Opinion: Along the Path of Pandemic Privilege, or Are We There Yet?

Photo from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Rocky Mountain Lab.

After almost a year in pandemic lockdown, some notes on the privileged path:

If you watch a couple episodes of “Schitt’s Creek” and don’t like it, it’s best not to watch any more because you’re apt to get addicted.

It’s possible to walk four miles a day and still gain weight.

The eternal present—even with all its spiritual baggage—may be over-rated.

Nothing says Baby Boomer like Facebook selfies of vaccinations.

Even more so for photos of vaccinated retirees already frolicking at vacation resorts.

If you lavish your dog with pleasing attention—say by scratching him in that special place—he will demand more of it all the time. Really. 24-7.

Making your way through three books at the same time is shockingly coherent.

You can calculate how much toilet paper you need to store at home using one simple data point: the cubic feet of your house.

Just as a watched pot doesn’t boil, checking round-the-clock for an available vaccination appointment doesn’t lead to one.

Was my house always this dirty?

I’d never imagined I’d miss ambling aimlessly through a grocery store.

The internet isn’t real life. Not even the next best thing.

In the same vein, a Zoom work meeting is often more absurd than a real work meeting.

Household to-do lists are digital while the actual doing is analog. (Ponder that.)

Receiving mail, of almost any kind, is so much fun.

Now I understand the difference between a free-range chicken and one kept cooped-up.

I also understand now how it feels to be part of a science experiment.

If you eat beans in one form or another every day of the week, your stomach likely will rebel long before your taste buds.

Related to that, if a recipe calls for more than a half dozen items, you won’t have one or more of them on hand.

Working remotely is still work.

Forget what the calendar says. February definitely is the longest month.

In America these days, the very definition of privilege—beyond of course you and your loved ones not joining the half million left dead by Covid-19—is a solid roof over your head and no worries about the source of your next meal.

And it’s a national tragedy of immense proportions that not all of us are so privileged.

— ROBERT BENJAMIN

The writer is a former Baltimore Sun reporter, foreign correspondent, and editor.