I met a friend for yet another first-meeting since the pandemic began in Central Park today. It’s funny — we’ve keep in touch loosely in some form several times a month since we last saw each other in January, whether that’s been through Zoom, texts, Instagram, but it was our first time seeing each other. These meetings are always so strange now. In a non-COVID world, it would be normal to hug each other and be affectionate. In a COVID world, there’s the initial awkwardness of: do we elbow each other, hug, tap each other’s foot — what? Do we leave our masks on or not? These situations are the new normal.
We talked a lot about the virus, about how people in our lives have responded to it, as well as to the recent reawakening around racial injustice across the world. Since I first met her, I’ve known she’s always been politically active; she’s volunteered for a number of Senate and presidential elections, and she’s already volunteering to help out voter protection for the upcoming presidential election. It’s comforting to know that I actually have friends who are genuinely playing an active part in trying to make the world a better place and aren’t being complacent and expecting everyone else to make the change happen.