One year of relative solitude

I will always remember the week of March 1, 2020. It was the week when I began to behave slightly differently because of the Wuhan coronavirus, and the last week before my behavior changed radically.

On Sunday, March 1, I attended a book party for Tevi Troy honoring the publication of Fight House. The party was held in two crowded rooms of a house. I decided not to shake hands due to concern over getting the virus. Everyone else I observed was fine with shaking hands and, looking back, it seems doubtful that doing so posed a serious risk. If there was any risk, it probably stemmed from just being in a crowd.

In any case, this was the last large social gathering I have attended.

On Tuesday or Wednesday, I went to a college basketball game — Fordham vs. George Washington. I sat socially distanced from others in attendance. That’s not hard to do at a Fordham-GW game.

This was the last live sporting event I have attended.

I took an Uber home. It was the last ride I’ve had with Uber.

On Thursday, I went to a meeting of an organization on whose board of directors I sit. It was a small group.

I shook hands with my fellow members. However, I washed my hands immediately afterwards.

The head of the organization asked me what I thought about the virus. I replied that I normally don’t worry much about these sorts of things, but was becoming quite worried about this one.

This was the last business meeting or conference of any kind I have attended.

On Friday, I took my wife to a doctor’s office for a minor procedure. Afterwards, I had planned to attend a conference, but I decided not to because of the virus.

This was the beginning of my hibernation. If you had told me on March 4, 2000 that I would be more or less holed up for a full year, I wouldn’t have believed you.

It hasn’t been total isolation. In the Fall, when the weather was nice, I ate outside at restaurants. And, of course, I have seen my daughters. But that’s about it, other than long walks.

Yesterday, I received my second dose of the Moderna vaccine. Throughout much of 2020, if you had told me that I would be fully vaccinated by March 4, 2021, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s a tribute to the pharmaceutical companies and to former president Trump that this has happened.

Now that I’m vaccinated, I wouldn’t hesitate to attend a basketball game, a book party, a conference, or a meeting. However, opportunities to do these sorts of things are scant, at least where I live.

When they arise, I will take advantage of them. I will certainly take advantage of existing indoor dining opportunities at local restaurants. And we’ll probably fly somewhere, just to get away.

Looking back on the past 12 months, I’m surprised at how painless they have been for me. That’s probably because I find it easy to be entertained on my own. Even when there were no live sporting events on TV — a major source of my entertainment — I enjoyed watching old baseball games on the MLB network. Writing for Power Line has also kept me occupied.

However, when on the phone these days, I tend to dominate the conversation more than normal for me. Apparently, I do need to talk to people.

I’ve heard it said that if you live long enough — that is, have a long life within the bounds of what can be expected — you will experience almost everything. In my lifetime, there have been wars, major economic downturns, highly disputed presidential elections, an AIDS epidemic, a major attack on the homeland, and now, quite possibly, a serious assault on our basic freedoms.

I didn’t see a pandemic coming, but shouldn’t have been so surprised by it.

I wonder what’s next.