On March 18, 2020 (see The Journey Begins) I started writing about my time at home during the pandemic. At that time, the authorities were acting as if the "Angel of Death" would pass by within six weeks and all would be well. It seemed, to me, like a fairy tale. It turns out that it was.
Like most people I know, I went out to get hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, and masks. N95 masks were not available for the public, but surgical masks were. I found the last box of disposable gloves in my local pharmacy. But hand sanitizer was in short supply. People said to use Tito's vodka, but Tito insisted that it was meant to drink. I agreed with them! So I made my own hand sanitizer using rubbing alcohol and soap, which turned out to make a slimy mess if used without water.
Yesterday I went into my pantry where I kept all these pandemic supplies. I realized that I no longer needed the masks and moved them into storage for the next pandemic. I do have a few "designer" masks to use for doctor visits and for anywhere I go where I think people might not be vaccinated. I know that is odd, because the authorities say that only those not vaccinated need to wear masks. However, I assume that anyone not getting vaccinated will also not wear a mask, so it is up to me to protect myself from a breakthrough infection, no matter how rare. AND I realized that a mask can keep me from other infectious diseases, like colds and the flu.
I tossed out my home made hand sanitizer. It is so plentiful these days that I don't even need to buy any. It seems every store and public place has a supply readily available. The disposable gloves are the only item I am keeping. They come in handy for handling meat, fish, and poultry when I cook.
It gave me great joy to put away the masks. I am impressed that so many researchers were able to produce effective vaccines so quickly, and that logistics personnel were able to scale up production. A lot of the world still needs the vaccine. But as production and distribution continue, the outlook is positive.