back on the trail we were on. The other from a crew van, bear came down off the upper road bank and ran down the forest service road in front of the van for a distance before pealing off down the other side of the road. Two bear in 66 years! (Note, have seen no, none, wild free roaming cougars, and we think we saw a lone young wolf in Banff national park, otherwise have to say no wolves either. Seen one bobcat when I was 19. Not sure who was more surprised. Was headed to the start of a drive for deer hunting just before daylight, went around a large tree, met a bobcat coming around the tree. I stopped. He stopped. He turned around and disappeared into the pre morning fall fog.)

        2. Ms Dimock I like the way your beloved thinks. Although I always lobbied for getting some of the rarer tiger variants (Sumatra or maybe Siberian) and introducing them in Western Ma, North Eastern NY, Southern VT area. Three valuable things occur:

          1) we provide an area for tiger conservation where poaching should be limited. We also make sure tigers have additional environs to avoid removal from a single restricted area
          2) we provide a method to control the large whitetail deer and turkey populations limiting the destruction they create and diseases (e.g. Lyme Disease via deer ticks) they carry.
          3) State parks in that region can now be used for photo safaris adding tourism to areas that have little to recommend them otherwise.

          It’s a win/win/win situation, well except for loss of occasional livestock, pets, children and stupid tourists saying “Here Kitty Kitty Kitty” :-).

          1. “and stupid tourists saying “Here Kitty Kitty Kitty” :-).”

            A classic example of “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!”

            1. Yeah, I and the family went to Yellowstone in 2008. I remember seeing LOTS of tourists getting VERY close (like to the point they could have reached out and touched them) to the bison. This was astounding to me, I’m not a country boy, but even this suburban boy knows you do not do that even to milk cows out in the open. And these were very clearly bull bison, bulls even of milk cattle are known to be touchy. The signs had warned this was rutting season for the bison which would make them even more territorial and touchy. We quickly left those scenes lest my young daughters have to see some idiot gored and stomped by several thousand pounds of bull bison.

                1. Dunno if this will come through; it’s from Peter’s blog on Monday:

                  Seems appropriate… 🙂

    3. I would loudly refuse to stand on the X, saying “that Coyote isn’t gonna get me! Beep! Beep!” Or “anvil or piano, Mr Coyote?”

      I once thanked a Drill Sergeant for calling me “Smart Ass” instead of “Dumb Ass”. (Grin – utterly worth the consequence to see the boggled man)

      1. They never scraped up the floor marks in the cafeteria at work. At least once a week I get to re-use my routine.

        “I aim to misbehave”


        And as I type this my wonderful cat “Special K” is repeatedly jumping up on the forbidden table, purring and churrrrring in joyful defiance. Not even the squirt bottle of “Dang! He was serious!” deters her.

        I chose her well.

  13. But what I had already quit doing half of those things anyway? (grumbles in Hermit). Fine, Fine. But the torpid lizard being you are poking is actually a species of Bookwyrm.

  14. The Reader is struggling with a version of this. He retired in the summer of 2018 (shock to system of workaholic engineer), built a new house and moved in the summer of 2019. The Reader and better half were just starting to adjust and meet folks when COVID shut us down. We restarted the get acquainted process again last spring, but it still feels as if we are floundering to some extent.

  15. EH–COVID… The twisted insanity that reins in Lincoln, Nebraska and other similar insular navel-gazing communities led to many people eventually rejecting the masks but going hog-wild on the shots. This is having serious to severe implications for “starting over.”

    So many people are NOT WELL. This is an unfortunate consequence of being injected multiple times with toxic ingredients. They are also spreading and shedding that NOT WELLNESS to others, even to those who never got any shots.

    Every time I tell myself, “This is it. The craziness is FINALLY OVER, and surely by now the vast majority of them have figured it out. It has been long enough that it’s safe for me to go out again in public,” and I act on that, I pay an unfortunate price.

