For NYT Opinion: Our Normalness Made Me Drunk. Maybe It Made Me Stupid.

Here’s the beginning of an essay I wrote on the human impulses that kept us from protecting ourselves during the pandemic.

ANCHORAGE — I arrived at fish camp to find a sofa on the beach with a fire beside it, crackling inside a washing machine drum. A few hours before, I’d taken my first flight since the pandemic began — humming low in a small plane from here, to the small town of Kenai, to the mouth of the Kasilof River.

My boyfriend, Jack, fishes that river every year. I came to join him. Like many Alaskans in the summertime, we were after salmon to fill our freezer. Jack’s friend, Kelly, ran the operation, stringing nets into the water to snare the salmon as they muscle in from the ocean on the tide. A group of his friends rotated through to help haul nets and cut fish, all of us taking home fillets for our labor. Most of the time at fish camp, though, we didn’t work. We watched the nets soak and waited on the tide.

… read the rest here.