Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Reentry Thoughts

Maya Lin's Ghost Forest at Madison Square Park. Some days, the lawn is open so people can sit on the grass under the trees.

Completely unexpectedly, my workplace still doesn't have an official return date after which attorneys need to work full-time - or even part-time - in the office. But because of some projects on my plate through the end of the month, I'll probably still be going to the office four or five days a week through the end of June. After that, we'll see what my work schedule looks like for the rest of the summer. It's very strange to me that we don't have an official return date yet, though in practice most of my colleagues are back in most days of the week regardless. 

For those of you in parts of the US or other parts of the world that are almost fully reopen, how are you feeling about it all? K and I are comfortable with indoor dining, with my return to the office, and with whatever social gatherings or visits our close friends or family - nearly all living in fully vaccinated households - want to do. Our first plane trip will probably be in August, to a friends' wedding in Colorado, though we have no objections to traveling now if we had anywhere to go. (It goes without saying that I'm happy to continue wearing a mask whenever and wherever it's requested or required, especially indoors. In NYC, I've seen that most people continue to wear masks indoors everywhere, except when seated at a restaurant or bar.)  

But even though I'm pretty much back to the office full-time now, I still don't feel fully "normal." It takes me so much longer to get ready to go to the office than in pre-pandemic times, and I'm always completely exhausted in the evenings if I went in, even though I have a fairly easy 15 to 20 minute walking commute. I'm also not fully back to wearing my "real" work shoes yet, I've mostly just been in sandals and sneakers.

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I've been dragging my feet on some of my many reentry-related errands. I still need to schedule appointments for long-delayed routine checkups with my dentist and primary care doctor, just to make sure everything's in order. I may also need to make an appointment with the optometrist, as my vision is noticeably slightly worse off now than after my previous visit in early 2019. (I spent a lot more time staring at screens than usual when working almost fully from home. Normally, at the office, I do a lot of my reading on hard copies.) 

It may also be high time to refresh my makeup collection, as my Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner has dried out in the jar and it's been way too long since I first opened my current bottle of Nars eyeshadow primer. I almost never wore makeup in pre-pandemic times - it was only for special occasions, court, and important work meetings - and obviously I wore it even less while social distancing throughout 2020 and early 2021. 

One other side effect of our 14 months of pandemic social distancing is that I have a number of extremely expired Metrocards with money left on them. Normally, if the Metrocard's been expired for less than a year, one can just use the machines at each subway station to switch them out for new ones. But because my cards are more than a year expired, I apparently need to snail-mail them in for replacement, which is quite inconvenient! (And apparently, if the cards are more than two years expired, one is completely out of luck. Happily, mine are not quite there yet...) 

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