    If we never get the idiots to stop shooting up with bioweapons of mass destruction, I may never entirely get my internal organs to start working in my favor instead of against me again. My friends joke (sympathetically) about illness of biblical proportions, but–I’m getting really tired of this…

  16. I confess I’ve lost interest in such things, and am more drawn to Thoreau’s take in the matter. Galt.

    1. Remember Thoreau lived walking distance to Concord and his mother’s house. He was a bit of a mama’s boy :-).

      1. Fair point, he was all that. I was pretty young when impressed with his philosophy.

        Even so, I see commonality with that of Solzhenitzyn’s idea of “Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.” When met with direct violence, there is rarely a sane response that is not itself violence, yet when possible, I prefer to merely remove participation. Of course you have to have somewhere else to take it, but I’m not taking mine to places that kicked me out in past. There are things I stopped doing in the plandemic, and I’m unlikely to do them ever again. I do in fact have better things to do. Quite busy indeed.

        1. Oh, for the love of Bob. Gandhi only won because it was against the British.
          Pardon me but loosely quoting RAH: Any male with enough testosterone to sire a child, who thinks he’s a pacifist, when opportunity offers will ditch pacifism, spit on his hands and hoist the pirate flag.
          The same could be said for any female capable of CARRYING a child.
          This vile, supine submission is not saintly. It’s sickening.

          1. I don’t know how I gave an impression of pacifism… failing to initiate violence is not pacifism, failing to defend yourself with violence is. I don’t like violence, but I’m quite familiar with it. I avoid it when possible, and escalate it exponentially when not, until it stops. Permanently. I’m not bad at it, I just have no tolerance for it.

            Is there some profound connection between Gandhi and Solzhenitzyn I’m missing? The later espoused using a firepoker on a skull to avoid capture.

            1. “You said specifically you didn’t want to defend yourself”

              In point of fact, I said no such thing.

              I said I had no interest in returning to my “pre-plandemic” behaviour, which changed for good reason. I also said I did not want to defend myself with violence if a more effective response was available, at no cost to my liberty/freedom. I go out of my way to avoid violence, but I do not submit to it.. ever.. from any source… at any cost.

              I fully expect to die at the hands of violence initiated against me, at my home, and have planned accordingly. It would be nice to be wrong about that. I expect it to cost them far more than I’m worth.

              I doubt many here are as prepared to defend themselves as I.

        2. Not for nothing but ….

          “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

          ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago

          1. The problem with his plan, it seems to me, is that even if a full quarter of the people in that building were eventually slated for arrest and execution or the gulag, nobody knew in advance who that quarter would be. And ambushing the arrest squad in the hallway would have guaranteed that the KGB would have come around the next day and machine gunned everybody.

            In an atomized society that isn’t ready for full revolution, better to hope that the step on the staircase isn’t for you, rather than risk certain doom by interfering.

            Parallels to should we/shouldn’t we start the Boog are fully intentional.

            1. I don’t don’t disagree with you about the boog. As for AS, the atomization is one of the major themes of the book and his life, He talks always about trust. Ours has been a high trust society and that seems to be breaking down. If this goes on then the boog will come. The boog is despair, one last stand with no thought of winning since the boog shows we’ve already lost. The Russians had already lost and AS is saying they’d served it. Harsh, very harsh. he said much the same about the west. I’m not sure he was wrong. I refuse to despair, but I also refuse to live the lie,

          2. Fascinating things, category errors. This one’s a little more subtle than “here kitty kitty” yet so hard to let go of that he carried it all the way through collectivist hell. He almost goes there, with “nothing left to lose” but pulls back at the last minute and looks to another collective, the group of oppressed citizens, as the source from which salvation should have come.

            Thing is, groups don’t do shit. Everybody stands around waiting for someone else to act, searching for “somebody” who, apparently, “should”. It’s individuals who do things, individuals who have nothing left to lose and, ultimately, it’s as individuals that we die, alone.

            It’s a great quote but, to me, it’s always been most striking for what, after everything, he still couldn’t quite bring himself to say.

    2. That’s an amazing way to become a depressive and isolated, then a burn it all downer and a doomer who is actually on the other side, while not knowing it.

      1. Try as I might, I’m unable to find supportive evidence for this in myself…. perhaps it’s water to the fish.

        I live where just looking out a window makes me joyful and grateful, walking in it makes me feel young and strong. I feel no call to be anywhere else, or to support the people or establishments which ostracized me once. As long as they leave me alone, there’s no call to burn anything down. I’m remote enough to make not leaving me alone a real investment, and have the means to ensure there can be no return on such an investment.

