YEP: ‘A Great Excuse to Do Nothing’: The People Who Don’t Want to Return to Normalcy.

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via nymag:

William absolutely loved getting COVID. His symptoms weren’t severe: lethargy and the loss of taste and smell. “My girlfriend somehow tested negative. She packed a bag and went to her parents’ house for like three weeks and it was amazing,” he said. “I had a great excuse to do nothing … It was the best. I feel guilty saying it. I just really love solitude. I ate Thanksgiving by myself. I binge-watched Boardwalk Empire on HBO. I got to set up the apartment the way I wanted. It was amazing. When I think about it, like you know how when you think back to a summer between grades when you were a kid or a vacation? Like, I want to catch it again on some level.”

It’s not like William is particularly proud of how much he’s loved his pandemic life. (He asked me to refer to him only by his middle name due to the sensitive nature of his job working with people who have substance-use disorder.) “I have COVID-love shame,” he said. “I don’t tell anybody about this … A lot of my dread is purely, for lack of a better word, selfish.” Pandemic life has been easy for him: He is in the business of conducting interventions, which are trickier on Zoom than they are in person — the interventionee can “just get up and leave the room” — but nevertheless, work has been mostly great. He got a promotion after the pandemic started. He’s in “the best shape of [his] life” because he’s been using “the extra time” lockdown has given him to ride his bike, box, and swim. “I’ve had explicit permission to just stay home and I have got my own self-sustaining ecosystem here … work, food, exercise, recreation,” he said. “I just feel so much more control of my experiences. I’m just dreading traffic, ‘meet me at the coffee shop at three,’ ‘I’m ten minutes late,’ baby showers, [gender] reveals. Like, I don’t want to do any of that fucking shit.”

The pandemic year has been hard for many, with all the sickness, death, layoffs, confinement, and isolation. But for a socially anxious and solitude-loving crew, it has been a sort of strange blessing. William is certainly not the only person who is worried about returning to a world of everyday in-person communication. According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, many adults “feel uneasy about adjusting to in-person interactions once the pandemic ends.” (57 percent of Black adults, 51 percent of Asian adults, 50 percent of Hispanic adults, and 47 percent of white adults said they somewhat/strongly agree with that sentiment.)

Flashback: Understand that some people love the pandemic. “This is their Woodstock. And they never want it to end.”

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h/t Glenn

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