Even with hope on the horizon in this pandemic, what's the point of ever leaving home again?
Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT) March 7, 2021
(CNN)Everything is a risk.
A year ago, this was our last normal weekend and we didn't even know it. Now, we're deep into a pandemic, with ever-rising Covid-19-related deaths, a new strain on the loose and news of people still experiencing symptoms months after testing positive.
But as more people get vaccinated, it finally seems like there's hope on the horizon. Eventually, someday soon, the joys of normal life will return.
And yet, we have to ask: Why bother? What's the point of ever leaving home again?
Getting dinner, grabbing drinks, working out, seeing a movie. All these comforts of middle class existence in the Before Times are gone, and it could be another year until it's completely safe to return.
And after months of pandemmy life, those of us who are lucky enough to work from home have gotten really good at this stay-at-home thing.
Bars? Simply overpriced drinks. Concerts? Too many sweaty armpits, way too close to your face. Gyms? A house party for germs.
Of course, the pandemic has been a tough time for millions of people -- as many are out of work and mental health struggles continue. Here are some ways you can help.
But still, maybe introverts were right all along: Why go out when you can stay in?
Movie theater or movie living room?
Take movies, for example. Yeah, you could pay upwards of $20 for a single ticket, more if you have kids. And you could sit in those chairs (who knows the last time they were cleaned?!), enduring the chatty teenager in the back or the excruciating beam of a cell phone in the front.
But consider this. Maybe we don't have to! At home, you can watch any movie you want, legs splayed across your couch, being as loud or as quiet as you want. Oh, you missed that last joke? No worries, just hit rewind.
And -- for better or worse -- streaming services are making skipping the theater easier than ever. Both Disney's "Soul" and "Mulan" threw tradition to the wind and headed straight to Disney+. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. is streaming movies on HBO Max the same day they drop in theaters.
Sure, there's a bit of splendor -- of magic, if you will -- of seeing a movie on a screen the size of a wall. Christopher Nolan did, after all, famously rip into Warner Bros. And who are we to go against the wishes of our favorite confusing-as-hell director?
But also, think of the unlimited snacks.
With in-home work outs, no one can judge you
First of all, think of the germs. Between the sweat-infused yoga mats and the guy wheezing on the treadmill, we don't know how we ever normalized the experience of sweating profusely in the company of total strangers.
Still, in the fitness industry alone, about half a million jobs have been lost because of the pandemic. But most local gyms are offering online classes, while some personal trainers have created digital exercise plans for purchase. AND, if you're at home, only your cat can judge you.
So if you still feel the need to pump some iron in public (blegh), that's between you and whoever's hogging the lats pulldown machine.