        Still, perhaps you’re right…. time should tell 😉

        1. “As long as they leave me alone…”

          Consider the quote by Martin Niemöller which ends “Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

          1. Another fair point. I was once part of a very large family. As I grew it became clear they did not see me as family. I’m pretty long in the tooth, and my family is now quite small. I am the sole survivor of my generation, have been disowned by every tribe, group, and most places.

            Still… when they come for people like me… people who support truth ( do not mouth the lie ), people who love nature enough that life in a city is not possible for them… perhaps even just “neighbors”…. I will defend them. If history is any measure, they will be angry with me for doing so, and I may end up fighting them as well… I don’t go there lightly, and I don’t do it for them. I do it for me, for my self respect, without which I am…. unmanagable.

            A sticky matter though, and quite complex as you point out. I am constantly trying to enlargen my family, but it’s not easy, and I’ve had little success. Much like my reception here. I’m sure it’s just me, but that changes nothing.

  17. Way ahead of you. When we saw dozens of local restaurants closing and staff at those remaining losing tip income, we decided to Support Our Local Eateries in the Summer of 2020. We schedule two days a week to dine out, and rotate through pretty much every diner, cafe, restaurant, and loncheria in a 10 mile radius. Found some treasures and few duds.

    1. I particularly liked my town’s chamber of commerce, which told every one to shut down and then a few weeks later sent out flyers bemoaning the loss of business to local merchants, and encouraging people to “shop local”.

      Which I tried, but when the local merchant told me to put on a mask, I told her that she should be grateful that I was buying chocolate in her store instead of buying it online.
      And I haven’t been back there since.

      1. OR-OSHA was sending snoops around Flyover Falls at the start. They skipped $TINY_TOWN, where the reception would have been like a Hatfield at a McCoy party. They’d probably survive the experience. Maybe. Wouldn’t say they could drive their own car back. 🙂

        One small plumbing & electric chain announced that the state was threatening their business license unless they enforced masking demands. At least they didn’t have the abysmally stupid capacity restriction. Hell, even Home Desperate was trying to enforce that, and the JoAnn (big box fabric store) had an absurdly small limit. Had to wait in the airlock, swapping tales and virii with another customer. Already had the Mk I coof, so wasn’t going to get or give anything. Trader Joe’s in Medford kept the limit longer than other places. They had some stuff we really needed, but grr. (The alternative source was about 5 times the quantity and 10 times the price. Nope.)

        We tried to keep the places we could eat at (gluten issues, serious consequences if ignored) alive through takeout. Now that it’s normal, I usually eat at one of them, and hit the other for special occasions. Lunch in town, and will get to-go dinners for us ($SPOUSE stays home for various reasons, one of which is a dog with separation anxiety).

        1. Early on in the insanity I went to a big-box grocery store, around 25,000 square feet with 16-foot ceiling and they were enforcing ‘capacity restrictions’. So, to save us from being ‘too crowded’ inside the building, we were instead made to wait in line for 45 minutes outdoors in the rain. After finally getting in the door, and picking up the usuals, there was another 45 minute wait for the checkouts, behind all the doomsday cultists hoarding toilet paper and bottled water.

          I opined quite openly on the stupidity being enforced but got little agreement. Most of them believed in The Experts! and The Science! rather than exercising judgement and common sense.

          Shortly thereafter I ordered my Medieval Plague Mask. When asked about it I’d say “It’s a plague mask from the 14th century. Masks didn’t work then, and the idiots in charge haven’t learned a thing in the 600 years since.”
          There are forms of stupidity that businesses can’t indulge in. There are no such limitations on the stupidity of government.

        2. ONE local hardware store (the ONE I go to most often…) had a sign on the door about mask requirements.. AND medical exemptions and explained that the non-masked would be presumed to have such exemption.

    2. Ooh, my family did that too, at least for the summer of 2020. We don’t eat out much, if ever, but we did at least once a week get takeout from our favorite local places. And lo, enough other people did the same that at least half of them have stayed open.

      The rest of the time we ate off food storage and our garden, as a practice run for the apocalypse.

