Not that I’m looking forward to it.
COVID-19 has been eliminated in Aotearoa New Zealand.
In less than half an hour, COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted as we drop to Alert Level 1. Apart from our borders remaining tightly closed we’ll be back to pre-COVID conditions. We’ll be able to cram ourselves by the thousands into every type of venue imaginable and we can shake hands, hug and hongi to our heart’s contents with loved ones and total strangers if we are so inclined. I’m not.
One characteristic that I and many other ausistics have is an aversion to large gatherings, physical contact with other people and the need for greater personal space than many neurotypical people find acceptable.
I’ve never felt more comfortable around other people that I have during the past 70 days of the various COVID-19 alert levels. All alert levels have mandated a 2 metre spacing between people if they didn’t belong to the same social bubble.
I’m going to try to maintain at least one metre of social distancing. I find that anything less than that raises my level of discomfort. While I don’t think many people will think it odd to begin with, I wonder how long it will be before my minimum social spacing is deemed unacceptable by the community.
I’ve really enjoyed the occasional coffee and cake in a local eatery over the past month as the nearest person would be seated two metres away, and all food was delivered to the table instead of me having to dance around other patrons all trying to grab items from the display cabinets. What I have I to look forward to?
However, I appreciate I’m an exception and just about everyone else is looking forward to join the throngs and crowds, and get up close and personal to friends and strangers alike. I’m pleased for you.
But please be a little understanding if I take a step back when you take a step forward.