Current Musings · The Next Half Century

Longing for Crowds

Crowds. The word jolted me while I was reading a novel the other day. I tried to remember what it was like to be in a crowd. It had been so long since I was in a crowd — a crowded stadium, a theater, even a crowded sidewalk. The concept of a crowd seems so foreign to me now. I reread the author’s description of the crowd. People brushing by each other, being jostled by the mass of humanity.

Since the pandemic began, crowds have been scarce. We used to think nothing about a venue packed with people, crammed into a tight space like sardines. Crowds were common place. They were just a fact of life. But now crowds are like a thing of the past. Something we did long ago in the pre-pandemic era.

I used to be bothered by crowds. It was frustrating fighting my way through a crowded airport trying to make my connecting flight. I became aggravated when I could barely move through a sea of humanity trying to get to my seat in a stadium. Now I find myself longing to be in a crowd, any crowd.

This is what the pandemic has done to us — making us long for things that were once common place; things that were once just part of our daily life. Perhaps that isn’t such a bad thing. I wonder if we’ll feel the same once we put this pandemic behind us. Will we at some point begin to take things for granted once our lives become crowded and hectic again? Or will we have more appreciation for the little things in life, the routine and the commonplace. Will we approach a crowd with excitement, not annoyance, remembering how we once longed to be in a crowd again.

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