02A02: When You Really Want To See People

When You Can't Go Out

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 500

It's almost August, which is my birthday month. And as much as I (and everyone else) feel resigned to the fact that I'll be spending another birthday (1) at the Sietch and (2) without a big celebration, I get more echoes of those feelings of the walls closing in. 

Before the spike in cases in the first quarter, we were still able to have a few isolated game nights with closer friends. They weren't as fun as our pre-pandemic game nights, but they did provide a limited form of socialization that helped to change up the daily routine. Our building hasn't allowed guests in since the ECQ period though and I suspect that they're going to play it safe for the foreseeable future - at least this seems to be the plan for now. 

So that means if we do want to see people, we need to venture out. And admittedly venturing out is scary. And I know this seems unfair - why complain about going out when we're open to having guests one at a time, right? It's probably not fair to expect people to come here, but I guess that's just part of the craziness of this pandemic mindset. I guess there is something about being able to control more of your environment when trying to deal with a global pandemic. And we can better assure everyone's safety when we're in control.

We could consider visiting other friends to game. We have a decent number of fully vaccinated peers and that is a slowly growing bubble of relative safety. The vaccine doesn't make us immune from COVID-19, of course, we know that. But it helps to push the boundaries of the level of safety we can be comfortable with when we get to include these items into consideration. But again, it's still a question of how safe it all is. And Tobie isn't fully vaccinated yet, so that means the risk is relatively higher for him versus me.

We miss hanging out with friends in person and playing physical board games together, but we're also very much scared of getting sick or getting our friends and family sick. So every few weeks I get into these "I miss people" funks and say a lot of questionable things that I'll probably regret tomorrow. I blog about how I miss people and want to arrange gatherings involving people who obviously don't live in the same household, which is against most quarantine regulations.

And I guess these feelings really bubble up when I see friends post about traveling together or having their own celebrations here and there despite the ongoing pandemic. I don't want to condemn them for their actions - I keep reminding myself that everyone has their own definition of what is comfortably safe for them. But at the same time, I think part of me wants to be them to some extent. I want to feel comfortable going out again. I want to feel like it's safe enough to go on trips with friends or family. I want to feel okay about going to public spaces to meet with friends. 

But I'm not that person - and Tobie isn't either. After blogging about these feelings, I remind myself that we're doing the right thing by following the rules and self-isolating. Playing board games online isn't so bad and more than a year into quarantine, I guess we just have to concede that it's better than not finding a way to game with friends at all.