‘What do you think this Covid-Christmas will be like?’ I asked Camp after we took our seats in front of the exterior propane fireplace on our deck. Camp had brought over a sixpack of ‘Blonde Logger’ from Tapworks, another of our local craft breweries we want to support.
‘With strict measures in place with regards to travel and getting together this Christmas looks like it will be cancelled and New Year’s Eve will be a virtual party. Auld lang syne in front of the TV maybe. Smaller turkeys, overloaded zoom and skype sites, and presents delivered by Amazon instead of Santa.’
‘Clare invited you and Muriel for dinner, since we’re a bubble, and we’ll probably play some cards afterwards.’
‘Sounds perfect to me,’ Camp said.
‘For me personally, Christmas is not my favorite time of year since I don’t like the music, the compulsive commercialization and the fact that the poor and lonely are especially marginalized at this time of year. That’s my take on it anyway.’
‘I get your drift. Of course, for bookstores this is the make-or-break-it season and I believe it will do even better this year than previous ones. Books are a hot item and the perfect gift in a pandemic.’
‘I’ve noticed that people resent others who move around more freely and try to live life as normal as possible. I do everything that the CDC recommends like distancing, sanitizer, mask and yet I get dirty looks when I walk around without a mask or touch items and put them back in the grocery store, even after I’ve just squirted a quart of alcohol on my hands.’
‘This virus has made people very nervous and insecure. The enemy is everywhere and you could be the asymptomatic super-spreader for all they know. And you know what?
Some of these super nervous people are also the ones who will be suspicious of the vaccine.’
‘As far as I’m concerned, I want that vaccine like I want the freedom to travel back, like I want to go to a football match and a concert, like I want to have dinner parties and celebrations again. That’s the vaccine for me. So, let’s bring it on.’
‘Get in line, right behind me,’ Camp said. ‘I’m a frontline worker and I surely get it before you.’
‘But I’m older and alphabetically I’m ahead of you.’
‘Oh boy, I can already see the wily ways people will try and jump the queue.’
‘What about the thousands or even millions who refuse the vaccine. Facebook is awash with hare-brained theories like Bill Gates wanting to insert tracking chips into everyone, no different from the 19th century pamphleteers who suggested people would grow horns if they took the vaccine. Back then illnesses were blamed on God, now both the illness and the cure are politicised. There is also a correlation between anti-vacxxers and populists. And these fringe views spread as easy as the virus when people lose trust in their leaders.’
We both looked out at the grey scenery below us, the low hanging clouds obscuring the snow-packed coastal mountains, the grey water and the green islands. We drank our beers in comfortable silence trying to think of something positive. Camp got there first.
‘You know that on the election on the 3rd November, a clear majority, even in rabid Trump country like South Dakota, voted to legalize Cannabis. It is now legal for medicinal purpose in 38 of 50 states. In Oregon they even voted to decriminalize heroin and cocaine and in the capital Washington, they agreed to legalize psilocybin, magic mushrooms,’ Camp pointed out.
‘I’ve read that almost 70 percent of Americans support legalizing cannabis. It’s the green wave and Cheech and Chong would be happy.’
‘Let’s wish everyone a safe, zoomy and joy filled Christmas, a better New Year than this past one and good health to all,’ Camp said and we popped a fresh can for the toast.