The Spring of our Reconditioning

chris field
7 min readJun 3, 2021

I noticed something about a month or two ago. People were constantly coming up, rubbing their upper arm, and letting me know they “just got that second shot.” Strangers hollered at me from the store aisle, “Hey, you. Second shot!” Neighbors called out from their porches as I passed by, “Second shot!” Is this the 2021 alternative to Hello? Or did somehow I become the one keeping tabs on all this? Maybe there is something about my aura that people cannot help but scream at me, “Second shot!” rubbing their arm, eyes squinted in concentration.

The COVID-19-induced chaos is ebbing in the United States, mainly due to so many people getting vaccinated. Over 41% of the adult US population is fully vaccinated. And half of those from my county have reported as much to me.

Our collective “Before Times” routines are already returning. Extended families are gathering anew for dinners. The park pavilions are filling up with weekend cookouts. We will soon be riding on crowded buses, going to the big games, waiting in lines, rubbing elbows at parties, chatting, and smiling with people from outside of our households. We will probably even let runny-nosed children blow deep lung spittle all over birthday cakes before they are sliced and served to guests. People will crowd into elevators, nightclubs, and markets. We will shake hands, use public water fountains, and jam movie…