Well okay, I know it’s not over quite yet as there are still three August days to come next week… BUT I am booked to start working again Friday next (Sept 2) so this is my final “week off”. And all I can say about that is eeeep! As most of you probably know I shut down my tours early July in an attempt to minimize risk and remain Covid-free. And so far that seems to be working. God knows I couldn’t afford to do this, but there is also no way I want to contract either Covid or MonkeyPox (another huge worry) and so I’ve been keeping my distance.Getting back to work fills me equally with delight and dread because I totally love doing my food & wine tours. Though of course I have still been working non-stop over the summer with maintaining my websites, my social media accounts, writing stuff, etc etc. Just this month I’ve done more than 15 new reviews and updates on Sevilla Tapas, which was made possible by my Patreons, and also by flat mate Peter, who often stumps up for the bill because I do all the amazing cooking at home (bit of a trade off though he also has to do the washing up).
It’s been a pleasant summer in that I am content doing the Staycation thing and, horrific electricity bills aside (more than double last year for same usage), it’s been comfortable at home even during the worst of the Heat Waves because fuck it. I decided since I’m not going anywhere then I’ll spend less keeping cool at home then I would have spent on a holiday.
Which brings me to all of you guys out there on holiday. Something came up recently with a Twitter pal who said they felt bad talking about their holiday plans because they KNEW I’d disagree and judge them. To which I (affectionately!) replied… who the fuck cares what I think?? I mean, everyone knows what I think about people flying all over the fucking globe ON HOLIDAY DURING A PANDEMIC and paying no attention to any Covid precautions. Yes, I think they are being selfish and reckless, especially concerning the well-being of others. What matters most to them is that they get to have a holiday. Am I “judging” their choices? Well only to the extent that they may/will end up harming or killing others. But am I “judging” them as people? You know what, I can’t even go there. Because I can disagree with you and your choices, but “judge” you… what does that even mean? And frankly who made ME judge?? Certainly not me. Why would you even give a fuck what I think? Honest question.
I have been mostly at home since March 2020. My first trip outside Sevilla was in December 2021 to do research for a writing gig. Likewise in spring 2022 and May 2022, all business trips by train. I’ve been home ever since. Why? Because nobody gives a flying fuck about anyone else. I’m frankly appalled. And more and more I am giving up on humanity.
I have three cats. And everyone knows that cats are independent beings, they hold their own council, they do as they please, they frankly RULE. Well… except when they live in my house. I love my cats to smithereens but let’s face it, they are totally dependent on me because they are house cats… in MY house. Do they care? Do they fuck. They just get on with it, love me and demand attention, along with plenty of food and all the comforts (sharing my bed for example).
Likewise we… us humans… are not independent. We live within societies, much like my cats live in my house. There are rules, there are expectations to be met (gotta pee in the litter box!), and as a result we are (hopefully) rewarded with a comfortable life. Bottom line, there are no personal RIGHTS without social RESPONSIBILITIES. And, unlike in my house, there is no over-indulgent overseer saying you can have and do whatever you like.
And I guess this is why the global response to Covid has felt particularly appalling. BECAUSE IT IS. We are being misinformed, especially in this past year. I mean in the beginning it felt like we were all in the same boat – nobody knew what Covid was, how to prevent it, etc etc. But now? The up to date information is there, but we are not being given it, and when people are made aware, they simply don’t care any more. They just want to pretend Covid no longer exists so they can get on with their lives. Meanwhile we now are being given the same bullshit mis-info (in this case next to nothing) about Monkeypox.
Getting back to whether I am judging you (and whether you actually give a fuck if I am, which I reckon is not really)… yes I am looking at people behaving in an incredibly selfish manner given that we are STILL in a global pandemic and yet you still need your holidays, you still need to go to weddings and concerts, do this and that, blah blah… and most importantly you are not testing or taking any precautions, so you are behaving like the typical Covid denier because it suits what you want to do… so it’s not really a question of “judgement”. It’s more an observation. IT IS WHAT IT IS. It’s what I am looking at. You can’t deny it, neither can I, so it becomes fact. You seem to not give a shit about anyone else, especially if you might be inconvenienced. And so what the heck am I supposed to think about that?
Meanwhile, it’s back to work the Friday after next. Hope it’ll be okay.
What can I add?
Well… at least, so far as the US goes, that people are being LIED TO. Lied to by the institutions their taxes support, lied to — perhaps not baldly, but performatively, by the officeholders that they are supposed to trust. Abandoned by the policymakers who could sign an order and protect them without paying a bigger price than some political heat.
When the President of the US contracts Covid, announces chirpily that he doesn’t feel so bad and he’s grateful for his two vaccines and two boosters and he’s going to be working in isolation (which a huge number of people can’t do) until he tests negative, and immediately gets Paxlovid (which some people can’t put their hands on for love or money), and tests positive day after day for over two weeks (which is longer than most working people can afford to take off), and meanwhile there is no plan to re-institute masking and require/provide medical masks that actually protect (even in MEDICAL SETTINGS), when he doesn’t even use the Defense Production Act to accelerate domestic production of those masks, when there is no plan to upgrade ventilation in public buildings, when there is no public information about cheap lifesaving filter boxes that a child could build, when there is barely any public discussion of the long term effects of Covid, when children are being sent back to the classroom and told it’ll be fine… we are being lied to.
Yes, people who REALLY give a shit can do their own homework, but I don’t think that’s how a society is supposed to operate.
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I honestly don’t know what to think or how to feel any more.
Same, most of the time. I go from despondent to angry to just sort of numb. And have regular nightmares about being someplace and realizing no one’s masking and sometimes I don’t have a mask either and I beg and panic.
I’m trying to think of a way of earning money that wouldn’t involve handling people’s bodies and being immersed in their breath for a full hour (even good masks don’t feel safe to me when I’m working on neck and shoulders and inches from the mask that might leak a little as I maneuver; I’m probably being overcautious but there’s no do-over if I’m not). NOT working on those areas isn’t an option, it’s what people come for! I’ve considered Zoom classes in self care but I have no experience doing that knd of thing and I look like shit on camera.