Coronavirus Days--Moving Forward

When I began the chronicles in March 2020, I never imagined that I would be posting for an entire year. Now that I no longer feel as though I am living in the midst of the pandemic, spending hours chronicling rates of infection/hospitalizations/outbreaks, it is time to put the chronicles to an end. I still hope to continue random blogging/writing, since the consistency of this has been good for me, but the focus will no longer be exclusively on the world of COVID-19.

Since being vaccinated, I have begun to slowly reenter the world. Reuniting with friends, venturing on walks without a mask, thinking about the possibilities of travel. And most recently, I finally got to reunite with my parents and sister, something I had not done for almost 1.5 years. Leading up to the plane flight, my anxiety kicked in, wondering if I would find myself in a swarm of people breathing germs and virus my way. I double masked and kept away from people in the airport. Once I boarded the plane, I found myself on a full flight, in a row with other masked passengers, breathing into my mask and hoping the flight would pass quickly. My fellow seatmates kept their masks on, just like me, and slowly I forgot about my fears and dealt with the only discomfort--wearing a mask for so long. My return flight had much less anxiety since I knew what to expect. By the end of both flights, I started to ponder possibilities for plane flights taking me on vacation somewhere.

Traveling to the east coast to see family helped me see new things, realizing that it had been so so many months since I had seem something unexpected and different. I got to the ocean and watched the waves and the characters wandering the boardwalk. A ferris wheel showed the promise of families gathering and laughter free from worry. Months prior, I never imagined I would feel comfortable enough to head into NYC to wander a bit, but I did to meet my nieces for lunch, outdoors, in the far West Village by the water, free from huge crowds (relatively speaking for NYC). Mask on to enter the restaurant. Mask off outdoors. Mask on to enter the public bathroom. Mask off once again outside. There was a rhythm to it all that felt fine.

Mask mandates are now lifted in most places. I still choose to wear one when I enter the grocery store. When I enter a restaurant to get to my outdoor table. But if I am outside, I feel totally comfortable without one, as I did this past Sunday when I went to the farmer's market and strolled for two blocks, choosing items to purchase, hugging and chatting a friend I hadn't seen since before the pandemic. One of the things I missed the most over the last year, besides seeing my family living far on the east coast was running in the park. I'm not a huge runner, but I enjoy running several times a week, and over the last year, all that running has been in the street in my neighborhood. The park with all the people breathing and huffing didn't feel comfortable. Until today, when my feet touched the soft dirt, and I didn't worry about people passing me or me passing people. 

Tomorrow, I will venture outdoors to the Levitt Pavilion to hang with one of my best friends and let the sun go down as we chill out to some music. This weekend, Nan and I are packing a weekend bag and headed to the San Luis Valley to spend a couple of nights at a low key hot spring, soaking, staring into the sky, and staying in a yurt. And this August, I will again be able to enjoy one of my favorite summer moments, hanging out in Lyons, Colorado at the annual Folks Festival. 

This summer, I am embracing hope, embracing the power of science and vaccinations, and holding this picture of my reunion with my dad close to me, treasuring the joys of love.


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