    3. We are not eating out as much as we were pre-2020 shutdowns. But for a couple of reasons. 1) We were eating out too much. 2) Son is off the night shift so home for dinners now. So we typically only go out Saturday night when kid is out being social, and unlimited shrimp night. Otherwise only birthdays, etc. During the shutdown we regular did takeout for those restaurants who had it, even if it meant cooking it ourselves (steaks, even though less expensive at Costco or local butcher).

      Sigh. Had to take a break. Freeway (our tux 2 year old) needed both hands engaged in petting. She bites when one does not oblige.

  18. We never stopped traveling, not even in 2020. We found projects in the Midwest and stayed at a couple of National Guard/Reserve family camps between projects. Since we were largely working outside we tended to avoid masks. The worst part was all the local events had been canceled. When a two-hour browse through a mail-order craft company’s putlet store becomes one of the highlights of your trip…

  19. I had a stroke in March of 2020. It took three months to get diagnosed. I am full of hatred and rage for the purveyors of the scamdemic and the covidiots who blindly went along with it. Just as the restrictions were being lifted a war broke out in Europe, so I’m still stuck here.

    1. My condolences. I’m fortunate that Chicago didn’t pull as much of the covidiocy that plagued the coasts, and thus we got to see Grandma before the end.

      I did end up changing jobs after no religous exemptions allowed, and then again for the wife’s job. Need to come up with a social life again.

    2. My condolences regarding your stroke, but take heart; you might be able to get to Europe in time for the next war; they tend to have them quite regularly. Added bonus: You can’t arm for self-defense!

      Yeah, a bit snarky, but your previously-stated opinion that anywhere, particularly Eastern Europe, is better than here tends to boggle. Sorry ’bout that…

  20. Yes! This post, and all of it.

    Especially, even if you’re not about to just jump back instantly into all the old ways of doing things that did you so much good (once upon a time in a saner world and nation), at least do go back over all your ‘new’ habits, and habits of thought. The ones you ‘learned’ during the shutdowns / lockdowns / smackdowns of so much that was good, rational, and wonderful.

    Maybe “the emergency” isn’t over, quite — but you do need, really need (see OP on this) to either ditch these “emergency” measures or make yourself justify why you’re still doing these things, not doing these things, thinking in these old (sometimes ridiculous but highly approved and narrative-compliant) Covid-era ways. Make these habits of thought and action earn their keep, not simply live rent-free in your mind, in your heart, in your life.

    The architects of the Covidiocy actually told us straight out what they were doing to us (in one vitally important way) when they labelled it social distancing — this says they wanted us to isolate ourselves specifically socially, not only physically. (Even if you believe their questionable notion that “six feet makes you safe” totally, ‘social’ distancing is borderline irrelevant, or totally irrelevant. Six feet of tape-measurable physical distance… can at least be argued to give some “measure of protection” though one should really check the real studies on this first.)

    “Be alone and weak and afraid, so we can fill your heads full of toxic claptrap”..?

    And it turns out (though as many readers here already know) there is a theme song, at least one but this it the one I’d pick first: “Danser Encore” or “To Dance Again” in English. Looking at the lyrics, it’s even something of a protest song (with some “hinky”/lazy English translation congesting the Web); but the deepest point remains. Time to dance again, or at least remind yourself why exactly you’re still being a Covidiocy wallflower, even in limited ways.

  21. I think the biggest casualty of the lockdowns has been confidence. People’s sense of self, their place in the world and the constancy they had believed was the natural order of things was shattered. Leaving aside whether this was deliberate on the part of the authorities, (it was) This belief for many people has been permanently altered. I dropped the wife off at a store yesterday to pick up some item, and saw two older-looking ladies walking past my car to go in. both wore two masks, one cloth, topped by an N95 style, and both wore food-service style plastic gloves, and long sleeve shirts. (it was 86 yesterday. not exactly cool.) The looks on their faces were really sad. They were fearful. Three F’n years later!

    1. I live in The People’s Democratic Socialist Republic of Austin, which is very heavy in tech. I was amazed at how the majority of tech people and tech meetups embraced the covidiocy. These are intelligent people, who should be able to understand the statistics, but instead they live in fear. This also includes Mensa. So many events and conferences are still requiring vaccinations and many people are still wearing masks. The mind boggles. The fact that I am more welcome among rednecks than tech people really bugs me.

