Today I went in for Jury Duty. I got myself all ready for it: I ran yesterday so I didn’t have to run today. I got up bright and early. I made myself a lunch. I brought a good book. I even had my wife cut my hair for the occasion (!), and I made sure to leave the house with plenty of time to walk downtown to get there by 8am.
It’s not that I was overjoyed, per se, to go to jury duty, but I was actually sort of looking forward to it. I mean, after all, I haven’t had an appointment with anyone in person for three months.
Instead, I got there, was given the okay to enter by two women standing outside, passed through the security checkpoint–where the guard had to remind me to take out my wallet and keys several times before I got it right–and was promptly dismissed by another man who thanked me for showing up. Apparently, they had everyone they need (I’m just speculating, but it makes sense there would be fewer trials going on right now). Anyway, by 8:05 I was already outside calling my wife.
On my way back home, I felt a strange combination of elation (at being left off early), gratitude (that the people were nice), appreciation (to interact with real people in real life!), some disappointment (at returning to another day at home), and restlessness (to stay out!). It was actually quite a weird thing.
For the first time since before the Pandemic, I really wanted to be around people!* In fact, I was feeling the positive personal/emotional benefits of in-person interaction…even if brief!
And that was my jury duty experience…. another day in the life during a Pandemic.
*I’m not saying I don’t often want to be around people. But I think this is the first time since before the Pandemic when I was reminded of just how nice it can feel to have an everyday interaction with people out in the world.