Covid 19 has certainly taught humanity a whole new set of lessons in terms of how we relate to our fellow hominids. We are zooming, masking, bumping elbows and crosswalk buttons, forgoing smiles and all in bad need of a decent haircut. And we need to pat ourselves on the back, we are doing a pretty good job at dealing with all of that. Certainly better than those folks back in the black plague did anyway.
But I wonder what the long term implications of this pandemic will be, as it relates to our interpersonal behavior? Because honestly I don't ever see the genie fitting back in the bottle.
We have had two dear couples cancel planned rendezvous with us because they were worried about catching the deadly microbe. And these were events that they had set up, we weren't exactly pushing them. And I get it, we are not yet 65 so we are not in a tier that can get vaccinated yet. They had. I could push the cancer card and probably get one but where would that leave my wife? Anyway people are worried, rightfully so and covid is definitely crimping our interpersonal communications.
Anyway that is not the point of the ramble, the point is this. I think that people are enjoying their solitude and private space in a way that they may not have imagined. And they won't necessarily feel comfortable after the threat has ended. I think that it will be difficult to revert back to the pre covid crowded human maelstrom when and if this whole microbe thing is finally over. Our social behavior has changed for ever, on a global level.
In my own case I believe that I have long suffered from some mild case of agoraphobia. I don't feel comfortable around crowds of people, especially when they are drinking. Concerts are excruciating. I like my humans fine one or two or five at a time but even then... There is no getting around it, I like my own space. And that is why I wander far into the fields to shoot big and little birds with my camera, because it keeps me as far away from humans as I can possibly be.
My shop has been appointment only for about fifteen or sixteen years. Lately even good customers have pointed out that I get antsy when customers stay too long in my private clubhouse/warehouse. I subtly or not so subtly find myself herding them to the door like a nipping Australian cattle dog at a certain point when I need my space. And it is pretty unconscious behavior.
So covid is maybe magnifying and accentuating my previous misanthropy and need for private space somewhat, giving it an excuse. I can only take my fellow hominds for so long, even the ones I really like.
I know that many people are fleeing compression right now. Redfin used to have about .05 of its queries looking for rural real estate, now it is 30%. I have had the trails in my valley to myself for thirty years, there is not a day that goes by that their are not ten to twenty cars of people roaming around.
It will be interesting to see if sports attendance post covid ever matches pre covid numbers again. Covid may hang around like influenza for perpetuity, will the mask become an essential item of the new paradigm for the next several decades, the twenty first century version of the necktie? Certainly makes more sense then the vestigial necktie but we still wear them. Will we ever be truly comfortable socializing again?
Won't draw this out, have a lot of work to do. But make no mistake, Covid has changed us forever. Ain't no going back.