I just finished doing today’s Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle. Later, I’ll do the New York Times crossword. I do it online. I started doing crossword puzzles during Covid as a way to pass the time. But somehow I’ve become addicted, and I’ve continued doing them pretty much every day, long after our lives have returned to some semblance of normal.

     My wife turned to jigsaw puzzles during Covid. She started with a few 500-piece puzzles, then graduated to 1000-piece puzzles. When she completed one it sat on the dining room table for a few weeks to show off her accomplishment. However, unlike me, once Covid was over she stopped doing the puzzles. She had better things to do.

     She also spent more time playing the piano during Covid. I think she regrets not having used more of the extra time Covid gave her to really improve her piano skills — to accomplish something constructive during Covid. However, now she’s been going out more, spending less time at home and less time at the piano as well.

     I wonder what games people started to play during Covid — and if they’re still playing them or if they’ve stopped. I also wonder how much people have returned to pre-Covid normal. Do you do all the things you were doing in 2019?

     The other weekend, my wife hosted a party. She and a group of neighbors — eight women altogether — drank wine, ate pie, and played Apples to Apples, a game where people draw cards and a judge decides who has the best match. It’s a perfect party game that produces lots of laughter — I know because I was upstairs in my office and had to put on headphones to hear the Netflix program I was watching.

     We’d played Apples to Apples a few times in the past. But never during Covid. Now people are comfortable gathering indoors, without masks, to laugh and have a good time. At least the weather was warm, so B could keep the windows open.

     I wonder what else people have been doing post-Covid — or have not been doing. B and I like to dance. When we moved in 2017, we joined a local dance club that held social dances once a month at our community center. The club closed down during Covid. Now it’s back holding Saturday night dances. But we have not been going. The thought of spending two or three hours on a dance floor crowded with unmasked people — that just seems a bridge too far.

     I did go back to my table tennis club for a while, when Covid numbers were very low in our area. But I stopped when the numbers went back up. I’ve been thinking of going back again. But every time I think of sharing a room with 20 – 25 people who are running around and sweating and breathing heavily, I decide . . . well, maybe later.

     We have done some traveling — mostly by car, not by train or bus or airplane. I am playing golf, because it’s all outside. We’ve been to the movies a couple of times — the theater has not been crowded at all. We have been going out to restaurants because it’s been warm enough to sit outside.

     I’m not sure what we’ll do now that the weather is getting colder. I don’t mind popping into a store or the post office for a couple of minutes without a mask. I get my haircut. Can’t wear a mask when you’re getting your hair cut. But I’m just not sure I’d enjoy myself inside at a restaurant, sitting there for an hour or more, breathing in air recirculated through dozens of other people’s respiratory tracts.

     Many people are more casual about Covid than I am. They think: heck, we’re vaccinated, there are treatments now, it’s no worse than getting a cold — and besides cases are way down, we probably won’t get it anyway.

     For us, Covid is over. But it’s not over. Anyway . . . I’d better get to that New York Times crossword puzzle.


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Tom Lashnits Writer, Blogger
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