I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Something really was about to go around the office

I've turned in my final paper, and now I finally have time to do all the chores I've been neglecting since—well, it feels like forever, but it's really only probably since April. Or March.

I got sidetracked by an unread New Yorker from February 2019 that I found mixed in a pile of books. Instead of adding it to the already foot-high pile of unread magazines in my living room, it was obviously more efficient to just lie on my bed and read it so I could toss it in the recycling.

These artifacts from the Before Times always leave me simultaneously shocked and sad. Movie theatres? Restaurants? International travel? What were we thinking

And can we please, please have that back?

The Shouts & Murmurs column in this particular issue is called Signs That Something Might Be Going Around the Office. It's simultaneously scarily prescient, and no longer all that funny, except in a dark, shaking-my-head-while-I-laugh, kind of way.

Everyone is carrying around a paper towel for touching door handles, and a few employees have started wearing surgical masks. 
Attendance at meetings has dropped to just you. 
Your co-workers are avoiding the drinking fountain and the vending machines. Instead, they’re stockpiling water and food under their desks and defending their stores with surprising force. 
Co-workers keep saying obnoxious stuff, like “I need to get out of the city and go to Long Island to survive,” or “Things are just so much better upstate,” or “The only way to save my family from this plague is to leave New York today.”

 

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