Cumming, GA

Are We Going to Be Afraid to Be Normal in Cumming, Georga?

DarrylBrooks

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0sKLDV_0Z7m3VnV00 Photo by Jana Sabeth on Unsplash
I see trees of green
Red roses too
I see them bloom
For me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Things are trying to get back to normal in Cumming, Georgia.

Are things beginning to get back to normal where you are?

Can you see that someday soon they will be?

Vaccines have been rolling out for a few months now in Forsyth County, Georgia. At-risk groups continue to get vaccinated. In my over-55 community in Cumming, Georgia, just about everyone has had their second shots. According to CDC guidelines, we can gather in small groups without masks.

We can start being normal again.

But will we?
When will we?

A few days before lockdown last year, one of our neighbors retired just before her birthday. There was going to be a big celebration involving most of the community.

That never happened.

I see skies of blue
And clouds of white
The bright blessed day
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

A couple of weeks ago, her husband announced he was going to try again. This was going to be a smaller group, just a couple of dozen. It would be held outside, weather permitting.

We got there a few minutes after it started, and almost everyone was already there. Most everyone was also wearing masks, despite the CDC guidelines. So, as we approached, we pulled our masks out and put them on.

There were snacks, desserts, and drinks. So everyone was taking masks off and putting them back on again.

Everyone seemed nervous or anxious.

This was a group who, every Friday night, met together in the clubhouse and had pot luck dinner. Every Friday night for four years.

The colors of the rainbow
So pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces
Of people going by

And now, they weren’t comfortable being around each other. This was by far the largest gathering in the neighborhood for a year. And we didn’t know how to act.

One of the guys approached me without a mask. So, I lowered mine and extended my hand for a shake.

He physically recoiled.

Having been vaccinated and knowing I was, he was comfortable not wearing a mask, breathing the same air. But he was afraid to shake my hand.

He recovered and did a fist bump. I saw several fist bumps and elbows touching.

But no handshakes and certainly no hugging.

In the past, there was hugging; a lot of hugging.

But this group was too accustomed to the fear that has been instilled in us for over a year. No one was relaxed. No one was comfortable. It was a tense and fairly short gathering.

But it was a start.

I see friends shaking hands
Saying how do you do
They’re really saying
I love you

As the country and the world gets vaccinated, and boosters are developed to fight the variants, we will get back to normal. But it won’t happen quickly. I can see that happening in Cumming, Georgia, and I know it will be the same elsewhere.

We were thrown into this maelstrom almost overnight. We had to adapt quickly and change everything about how we live our lives. And I had this fantasy that, on the other end, the process would reverse.

We would be declared safe, remove our masks and gather for a group hug. But it is evident to me now that’s not going to happen. We will have to learn to be together again. To gather as a group and actually have fun.

We used to cruise a lot. It was our primary vacation. We have canceled about a half dozen cruises in 2020 and 2021. But we are hoping to resume cruising one day. We thought it would be by the end of this year, but now I am rethinking it.

Not because the cruises won’t be safe. I think by the end of the year, the world will be inoculated. So, it’s not personal health and safety I’m concerned with. It’s the effort that will be required. And will it be any fun?

Imagine two to three thousand people boarding a cruise ship. Now add one minute to the boarding process for each person as health and vaccination records are checked. For years, hand washing and sanitization on ships were a priority. Imagine that ramped up by a magnitude of ten. Sanitizing your hands every twenty feet and not being allowed to touch anything. Buffets and many activities curtailed. I think it will be a long time before cruising is fun again.

Because the world has to get over itself. We have to learn not to live in constant fear.

We have to be able to touch each other, shake hands, and hug.

I’ve never been a hugger. I tolerated it but never initiated it. It always felt awkward, and I was always nervous about exactly where to put my hands.

But now, I’d love a hug. I want to go out and hug every person I encounter. I want to shake your hand. I want to shake everyone’s hand.
But I can’t. Because we are still afraid. And I’m not sure what to do about it.

I’m glad we went to that little gathering over the weekend. I learned a lot. I learned a lot about what we are going to have to do.

Baby steps.

We can’t just open the clubhouse and invite everyone in. We are going to have to find reasons for small groups to get together. We are going to need to gather without our masks and spend time just being together. Talking and smiling. Maybe even laughing. There was no laughter at that party. None.

We will try again. I just got an email about an ice cream social at the end of the month here in Cumming. But it will be held outside, not in the clubhouse. And no grandchildren are invited. What? No kids at an ice cream social?

It will take time, but we will get comfortable again being around other human beings little by little. Being around our friends, families, neighbors, and loved ones. And one by one, we will touch each other; shake each other’s hands.

Cumming, Georgia can slowly get back to normal. And maybe...

And maybe someday, embrace each other in a hug.

I hear babies cry
I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more
Than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world
~ Douglas George, Thiele Bob

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I am a writer with over 16 years of experience and hundreds of articles. I write about photography, productivity, life skills, money management and much more.

Alpharetta, GA
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