      1. I’m not knocking anyone who works for someone else, but that appears to me to be a byproduct of the corporate mindset. I’ve worked both for myself and at large companies. Like schooling fish, corporate culture always strives to swim in a single direction, and when it changes direction no one fish has a clue why it did. Often, none of them do.

      2. Someone way smarter than me said “some things are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them”.

        High-tech sector is mostly “intellectual”, not “intelligent”.

        -Huge- difference.

      3. the majority of tech people and tech meetups embraced the covidiocy

        Um. Let’s see. Close the office. Must work at home. Hell Heck Yes! I quit retired (because I could) from my last job because the boss said “no” to working from home.

      4. Mensa has been leftist since before I dropped out mid nineties. I mean, they featured Clinton on the cover of national newsletter, with something like “Finally, a smart president.”

      5. …I am more welcome among rednecks than tech people…”

        Perhaps a lesson there?

  22. Sarah;
    You should drive through the center of town with the top down, playing the B52’s “Love Shack” turned up to eleventy. Preferably on a day when there is a fair or flea market. I don’t know if it will make you any friends but at least people know they see a force to be reckoned with!

  23. There was never too much or too long experiencing covidcrazy, here. ILt wasn’t tolerated well. The people tasked with enforcing it had to deal with strong counter moves and outright refusals to cooperate. Karens quickly learned to tone it down. Yet, No one moves to this midwestern town. IN fact, despite being small, cheap, redish, clean, friendly citizens and mostly law abiding the place keeps shrinking. When driving I can ignore STOP signs because there’s no one on the roads half the time. I can make a 20 mile commute in 25 minutes on back roads into town. An example of the cost of housing is that about 3 miles from me is 8 1/2 acres with 2 houses and two outbuildings for $169,000 just 5 miles from town. I can’t get sold. 40 acres with a pond, runway, 3 story brick home less than 20 years old 7 miles from town did finally sell after 2 years for under $750k.
    And I’m not revealing this little mecca of sanity. Not posting a KEEP OUT sign. Just hiding in plain sight.

  24. “we all stopped. Just stopped. Stopped doing the things we’d always done.”

    That’s a very common symptom of clinical depression. It’s also very common behavior in organisms that are in the process of dying. And it’s, difficult, to break out of. It takes a conscious effort, daily, for a long time to fix it.

    1. An attitude of “smart ass” is highly useful in resistance operations. Needs tempering with discernment and timing.

      I learned this from an SF former “guest” of the VC and NVA, and it has served me well.

      Look up “Hawaiian good luck sign”

      1. So does Em. I’m not quite there, because I HAVE to interact with people for work, and I’m the driver so if it can’t be delivered I go get it. However, I can tell that my filters are eroding.

        1. And it’s a problem, because I get depressed if I don’t see people on the regular. Like suicidal depressed.
          If you wonder why books are so slow? that’s why.

      2. Well, I find it somewhat comforting to strap on a piece with a full magazine before going out the door. I lament the necessity for doing so. And I really hope I never need it. But then most people would prefer not needing insurance too, even though we’re glad we have it when we do need it.

  25. Let us remember and celebrate Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day), 8 May 1945.

    1. “The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945.” – General Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower

  26. Having moved -so-many-times- in my life, between apartments, towns, then finally nations, I’m familiar with the “Starting Over” thing. I’ve done it often.

    This time, with the sudden, unexpected insanity of our Canadian government, I feel like I moved again. That break with reality, where everything looks kinda wrong, and you never see anybody you know.

    But, I did go to see the John Wick movie just like the old days, and I do get out to do all the normal shopping type things now, unlike 2020/2021/2022, so life is returning to “normal”.

    For whatever values of “normal” apply to this new country of Stupidland I’m living in. Frigging people STILL walking around -outside- with the dentist mask on, and the government proclaiming a new impossible thing about every week. (Stupid discovery this week, it costs $20K to get a truck driving license but you won’t make $20K income the first year after you get it. Seems reasonable, right?)

    I don’t really feel much like engaging with the other mask-wearing citizens of Stupidland very much, but that’s probably just the PTSD acting up. 😡

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