Connect with us

Published

on

[ad_1]

OCALA, Fla. — Last Sunday I plopped a steaming hashbrown casserole and a bowl of freshly sliced oranges down on one of a row of endless folding tables covered in those flimsy plastic tablecloths you get at the dollar store. The casseroles were outnumbered only by the pans of homemade cinnamon rolls, and the fruit section was meager: it was a good Southern Baptist potluck.

Church ladies buzzed around, removing tin foil from tin pans and putting serving spoons in each dish, while others flipped pancakes on a portable griddle. Rows of chairs and tables were set up under the oak trees and the typical Florida December weather made me regret wearing a sweater. I loaded my plate with food and it wasn’t until I sat down that I had an epiphany: I had missed potlucks. Thanks to coronavirus, I guess buffet-style anything has become terribly unstylish in some places.

Until recently, I’ve been at school in Loudoun County, Virginia, where Gov. Ralph Northam has been busy inflicting harsher shutdown orders. Masks are required almost everywhere up there, and big gatherings are out of the question. Multiple friends had to cancel their wedding receptions this month due to the new restrictions.

I got so used to wearing a mask that every time I watched a movie it seemed odd for the actors to be bare-faced. Leaving a store, sometimes I’d make it all the way to the car before even realizing I still had my mask on.

It wasn’t until I came home to Florida — where COVID-19 restrictions are much freer and usually left to local government — that I noticed how different life was. On my flight home, I reached from my seat by the window to hand my snack wrapper to the flight attendant. The older gentleman next to me took it from my hand to pass it along. It caught me off guard: this stranger was willing to touch something that I had eaten from? He wasn’t afraid of my germs?

Thoughtful gestures that had always been normal suddenly seemed surprising — which made me realize how many of those everyday connections we’ve lost this year. Since I’ve spent some time in Florida, life has felt incredibly normal. It’s also revealed how abnormal the lifestyle I followed in Virginia really was.

For one, I didn’t realize how much I was missing by not seeing people’s faces. I don’t object to people wearing masks if they feel safer; it’s their personal health decision. But when I arrived at the airport to see my family for the first time since August (mid-semester breaks were another COVID casualty), I could actually see their faces.

I went to a café to study the other day and walked past a young pregnant mother with her toddler in tow. None of us were masked, and the toddler and I got to smile and wave at each other as we passed.

Even things that used to annoy me reminded me of what I had missed. I had to slow down for a school zone the other day because kids were actually in school. I never knew I could feel so much joy at slowing down to 20 miles per hour. There were elementary school kids running around the playground for recess.

Advertisement

The downtown scene here is even further proof that people are living their normal lives, unobstructed by fear. My family went out to dinner the other night at a patio bar overlooking our downtown square, all lit up for Christmas. Families took Christmas photos in front of the lighted trees, and others caught rides in horse-drawn carriages circling the block. The patio was packed with guests from a wedding that had just taken place; it was a huge party, unlike the sweet but limited ceremonies my friends were forced to have in Virginia.

While the chain coffee shops like Starbucks and Dunkin’ are closed to indoor patrons, my favorite local coffeeshop is open and more popular than ever. (And why buy overpriced, mediocre chain coffee anyway?) Looking around, I only see one customer wearing a mask, and only one of the baristas.

There’s a sign taped to the door that says, “The city council feels it is at their best interset to infringe upon your personal constitutional right and feel they can manage your life better than you. We will not do this…we will not force you to wear a mask!”

“All are welcome and we appreciate your supporting local,” the sign adds. I went Saturday morning with my family and we had to wait for a table; we ran into an old friend while we were there. That same day, we went to the downtown farmers’ market. Vendors offered free samples and sold fresh produce, a live musician sang “Folsom Prison Blues,” and no one told me to wear a mask.

I’ve flown in and out of the Orlando airport all my life, and I’ve never seen it half as crowded as it was this month. I can only guess that people are coming down to Florida because it’s open here. People are taking precautions, sure, but they’re also continuing to live their lives.

We’re having friends over and going to church. We’re going out for dinner and drinks, and supporting local farmers and artisans. We’re celebrating marriages and smiling at strangers. And we’re eating a lot of hashbrown casserole.

