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Veteran: This Boredom Punctuated By Moments of Fear Feels Familiar

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Souce: The American Conservative

As most of the world hunkers down and social distances, the pain of our current condition is amplified by all the time we have on our hands. Going broke or feeling isolated is never easy, but at least during normal times we have an abundance of tools to distract ourselves with. What do we have now but more bad news, empty streets, and endless hours to mull? For most Americans, it’s an experience unprecedented in our lifetimes.

But something about it all feels very familiar to me. The constant low-level anxiety punctuated by brief moments of fear. The general feeling of this being a time of exception, where our vision is focused and priorities reexamined. Even the mournful way the entire experience has, despite injunctions to stay at least six feet away from each other physically, renewed our sense of living in a shared community. In some very important ways, this pandemic has the familiar mood of combat. I feel as if I’ve felt this all before, during my two deployments to Iraq as an infantryman. And perhaps because of my experiences, the boredom of social distancing feels like an old acquaintance.

I don’t think many people appreciate the value

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