Still Adjusting to Leaving the House

A few weeks ago, I went and saw Shang-Chi in theaters. I really enjoyed it! But my experience being out of my house, surrounded by strangers, felt uncomfortable. I pulled myself into my seat, trying to be as small as I could be. I remained that way until the movie ended and I left the theater.

Next, Melissa and I traveled for our vacation. We flew Delta, going from Sacramento to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Houston. From there, we bused with our group to Galveston, boarded the Independence of the Seas, and had a really great time with the Writing Excuses Retreat 2021. Melissa and I remained on the ship the whole time. When the retreat finished, we again bused to Houston and flew the reverse of the course that brought us there.

Yesterday, I played with a swing band at a wedding, which took place in someone’s backyard. There were around 70 guests, and no one was wearing a mask. I wore my mask when not playing, and in general, I tried not to get too close to anyone that wasn’t in the band.

I’m describing all of this because these have been moments of tension. I’m aware of every person around me that isn’t wearing a mask, or that is wearing one improperly. There were plenty of chin-strappers at the airport on the way home from the retreat. My heart beats a little faster. It bothers me, and I don’t want to add myself to the list of people potentially spreading a deadly virus.

That’s the crux of it. While I’m a little bit worried about catching the virus and getting sick myself, I’m more worried about spreading it. Through action or inaction, I do not want to endanger another person’s life.

Yet there I was yesterday, playing my sax at stranger’s wedding, after I’d done all of this traveling.

I am vaccinated, and I’ve been doing a lot to make sure I don’t become a vector. I work from home. I wear a mask whenever I’m out. I wash my hands and I social distance. I can’t say I’ve done everything to be safe now, though, since I went out and played at that event. If I was an asymptomatic break-through case and spread Covid to that wedding, that’s entirely on me, and I’m going to regret it for the rest of my life.

I played the gig because it felt like the universe was telling me to do it. There’s a section in Acts I could quote to back up what I’m saying, but I’m not going to use The Bible to justify my actions. The timing made me believe this was something I was supposed to do, so I did it. Today, I’m reflecting and trying to see if there is something I can learn from this experience.

Maybe I’ve been too uptight about spreading Covid, and this experience is trying to teach me that I can continue to exercise caution while still going out and supporting people. Or, maybe I’m supposed to see that I’ve been living too much in fear, and I need to let that go and just follow my conscience.

If I find out that the wedding became a superspreader event and I’m part of the cause, I’ll learn a completely different lesson.

Looking at the numbers, it seems like there’s still a lot of time in front of all of us to learn some of these lessons.