[This is totally a backhanded compliment to academia. More backhand than compliment.]
Recently (and it’s a long, boring, and irrelevant story as to how it came about) I read a rant of someone desperate to meet another in person. The other person was uncomfortable with this, given the current pandemic situation. The rant was sent in response to a “Thanks but no thanks, I don’t want to meet” message, and started by almost demanding a meeting out of pity because they were so lonely and had had such a rough year. But there was a line in the rant that stuck with me: “I just don’t understand how you’re not going insane not seeing friends, or even having only online dates. Why isn’t it hard for you to avoid restaurants and bars—don’t you enjoy that?”
I don’t know why. It doesn’t really matter why. But that really resonated with me.
Because I’m not going insane, relatively-speaking, by not seeing friends. Because I am fine with the concept (and reality) of online dating. Because I enjoy restaurants and bars, but also it’s not been hard for me to avoid them. Why? Why I do I match perfectly with this blatant, wanted-but-detested, misunderstood anathema? I realized a LOT of why these are my truths is because of academia.
And so, here is my thank-you to academia for helping immensely in making quarantine and isolation not seem so bad.