A part of me breathed a sigh of relief when June came to an end. Normally the most uplifting, positive, “anything’s-possible” time of year for me didn’t feel quite that way this summer. Melancholy replaced positivity and a strange sort of anxiety reared its ugly head instead of usual excitement.
Then again, how many things are actually the way we used to know them this year? While spring was a time of fear, restrictions and loss everywhere, denial is what appears to best describe this summer… at least in my neck of the woods.
What might normally pass as the upside of living in a city by the sea which becomes a massive touristic attraction is suddenly a liability this year. Lazy days on the beach, relaxing evenings sipping a refreshing drink on a terrace by the sea, wild nights dancing in a club until you can dance no more have become hazardous, to say the least. Well, that’s this disgruntled local’s point of view. As soon as the restrictions were lifted and the first hot weekend arrived, this place I used to love to call home was swarming with people from all over the country, just like any other summer… like nothing happened. Actually, worse than other summers – June is not that crowded a month normally.
I’m a born cynic, I have tremendous trust issues, yet I must clearly lack the conspiracy gene, because silly old me does believe the threat is real and we risk undoing everything we managed to accomplish this spring… I can grasp the psychological mechanisms behind this type of behaviour, but avoiding anger is more of a challenge than I would have expected it to be. What the hell is wrong with us? Sure, we need to escape our homes and celebrate life, but do we also need to do it so irresponsibly that it might end up costing others their lives? The more vulnerable of us, do they no longer matter, even if we might actually love some of them, just because it’s easier to deny then to deal with the threat and be cautious? Have we reverted to that primal state where the animal in us is only governed by its needs, while survival of the fittest is the main law? Living with the virus is one thing, completely ignoring it is quite a different one.
I’d rather find out it was all a hoax and feel like a fool for allowing them to manipulate me (whoever “they” might be) then to have anyone’s death or even illness on my conscience. This is the oh so very offensive answer I gave someone yesterday when they condescendingly asked me, “You don’t believe this is real, do you? I thought you were an educated intelligent person…”
Well, I do believe it’s true… and I used to think the same about them. Clearly one of us was wrong, we’ll have to wait and see who…
Amy, I wish I could come up with a more positive contribution, because yours is a lovely topic (Lens Artists Weekly Challenge – Summer). Awareness, caution and responsibility do not detract from the beauty of this season and the possibility of enjoying it, as well as each other’s company. There are safe ways of doing this, as long as we accept it cannot be exactly the way it used to be every summer before this one.
As for me… well, I’m trying to do what I preach, adapt and enjoy (in spite of frustration, anger and anxiety), be safe and keep others safe as well. Water creature that I am, I’m looking for alternatives to those lazy beach days. I haven’t given up on the sea, but not many beaches aren’t overcrowded; and I don’t always have enough time and/or energy to discover the remote, scarcely populated ones (I’m starting to doubt any such thing still exists). Instead, I’m trying to find some peace and joy. There’s more to this place than sunbathing, beaches and parties, so I’m trying to make the best of it.
I hope you enjoy the baby bird cuteness factor! Have a nice, safe summer, and don’t forget that personal freedom doesn’t mean submitting others to unnecessary risks or making their lives miserable.