by Anne Donlon ACHENBACH, 04/17/2020, TRAVERSE CITY, MI
GOODBYE TO THE AIR KISS
Anne Donlon Achenbach
Is there already a the new social divide?????
Is there is anyone who doesn’t remember the oft quoted edict:
“Never discuss religion or politics…..”
The religion portion was seldom a problem for those of us in Hells Kitchen.
Most of us attended the same beautiful church, St. Paul the Apostle, and parochial schools in those years were all overcrowded.
Of course, that ended as time went on, but I have virtually no recollection of any religious disagreement until the tragic reality of pedophilia erupted.
However, politics, well that, of course, provided a different scenario.
Vocal differences and opinions erupted during the onset of the Kennedy era, and remained slightly dormant until possibly Bill Clinton and the Monica notoriety.
I doubt if anyone could forget the volatile discussions that exploded during the years prior to the last election.
Many tried to be discrete; some attempted to be diplomatic, and frankly, few of us succeeded.
I chose silence which only brought on a migraine.
Friendships were not only fractured, but left limping and a large segment never quite recovered.
However, before the recent impeachment, the primary level of discussion veered into the “Me Too” climate and the consequences of unjust accusations.
Before that topic had totally died down, the Democratic debates became another cause of, shall we say, differences of opinion.
However, as memorable as some of those arguments and/or tirades might have been, I believe a new one is on the horizon. This one will not be caused either by politics or religion.
The country will be radically divided by conflicting opinions of how other citizens observe the social restrictions mandated by the CDC.
I have already, without thinking, instantly expressed a negative opinion to a close friend who was planning to take a walk. I was unaware I had raised my voice, and hope my apology was accepted.
My sister was equally vocal about my imbibing prepared food. Her utter shock was perceptible even over the phone.
I reacted with utter horror to a friend who put one foot over the 6 ft boundary.
The current division between rigidity and flexibility is one that has only begun and one that may long endure. While the world recovers, social distancing may become the norm. Handshakes, I believe, are forever gone, and I think “Air Kisses,” are already a memory.
The ambiguous opinion of what constitutes proper social distancing in the years to come may prove more divisive than any America has ever known.
I fear a new era of discrimination will be caused by the determination of what is considered “adequate” social distancing and quickly become the most volatile the world has experienced.