the after times + virtual dolo

KIM’S CONVENIENCE, TORONTO —

living through the pandemic as a healthy hypochondriac is its own sort of poem, but most of my story over the past 12 months has been defined by a painfully simple storyline: not wanting my parents to get sick. like so many people my age, i’ve been more worried about them than myself.

i’ve become a mini-fauci. i constantly spew cdc guidelines and say things like is it really worth going to the grocery store for just an onion or time your daily walk for when none of your friends will be outside every day. we laugh, they are good sports about it, and it’s been a year of seemingly simple tiffs that are deceptively synonymous with survival.

but then, something beautiful happened: they got vaccinated! they got the damn stickers, and they are already chattering about the Before Times as a future, not a past. hell, happy tears have been cried in the mascarenhas household, and the whatsapp groups have been notified.

i have trust in these vaccines, it’s amazing news, and i am immensely grateful that they had the opportunity to get vaccinated in the first place. i know so many of the world’s loved ones didn’t even get to make it this far. and i know how horrible roll out has been elsewhere.1 despite the privilege it is to have hope, i find myself struggling to shake off fear.

more later, but first my words + reads:

my words: sequoia capital caught up to a trend i pointed out a few months ago: the rise of virtual HQ platforms. this past week, gather raised a $26 million series a round to build a “sims meets zoom” for distributed teams. the moonshot, the founder says, is gather becomes its own metaverse. think leaving your virtual office, heading to a virtual bar, and playing a game of virtual poker all through one app.

i heard someone even created a virtual dolores park hang, which - if you do it again - pls invite me.

etc: i finally learned what a product manager does, building in public is a startup thesis, and coursera’s s-1 dropped.

my pod: nfts are changing value creation, and if crypto isn’t your thing, listen to friday’s ep: can you beat google with google’s brains?

my favorite follow: @abenaanim21 is a great follow for all things tech, food, and friendly banter. she just launched food supply, an intentional company in the food media space.

anyways

after a year of staying inside, it’s hard to lose control. as much as i’ve hated continuous calculations, it really has become normal to pick the path of least exposure. a night in seems more relaxing than a night out of purell and masks, and a phone call feels more intimate than hugging — right?

even though arguably the biggest stress of my pandemic, my family’s health, has been taken care of, i know the hard work of emotionally unwinding from this pandemic’s trauma will need much more than two doses to be dealt with.

Share too wordy, by natasha

and let me be clear: it’s not that i think my parents going to get sick - vaccines work - but it’s the uncertainty of a what happens next. as saeed jones tweeted days ago,

“in some ways, this side of the pandemic is lonelier than the early months. i’m so anxious about the hopeful future. we went into hell together but now we’ve gotta find our various exits alone.”

a part of me thinks that coming up for air should feel better than this. the exhale is there, but it also comes with some unexpected heaviness.

to understanding the not-so-simple after times,

n

1

that post has already been written, albeit while i was drinking wine so it shall stay in the drafts until i edit it.

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