Making Big Small Plans, also grumping

I spent a pleasant while this morning pondering how to celebrate the impending completion of my Covid Armor Build. Whatever shall I do first? Grocery shopping? A trip to Ikea? The GARDEN CENTER? So many indoor possibilities! Maybe I’ll do multiple indoor outings on a single trip!

I won’t be eating out, though. No. Look. I didn’t enjoy eating in restaurants Before Pandemic. Some things haven’t changed. Okay, maybe I’ll hit our local pizza joint (outdoor seating) and/or my favorite breakfast place. (no bar) On occasion. But that’s it.

Anybody else got big plans?

I’ll be masking up when I go into buildings, obvs, because there’s still a mandate but also because *other people* can’t tell I’m vaccinated. It would be unkind to upset & frighten strangers for my own convenience or worse, to “prove a point,” and I dislike deliberate unkindness. Maybe that’s because I’ve been providing customer service to the public for most of the last year. The only hostile, nasty people? The ones who believed with the fervor of religious converts that no one should be wearing masks.

Here’s a funny thing. Not funny-ha-ha, but funny strange. I have known people who physically couldn’t wear masks. Guess who never made a peep about not being able to go places during the pandemic because they would have to wear a mask? Yeah. Them. They also have health issues that made curbside service & delivery big things in their lives already.

I admit I’m not looking forward to the awkward social phase between mandatory mask wearing and the eventual new cultural set point. My hope is that people accept the supreme healthful usefulness of masking up in public during any pandemic, like our annual flu seasons or when rhinoviruses and tamer coronaviruses make the rounds of the workplace. Or outdoors during freaking pollen hell season. If wearing a damned mask in shared indoor spaces while not eating, drinking or having a direct conversation w/someone hard of hearing means I don’t have to deal with sinus infections eight months of the year? Watch how fast I mask up.

Look. No one has said people have to wear a mask on their own property or outdoors where they can keep to a safe distance. If you’re determined to Own The Libs, if you like to watch people scatter before you & get flustered because you’re Free and they’re sheeple? Fuck yourself AND don’t go into shared indoor spaces to hassle strangers.

Oops. I digressed into a rant. Hm. Quelle suprise.

Anyway. Knowing that being exposed will no longer put me one bad dice roll away from death or permanent incapacitation is already making a major improvement in my life. Lightening the stress load creates some serious giddiness, oh, yes.

There are always dangers in the world. There aren’t many I can mitigate by something as simple as getting a shot. (Once, or once a year, whatever. Vaccines work. Even ones that require boosters.) Yah, variants, yah, still risks, but going into buildings is now no MORE riskier than it ever was. That’s hallelujah time.

Anyone wants to talk about why these new vaccines are safe, effective and also why the mRNA ones are a freaking aMAYzing, exciting world-changing scientific advancement? I’m here for you. You have questions? You have worries? I can answer questions without mockery and I respect worry over new things. NEW SHIT IS SCARY. I’d be happy to chat. I don’t expect to convince you. But I can listen. And share what I have spent a LOT of time learning.

But if you want to insist that these new vaccines are Bad By Nature Because <insert reasons you read or heard from someone?> and you won’t answer my questions about the provenance of their expertise? No, thanks, then. That isn’t conversation. That’s attempted prosyletization, and I’m not into that.

“You have your opinion, I have mine,” and “I guess we listen to different experts,” are the defensive shields of bullshit collectors. If you raise a bullshit shield at me, I will walk away from you. Admitting you would rather defend your position than meet in the open marketplace of ideas is admitting you have no interest in learning.

Expertise isn’t “elitism.” It’s a skillset. Being a doctor doesn’t give it to someone. Being a scientist doesn’t give it to someone. Getting older doesn’t give it to anyone. No professional title or amount of time reading about a thing GIVES expertise. You getexpertise from doing the work of critical analysis and crunchy data research. By questioning and then accepting new information. Collecting arguments that back your existing suspicions is the opposite of science and the enemy of personal growth.

Argh. Here we are again. I started off this post just wanting to share a bright thing in my day and detoured into harumphing. Twice.

On balance, I’m still happy & hopeful. But the cranky is clearly still there, simmering underneath.

Probably best I sign off for now. Until later!

Here’s a grumpy penguin picture as a reward for getting this far.

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