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Welp, we’re wrapping up 2021, the year that saw “the end of the pandemic,” but also the definite continuation and worsening of the pandemic. Safety protocols, stimmy checks, and fucks to give came, went, and came again. Many people did the best they could to protect the rest of humanity from a suffocating death. A smaller group of people would like you to keep in mind that the capitalist machine needs your blood as lubrication for its moving parts.

Let’s look back at the ways that life started to look a little more like the Before Times.

5. Traveling for the Holidays

If you’re anything like me (and who isn’t a liberal, cis, straight, white man?) you either eliminated or severely paired back your holiday travels and festivities in 2020. And this year was going to be different!

People  got vaccinated. Not everyone. Some haven’t gotten vaccinated because they have legitimate, documented medical reasons. And we want to keep those people safe. Some others haven’t gotten vaccinated because they don’t want to get sonned by Uncle Sam. We want those people to get their heads out of their asses.

But, you rewarded yourself this year by making plans to see your family and go out. And then a new, more contagious variant hit the scene between confirming your booking and your actual flight. It’s a fresh new variant on holiday anxiety!

4. Buying Some Stuff

Despite having more time to stay at home, reflect on what’s important, do the work, blah blah blah, your family still has no idea what you want for Christmas and still won’t ask you for a list ranked by preference. How is that “no fun,” Uncle Sherman?! So, you embraced the Treat Yo’Self ethos and bought yourself something nice. Maybe 20 nice somethings. And then you watched with pride as your commitment to the economy sent Daddy Bezos to space.

3. Living Off the Grid

Our perception of “normal” is warped. We are prisoners of the moment, living in buildings with electricity coursing through the walls, harnessing internal combustion, traveling cross country in less than three months? These are all recent developments in the scope of human history. Which is why you started a cute little tomato patch. Now it’s time to pull the rest of the Band Aid off. Tell your boss to get bent, log onto YouTube one last time to learn how to butcher a sheep, and start homesteading.

If online dating in the Pacific Northwest has taught me anything, it’s that there’s a plethora of people who are itching to buy a plot of land and start a farm. Time to organize a harem. Sorry. A “harmonious community.” Hanging on by a thread, sheltered from the elements in a sod house. That’s the REAL normal of human existence.

2. Immunization Vigilantism

With so many states adopting broad open carry laws, you saw the chance to combine your two biggest pop culture loves: Batman and Doogie Howswer, MD. You broke into a clinic, stole some Moderna and Pfizer doses, insinuated yourself into some anti-vaxx circles, and started poking those hippies/MAGA chuds. If anyone takes you to court, just claim self defense.

1B. Not Having Donald Trump As President

It’s such a relief to not have a horrible, narcissistic, facist president anymore. Now we get back to normal and just deal with a horrible president who hems and haws about doing anything actually helpful and  thinks he can 1950s tough-talk people into being decent.

1A. Those Two Weeks When People Were Getting Their Second Vaccine Doses and the CDC Said That Fully Vaccinated People Could Stop Wearing Masks and Make Out With Each Other

Congratulations. Those are now the halcyon days of your life. Nothing will ever feel more relieving and yet so fleeting.

Dennis William

Dennis is an aspiring English teacher and still listens to ska music. He lives in Portland, Oregon, which is fine, just not in the same way that DC is fine.

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