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What happens when COVID is finally over?

(© Fabian –

Some of y’all aren’t going to like reading this, but … I hugged my mother-in-law the other day.

And actually, that wasn’t the only time I’ve hugged her in the past 10 months.

Every time I’ve seen her, basically.

I’ve gone out to eat at least once a week since May.

And I didn’t put my mask on between bites.

I had it on walking in, then walking back out.

I’ve attended a dozen or so sporting events.

The grocery store, the post office.

Went shopping for clothes.

We went to the beach for a week back last summer. Had a great time.

From what I gather from some in social media, this is me being selfish.

Granted, I’m not out and about anywhere near as much as I usually am.

There are several-day periods where I don’t venture away from my home office any more than the driveway.

The first time I drove myself to Lexington for an ESPN college sports broadcast back in the fall, it wore me out.

I hadn’t driven past the grocery store four minutes away in six months.

The first time I saw my friend Scott in person in months was … a shock.

Zoom is nice to keep connected, but it’s just not the same.

We had brunch out with two new friends the other day, and it was glorious.

Talking for two hours about life, learning from them how they’ve coped.

We make it a point to tip big when we do get out to eat.

The servers are trying to cope, too.

They’ve got bills to pay like the rest of us do.

Difference being, not everybody can work from home.

Another distinction that needs to be made here: we can’t sustain being virtual people.

We need each other.

One thing we can do without is the negativity that the moral police have appointed themselves to enforce.

The light is no longer at the end of the tunnel.

The train is barreling down, the light getting closer.

Sooner than you think, we’re going to be back to normal.

Hard as it is to believe, a few years down the road, you’re going to have to try hard to remember COVID-19.

One thing I’m vowing not to forget: the negative people – who’ve made it their mission to rain on others trying to get through this by getting in the car to go on a weekend trip, go to a restaurant, socially distanced, hugging their mother-in-law when their mother-in-law reaches out for the hug.

I lost my own mother to lung cancer six years ago.

COVID and all, I’d give everything I have right now to be able to hug her one more time.

Funny thing: there is somebody reading this sitting at a keyboard ready to type a comment about what a monster I am for suggesting that I’d hug my immune-compromised mother during COVID.

Bless your heart, if it makes you feel better, go ahead.

I honestly just feel sorry for you.

Maybe you just need a hug.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press