Here Is The CDC’s New List of Activities in Which Fully Vaccinated People Can Engage Without Masks

new guidelines and how we can understand them! definitely real and NOT made up.

according to the CDC, if you’re vaccinated, you CAN go about your small daily tasks unaware of the large mythic events taking place in the background, without a mask

yesterday, the CDC issued some new guidelines for what is and isn’t safe to do without a mask once you’re fully vaccinated. Again, these are the CDC’s new rules, I did not make these up myself at all. Just passing them on, hope this is helpful.

Writing a long text asking if you are mad at me and then deleting it and then writing a shorter text asking if you are mad at me and then deleting that one too, but no really, are you mad at me?

Making a whole plan to cook an elaborate thing and screenshotting the recipe and getting out all the ingredients and putting them on the counter and then just eating some crackers while standing up in the kitchen and then going to bed.

Longing.

Ordering two pizzas for two people because you can’t decide what kind of pizza you both want and having that brief, shimmering, utterly false sense that adulthood is about getting to do whatever you like, no parents and no rules and a pizza party every day, and then crashing back down to the reality that it is in fact exactly the opposite, and that things like ordering way too much pizza for two people just because you can are small and useless band-aids on the large wounds of a life inextricably and ceaselessly ruled by money and logistics, by filling out forms, by trying to gain the good favor of a faceless system that does not and cannot care about you, and that at every moment you are trying to run on a broken treadmill that is going too fast. Later the two pizzas will be a line item in a budget and the budget will be a hard conversation and the hard conversation will be part of trying to stop the overflow of an enormous river with your two tiny hands. Sometimes it seems like there is nothing to do about that unshakeable sense that everyone else except you has figured out how to live in something other than precarity, has figured out how to make a life for themselves with rest stops and guardrails, and you are so scared, every day, from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep, but now there are two pizzas and the boxes are warm and the cheese stains through in little spots and you put them down on the counter and your cat hops up and tries to sleep on top of one because it’s cardboard and it’s warm, and it’s not untrue that adulthood is a pizza party every day, it’s just that the pizza party is this tiny little island in the middle of all the fear and all the things that don’t work, all the corners that don’t line up. But you pick up your cat, who is now a little bit warmer on one side from the pizza box, and move them back to the floor, and open the box and pull out a slice and the cheese strings sing up unbelievably long like in a TV show, and you think how can a life be so difficult and cold in the aggregate and so warm and easy in the single moments of it, and you take two slices of pizza to the living room on a plate and eat them folded expertly with one hand, just like a pizza party.

Starting a sentence at the same time as the person you are talking to several times in a row and saying “no you go first” “no you go first,” and everyone is polite and laughing while you seriously consider never talking out loud to anyone ever again. 

Looking at the social media accounts of people who no longer matter even a little bit to you — your ex’s exes, your former friends’ spouses, people you dated briefly more than ten years ago — which you used to check obsessively when some person connected to them still had a grimy hook lodged in your heart, but at this point there’s no longer any masochistic thrill to it and you are doing it out of habit and because that habit, built up and calcified over months and years, means that you have come to care genuinely about this person, in the same way you might care about a fictional character in a book series you had been reading over a long period of time, and you just want to know how they’re doing, and if they’re ok, and what happens next in the story.

Putting the kettle on the stove to make coffee and forgetting to turn the heat on under it and then like forty-five minutes later wondering why there isn’t coffee. 

Making up outlandish and insulting nicknames for your pets in an effort to buffer yourself against the horrific tenderness of loving something with which you cannot communicate in language.

tHe cLoThEs ChAiR 

Sitting in the bathroom wrapped in a towel with the door closed and the shower running as hot as it will go, knowing you should get in the shower already, but this is the only moment of perfect solitude in your day, and just a few minutes more, just a few minutes, and the way your shoulder bones seem to exhale and unlatch in the steam. 

When you make a joke in the group chat and after a few minutes of no replies at all everybody laughs and, like, not just the “haha” iMessage reaction but they actually write out laughter, maybe even in all caps, and maybe one of them says “WOW,” and you realize you had been holding your breath up until then and you get to let it go.

A long phone call with an old friend where you lie on the couch and put your feet up along the wall next to you.

Being way more generous than you can actually afford to be, especially with the friends who have known you the longest, because remember when you couldn’t afford to be generous at all? 

Thinking about a big sandwich all day and then at the end of the day when you have finished a bunch of annoying tasks you go and get or make a big sandwich and holy shit the big sandwich really is exactly as good as you imagined when you thought about it all day.

Looking at old photos of yourself and not understanding how you could have felt so ugly when you were so obviously beautiful and then not applying this lesson to the present at all.

Adding clothes or home goods or candles or jewelry or fancy cookware or any number of other items that you will without question never in a million years actually buy to an online cart, and then abandoning those carts and leaving the tabs open and finding them still open much later, hanging around like these little ghosts of all the wholly different people whom for a minute you imagined you could buy your way into being.

Rereading Tales of the City instead of any of the big and serious and new and interesting books you’ve never read before that you are supposed to be reading, overlooking its many, many problems and flaws because it feels like home and maybe one of the meanings of home is forgiving things that you shouldn’t actually be able to forgive, and thinking about the dusty way the light hits the flat parts of the streets in San Francisco and the little held breath at the top of the hills before your car plunges down. Remembering how you grew up across the water from this city and read these books about it as a child, and you expected to get to live in that world, and then by the time you were old enough to do so, that version of the city had all but disappeared. But maybe this is just what it means to move from longing for a thing to living it, that the point is not how techlords and their money ruined San Francisco or whether they did but rather that to live into the truth of things is to be disappointed by them and to find sideways and fractional ways to go on loving those things and people and places anyway, carrying disappointment in one hand and your heart in the other, holding your breath as the car crests the hill and feeling like you can fly as it speeds back down. 

Putting the last cup of coffee in the fridge overnight so that the next morning you have a cold coffee waiting for you right when you wake up, when the hot weather settles in over top of the day.

Cheap white tank top no bra. 

Cheap white tank top, black bra. 

Fantasizing about a version of life in which all the repeated and exhausting and unseen work of making small daily changes eventually adds up to being a better person, in which all the unrewarded effort and suffering eventually adds up to a better world. 

Again, this is just what the CDC recommends! I don’t make the rules. 

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