I read this piece on FiveThirtyEight a few days back about the coronavirus, and this part jumped out at me:
We can’t live like we did before coronavirus. We won’t live like we did immediately after it appeared, either. Instead, we’re in the muddy middle, faced with choices that seem at once crucial and impossible, simple and massively complicated. These choices are an everyday occurrence, but they also carry a moral weight that makes them feel different than picking a pasta sauce or a pair of shoes. In a pandemic that’s been filled with unanswerable questions and unwinnable wars, this is our daily Kobayashi Maru. And no one can tell us exactly what we ought to do.
All you have to do is turn on the news or pop on over to Instagram and you can see that scores of people are just going on about life and traveling and socializing and fucking like the virus just doesn’t even exist. And if you’ve been one of the people who are staying inside, fastidiously cleaning surfaces and delivery orders, and just keeping to yourself, seeing these folks just being out and living freely can stir up a number of feelings. Jealousy over not being able to do what they’re doing. Disgust at them cavorting about unmasked and not practicing social distancing. Anger because you know this will just fuel lawmakers to cause more lockdowns or restrictions. Confusion as to how anyone can still go about life after a virus has killed 150,000 Americans over the past six months.
For me, it’s been a mix of all of these things, which — surprisingly enough — make GREAT filters for weeding out dudes that I encounter on #theapps.
Talking about health and boundaries in the beginning stages of courtship may seem counterproductive to the sexy vibes you’re no doubt trying to manifest. But since it affects literally everyone, it’s far more inconsiderate not to acknowledge it.
So while I’ve been sitting at home self-quarantining, every time I chat it up with some random dude, I’m sizing them up based on how serious they’re taking this virus. And this far into the pandemic, it’s not looking good. I start tamping down my anger when they say they’re still hitting the bars. I keep my mouth shut when they say they’re not wearing a mask. A younger, brasher me would have went off, but the seasoned ol’ badger you see before you just plays it cool and blocks them as the conversation drifts to nowhere.
But I realize that I’m in a very privileged position. I can work from home. My work doesn’t even require me to leave my home. I’m good financially during this time. I have no kids. I’m single. I live alone. I can make my own schedule. My friends and I are keeping in contact responsibly via technology and not in person. Maybe that combination of factors isn’t likely the same for anyone else I’m encountering on #theapps. Or maybe I’m using the wrong app? (Who the hell knows these days. Even LinkedIn is a hookup app.)
I probably shouldn’t even be on #theapps, but look what the boredom of this self-quarantine is driving me to do. Blergh.