Now that more and more Oklahoman’s are being vaccinated and emerging from pandemic hibernation, Patrick and I thought it would be fun and convenient to publish a list of Do’s and Don’ts for Going Back Into the OKC Covid Wild!
DO: Realize That Not Everyone Sheltered-In-Place
Like Robin Williams emerging from the Jumanji box after decades of isolation, I too felt a tad bit out-of-place and feral walking across the threshold of the restaurant last month. You soon realize that time didn’t stop while you were sheltering-in-place, nor did social gatherings for many people, as evidenced by how many people you see who have retained adequate social skills.
DON’T: Burn Your Facemasks
Although our brave Mayor David Holt let the OKC mask mandate expire, there’s still allegedly a virus circulating out there. As a result, you should still probably follow some half-assed pandemic guidelines, let wearing your mask as you walk into a restaurant, and then quickly taking it off went you set down at the table.
DO: Reconnect with old friends
With the extra add-ons of a presidential election, a massive protest movement and attempted insurrection by right-wing conspiracy theorists, the pandemic was notoriously difficult on friendships. Face-to-face interactions over drinks at a bar were replaced by angry sterile social media debates over the effectiveness of facemasks against microscopic particles and/or the existence of racism in the American criminal justice system. Get out and reconnect with friends you may have lost touch with, unless, of course, they’re still assholes.
DON’T: Swipe Right on Everyone You See
Look, man. I know you’ve been sheltering in place for a while now. But remember, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Also, COVID-19 ain’t the only thing you might catch as you’re cavorting around OKC.
DO: Get Hammered
It’s been a long year and you deserve it.
If you’re going to get back out in the wild, act and behave like you’ve been there before.
DO: Keep Your Hands Clean
Remember the disgust and burning judgement you feel when you see someone leave a bathroom stall and return to the dining area without washing their hands? That’s what people are going to feel towards you if you don’t pump a smidge of the free sanitizer into your palm when you enter an establishment.
DON’T: Immediately Go for a Fishbowl Margarita
I remember (ish) spending my 21st birthday at Fuzzy’s in Stilly sharing a (few) fishbowl margaritas with my roommates. Looking back, the tortilla chip backwash-to-tequila ratio was a little too close for comfort at the end of the bowl. COVID-19 taught us that sharing an elevator can lead to catching cooties, so maybe pump the breaks and order a pitcher with individual glasses to share first.
DO: Be Patient and Respectful
Friendly reminder – the restaurant industry is dealing with a big-time staffing crisis. Expect patios to be crowded and some longer than normal wait times for food, tables, etc. Also, keep in mind that the people working at those restaurants probably didn’t hunker down like you did for a year, and were out working in the wild during a pandemic. Take care of them accordingly.
DON’T: Forget the Your Favorite Quarantine Activities
Continue planning weekend trips to Oklahoma parks and wildlife areas. Choose the patio option when you sit down for dinner. Keep up your homebrewing operation. Add a few more sip stops in the Channel 4 daytime TV drinking game you created with your roommates. Just because the world is opening back up, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite quarantine activities.
DO: Play Lost Ogle Trivia
Okay, we have to plug ourselves here. Now that the vaccine is readily available and out there, we recently relaunched our Lost Ogle Team Trivia and Jackpot Bingo nights.
DON’T: Complain about the new format!
In a nod to optics and doing the right thing, we’ve changed our format a tad to make it more pandemic-friendly. Come check it out!
DO: Remember, You’ve Survived This Before.
You feel like you have no social skills. You’re hyperaware of your own body and how others are perceiving you. You have to create a new hygiene routine. You feel awkward as hell. All-in-all, returning to society after sheltering-in-place feels a lot like middle school. You’ve survived it once before, you’ll do it again.
At last check, there’s still a pandemic going on out there. And thanks to the continued evolution of the virus and our state’s low vaccination rates, there’s always a chance we may have to go back into hiding again.
Patrick contributed to this report…