I’m writing this on the last day of my four-week summer vacation. Like everything this year, it feels like it went by in a flash. As of writing this, I don’t know when we’re actually going back to the office. Tomorrow, at least, is going to be a work-from-home day. By the time you’re reading this, I will know, definitively, when I’m going back to the office.

And I feel conflicted about that. I am doubly vaccinated, my partner is doubly vaccinated. But as I write this, we are part of less than 50% of Finns who are. Only 71,8% of people here have the first vaccine. Case numbers are up, just like everywhere else. So a quick return to normal seems really far away, unlike elsewhere.

But we’re not here to talk about US politics. We are here to deal with my complicated emotions about the prospect of a return to normal.

Last week, I read a column on a Finnish news site about how the author was worried about how willing everyone was to just obey the restrictions, mandates, and recommendations of health authorities. Imagine that, people being afraid of a global pandemic. And it is really worrisome that people in a society want to take care of other people in said society. Of course, as a person who belongs to a risk group for this particular pandemic, I cannot possibly be objective about any of it. Anyway.

I can’t remember when I’ve been sick as little as I have been during the pandemic. Every month or two, someone decides that their input is completely irreplaceable, and they come into the office while sick. My immune system picks it up and then I spend a few days being miserable. I have not missed that at all.

But on the other hand, I miss everything else. I miss cons like whoa, hanging out with my friends in person, having brunch with my mom and my sister. Eating in actual restaurants. I miss those little moments of joy of working in an office together with your team that can’t be replicated over Teams. I kinda want to go back.

But I’m scared.

After everything, it all really does boil down to that. And I don’t know how to change that.