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                The whole world has been in tumult not only because of the pandemic but also because of widespread demonstrations for racial justice, which I would gladly have joined if I could, following a police-brutality incident in Minneapolis. I felt as if I was observing life rather than participating in it.
The New Normal
By mid-June, a few freedoms slowly snaked back into our lives after we had all been tested for the virus. We could exit the campus on a limited basis without a fourteen-day isolation period when we return. The salon reopened for haircuts. By appointment, we could use the gym and pool for a few hours a week with no more than two people at once. And we could eat in the dining room at 25% capacity with a reservation once a week while our other dinners continued to be delivered. Housekeeping returned to smiles and cheers. This was a limited Phase 1 reopening.
Once we were tested again a month later and found to be free of the virus, more restrictions were gradually lifted. As I write this, we are now in Phase 2.
But despite increased freedom, much has changed. Grocery shopping, which used to be a pleasurable activity for me, has now become an exercise in risk-taking and rushing to get out of the store to minimize exposure to others. I wear a mask and gloves and use Clorox Wipes to disinfect as many things as possible when I get home. Twenty-second hand washing is a regular fixture of life. We visit our grandchildren wearing masks outside in their backyard. Much of our medical care will continue to be delivered via telemedicine rather than in person, except in cases where face- to-face visits are essential.
It is clear that life for us will never return to the way it was as long as we face the possibility of contracting COVID-19. We will have to exercise extreme caution for the foreseeable future. To what extent do I want to enter this radically altered world after months of confinement? I find that I now feel anxious about having meetings or appointments on my calendar.

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