Re-entry into society will require engaging in behaviours that may have gone by the wayside during the course of this never ending, Voldemort-meets-dumpster fire pandemic. Things like tweezing errant hairs around the eyebrows or above the upper lip, plucking ear hair, trimming nose hair, and shaving the legs were likely all eradicated from one’s grooming repertoire. Let's pause for a moment and acknowledge that few people in the married (legal, common law, or otherwise) and family way were shaving their legs for sex during a pandemic when one is living 24/7 with one’s spouse while working from home, homeschooling screaming kids, cooking, and cleaning—leg shaving for pandemic sex is NOT a thing and just like "fetch" it ain't gonna happen! Clothing certainly became optional for many of us—goodness knows we read about and saw elected officials in their birthday suits—and bras were thrown out the window with wild abandon. Perhaps even the brushing of one’s teeth may have become a suggestion rather than the twice daily dentist required habit, especially if you live alone and didn’t have anyone around to do a welfare check on your breath. One may have even walked away from daily showering (just Google the celebrity bathing ritual abandonment—real or fake, you decide), so you may find the following top five tips and tricks useful to help you reintegrate into society. You may want print and laminate them as reminders of what to do and not to do as you emerge from your yeti cocoon to greet the world as the beautiful butterfly you really are.
1. If you’ve rarely or never worn pants* for the past 19 months because you worked from home and Instacart and Amazon or some other local delivery services (shop local!) became your best friends, be grateful for your privilege and make sure you’re wearing pants* not just skivvies before you eventually leave the house. Hopefully, you were wearing pants* when retrieving your packages at the front door from these kind delivery folks, as being greeted in one's undies is not the tip or gratuity that's welcomed. Whilst speed is of the essence when retrieving your packages from the porch pirates hiding in their cars tailing the delivery trucks ready to swoop in and steal your diapers, batteries, and sourdough starter, no one needed to be so speedy as to forget to don pants* to greet our essential workers.
2. Once outside, know that not everyone will be wearing a mask. And, not everyone will be partially or fully vaccinated. So, you really need to wear a mask. Or, two. Or, not. Better yet, check with the C.D.C., or maybe W.H.O., but don’t check with Canada’s NACI. On second thought, maybe you can check with NACI. Or, just stay home. Then you don’t need to wear pants* or wear a mask. But, if you leave the house, wear a mask. And, pants*.
3. Eventually, you’ll need to go to the doctor for your first in-person visit. Expect the doctor to say: “Take everything off, but leave the mask on.” This is one place where pants* come off, but remember to wear them when going into the doctor’s office and when you leave. See tip #2 about masking and ignore anyone spouting #freedom when it comes to wearing masks.
4. When back in the office and wearing your mask and bottoms atop your underwear, don’t let the excitement of water cooler chit chat get the better of you. It’s likely ok to ask someone if they’ve been vaccinated (maybe first check with your lawyer), but end the conversation after you get your answer. Asking a coworker which vaccine they got is a slippery slope to hell and an open invitation for a visit from HR. You’ll also get called into HR if you don’t wear pants*. So, if you want to avoid HR, wear pants* and ask only lawyer-approved vaccine questions.
5. Technically, if you’re double vaxxed you can give someone who’s also double vaxxed a hug. A real hug without the likelihood of killing them. You will no longer need to wear the hazmat suit you bought off Amazon or Alibaba Express to be around other people. In case you’re wondering what to do with that hazmat suit now, lots of people took the pandemic as an opportunity to change careers and binge a lot of television shows. Some of those people are no longer at your office. Some may have binged a show called Breaking Bad and got some ideas of what their hazmat suit may be useful for post-pandemic. One thing’s for sure, if you wear your hazmat suit, pants* and underwear aren’t required attire. Bottom line is if you decide to wear the hazmat suit out of the house, you don't need to double up with pants* underneath because the suit will have you covered. But, wear a mask.
6. And, here’s bonus 6th rule for good luck: glory holes are still a bad idea no matter what the Canadian government may have recommended to its citizens early on in the pandemic. Avoid them at all costs. If you want to engage in sexual relations, get fully vaccinated. It’s ok to ask potential coital partners if they’re fully vaccinated and to swipe left if they aren’t. When having sex, you can skip the pants*, but not the mask. And, make sure to wear appropriate masks for your north and south poles if you catch my drift. But, for the love of god steer clear of glory holes!
*(or bottoms of some form--not everyone likes pants)