The Fear Of Feeling Hopeful, Post-Vaccination

Last week, a friend showed up on our doorstep. He was there to go to a birthday dinner with us, the sort of thing that was commonplace two years ago but slipped into the realm of impossibility over the last 14 months, and now, somehow, is possible again. The dinner was on a restaurant patio, the tabletops adorned with dispensers of foul-smelling hand sanitizer, the servers wearing masks. I threw up from motion sickness on the drive there, because my body has forgotten how to be in cars. But other than that: normalcy, or something resembling it.

When our friend arrived at our door, Rand looked at him and said, “Hey, guess what? We’re all fully vaccinated.” They’d gotten their second shots on the same day, and the CDC recommended waiting time for antibodies to build up had elapsed. They hugged on my porch, and I stared like I was

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