2020 Broke My Trust In Humanity

Published: Apr 18, 2021

So, it’s been a year: a year since I stopped going into an office; a year since I’ve seen friends or family; a year since the stress got so bad that my hands started to crack and bleed. Most of all, it’s been a year since I’ve been able to trust anyone outside of my spouse when it comes to avoiding COVID‐19.

Every single person I saw on the street became suspect. Were they quarantining like I was, or were they secretly going out in large groups? Did they believe that the virus only affected elderly and disabled bodies, so masks weren’t necessary for everyone? Did they simultaneously try and claim to be one of those same people in order to avoid wearing a mask? Were they constantly weighing the benefits of "normalcy" against their own risk of contracting COVID while ignoring the risk they pose to others?

Did they think the virus was a part of a conspiracy? Was the mask covering just their mouth because they’re an oblivious asshole? Or were they trying to send a message?

All of these questions would race through my mind when I would see people in the hallways of my apartment or on the streets of Seattle.

It got to the point where we decided to take the money we’d been saving for a condo in downtown Portland (ha!) and move to the suburbs. The best thing we could do to protect ourselves from well, everything, was to move as far from other people (and shared walls) as we practically could.

Has it been worth it? Sure. I love having more space, real, full-sized furniture and being able to sit outside and not hear someone screaming during a mental break. But the cost has been high. I’m an extrovert by nature, but the last thing I want to do right now is meet new people.

I just don’t want to spend the time to get to know someone only to find out that they spent the last year selfishly endangering other people for their own personal benefit.