America Is Back, Kind Of

It’s great to be out. Well, me, not you.

Will Leitch
4 min readJul 6, 2021

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It is a matter of perception whether or not this summer is the Hot Vaxx Summer or The Summer Of The Delta Variant. As someone who is fully vaccinated and has, if I’m being honest, run out of patience with the segment of the unvaccinated who both have the access to vaccines and the opportunity for education but have refused each, I will confess to being in the former camp: I am watching movies and going to sporting events and drinking in bars and doing all the things I didn’t get to do for a year because there was a pandemic going on out there that I wanted to be certain I wasn’t making worse. I want everyone to get vaccinated, and it is tragic when someone gets sick or dies because they didn’t, but if I’ve learned anything from this pandemic, it’s that trying to persuade the purposely unreasonable of anything is a fool’s errand. Please get vaccinated. But if you don’t, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m going to go do all the cool things you get to do when you’re vaccinated. You should join me. But I cannot help it if you do not.

The real world, outside my house and outside my mask, is even better than I remembered it. The sun shines brighter, the grass grows greener, the beer tastes colder, the conversations feel deeper and more resonant, even if they’re not. The pandemic was a shock to the system, and its forced isolation a reminder of what we’ve lost, what was taken away. I’m trying to take advantage of every opportunity I can, while I can. I do not know how long this enthusiasm for the outside world will last. But I’m gonna ride this out. I was good during the pandemic. I can’t be the only American who considers this new appreciation of the normalcies of regular life as my reward.

The only problem: People still aren’t acting quite right. Most people I’ve encountered have the same attitude as me: A gratefulness for the robustness of the world, a world we can now embrace again. But it’s not difficult to spot the outliers. The people who still seem dialed up way too high after the last year. The people who haven’t adjusted to the current situation. Or the jackasses who just don’t care about any of it … who just want to shit-post the whole planet.

Here’s a fun story from the weekend: A plane bound for the Bahamas was delayed overnight…

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Will Leitch

I write about these tumultuous times 2x a week. Author of five books, including “How Lucky.” NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin. https://williamfleitch.substack.com