Elle Reynolds is an intern at the Federalist, and a senior at Patrick Henry College studying government and journalism. You can follow her work on Twitter at @_etreynolds.



[ad_2]

Advertisement
Comments

Donald Trump

Video:Supreme Court okays release of Trump’s tax documents to prosecutors

Published

on

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday allowed former President Donald Trump’s tax records to be handed over to New York prosecutors. The order marks a setback for Trump in a lengthy battle to obtain eight years of his tax records as part of an investigation into the businessman-cum-politician’s finances.

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Fox news

VIDEO: Acting Asst. AG was former colleague of Hunter Biden lawyer

Published

on

Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, reacts to President Biden’s ‘extreme’ nominees Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke who have made “insensitive statements” in the past.

Advertisement

(Fox News)

Continue Reading

Joe Biden

Video: Biden decision to cancel keystone XL oil pipeline shatters hotel owner business

Published

on

Hotel Owner Shattered by Pipeline Decision After the Keystone XL oil pipeline was canceled, things got more quiet and lonely out in South Dakota. A hotel owner who used to have all of her rooms filled now has to cope with the pipeline workers having moved on.

Advertisement

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Donald Trump22 mins ago

Video:Supreme Court okays release of Trump’s tax documents to prosecutors

Border Wall3 hours ago

VIDEO: Biden halts near-completed section of border wall

Fox news4 hours ago

VIDEO: Acting Asst. AG was former colleague of Hunter Biden lawyer

Energy9 hours ago

Far from Texas energy crisis, battle over solar energy in Montana raises similar concerns

Carol Swain14 hours ago

The Candace Owens Show: Carol Swain- Is America racist?

Joe Biden23 hours ago

Video: Biden decision to cancel keystone XL oil pipeline shatters hotel owner business

Donald Trump24 hours ago

Video: Donald Trump considers another White House run in 2024

Capitol Riots1 day ago

Video: Trump is “plotting revenge” against his traitors – Jackman

Politics1 day ago

Biden’s Interior nominee failed to report casino income on congressional ethics report

Uncategorized4 days ago

School Board members caught mocking parents over lockdown — They thought their Zoom call was private…

Politics4 days ago

Convicted fundraiser who tried to work his way into Biden’s inner circle sentenced to prison

Politics5 days ago

Cruz responds to pictures of him on Mexico flight, with Texas struggling from deadly winter storm

Fox news5 days ago

‘A lot of people don’t know the severity of what’s going on’

Politics5 days ago

South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

Politics5 days ago

Son of prominent conservative leader Bozell arrested in connection with Capitol siege

Clinton2 months ago

BREAKING Whistleblower: Drops HARD Evidence, Biden, Obama, Hillary EXECUTED Seal Team 6, Audio Proof

Banned Video2 weeks ago

Censored Dr. Goes Off On Lying Fauci, CDC and NIH

DOJ3 weeks ago

Sidney Powell | How to Fix Justice

Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene3 weeks ago

2019 video shows Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene telling people to flood the Capitol

Mike Bloomberg3 weeks ago

[VIDEO] Uh Oh, Now Mike Bloomberg is Going After Joe Biden

Clinton2 months ago

Breaking: Patrick Byrne says he set Hillary Clinton up in a FBI sting in January 2016 for a 18 million dollar bribe

Nancy Pelosi4 weeks ago

Nancy Pelosi’s long history of getting rich from shady Wall Street deals…

Impeachment3 weeks ago

Breaking — President Trump’s Formal Written Response to Article of Impeachment…

Candace Owens1 week ago

Candace Owens post photo of her son with a message to all young feminist.

Politics2 months ago

Romney Gets Confronted At Utah Airport, Passengers Chant ‘Traitor’ After He Boards The Plane

Donald Trump3 weeks ago

Trump calls Marjorie Taylor Greene… ‘I will never back down!’

William Barr2 months ago

Video: Facts Matter (Dec.15): The Real Reason That Barr ‘Resigned’

President Health4 weeks ago

Biden did not look healthy in a brief appearance from the Oval Office today

Impeachment4 weeks ago

Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene is keeping her word!

Alexandria Ocasio Smollett3 weeks ago

Photos of AOC and the staged protest in front of fence in which she falsely claimed children were inside, being held in cages

Facebook

Facebook

Trending

Copyright © 2021 By TSD