By Daniel Dunaief
We live such a two-handed life these days. On the one hand, we are emerging from our pandemic shells. On the other, we don’t want to race out too quickly, undermining all the work we did to protect ourselves, our families and our school communities. To that end, I had a few topics on the two-handed nature of our lives:
On the one hand, it’s a relief that we can enjoy warmer weather. The summer is approaching. The calls from seagulls blend with the steady rhythm of water lapping up on the shores, urging the fortunate residents of Suffolk County to return to the peace and harmony of the water.
On the other hand, the temperature will undoubtedly climb into the hazy, hot and humid zone at some point. While the beaches are wonderful, we won’t all have time to stroll on a sandbar during the week.
On the one hand, many people are getting vaccinated, increasing the likelihood that we’re taking an immunological stand against a deadly virus. With a greater percentage of the population inoculated, we stand a better chance of coming together, revisiting family and friends we’ve only seen on Zoom for over a year.
On the other hand, a subgroup of people are reluctant to take the vaccines, worried about side effects, the speed at which the vaccine was developed, and a host of other concerns. If enough of them don’t get vaccinated and/or if variants evade the vaccine, we may not be able to beat back this virus as quickly as we’d like.
On the one hand, we are so incredibly proud that our children have made it through whatever stage concludes this year. We appreciate all they have done to get here and to become the incredible people they are.
On the other hand, wait, hello? How did the time go by so quickly? Did we prepare them for the real world? What is the real world? What does it mean to graduate into the second year of a pandemic and how can we prepare them for some of the unknowns and unknowables ahead?
On the one hand, we can, potentially, talk about politics again without the echoes of personal animus reverberating from an angry White House. In theory, we can even agree to disagree or to consider compromise.
On the other hand, has the left become too powerful even as the right engages in party strife? Are calmer waters really around us, or is it a temporary reprieve until the tempest returns with the elections in 2022 and 2024?
On the one hand, we are freer than we’ve been in over a year, to travel and visit family, to take our masks off outside and read people’s lips and study their smiles. We can even consider traveling outside the country.
On the other hand, after living with a fear of human contact, how much can we set aside our concerns about the public health dangers of interacting with other people?
A return to offices
On the one hand, we have a chance to speak with each other in person, to share stories about our lives and our children and to discuss the surprising run of a Knicks team guaranteed to have a winning record this year.
On the other hand, we have to deal with traffic, parking spots, lines at lunch, and conversations that keep us from returning to the homes we couldn’t wait to leave.