At the onset of COVID, this intervention was reversed. In January, you could stand on a city block and reasonably guarantee that at no moment would you think or feel anything in common with the pedestrians streaming past. But by April you could and you did: the claustrophobia of the mask, the repulsive sensation of re-inhaling your own breath, the anticipation of ripping off the muzzle as soon as you got home. COVID became the existential threat that winter used to be, and humans respond to such threats in simple ways that repeat themselves throughout history. These reactions — and I’m talking about fear, the instinct for risk-mitigation and self-preservation — do not break down along lines of gender identity or sexual orientation or your taste in clothes or whatever. We have all been inducted into a temporary cult of empathy. … [Read more...] about Is It Possible to Enjoy This Winter?