Looking Back And Looking Ahead

Well, the Covid pandemic demonically dominated the year 2020. And so far it’s doing a number on 2021. But vaccines have arrived and are being administered at an escalating pace, so there’s absolutely no doubt that the pandemic will end in the foreseeable future and that, as a result, happy days will be here again. That’s the opinion, anyway, of Anthony Fauci, a top doc and the face of the USA’s fight against coronavirus. My wife Sandy and I heard him say so earlier this month on a late night talk show. Man, he better be right.

When the f*cking virus gripped the States last March, I was scared shitless. As were zillions of my fellow citizens. Initially, I went to places frequented by others (I’m mainly referring to supermarkets) only once a week, wrapping up my business as quickly as possible to try and avoid becoming infected. But two or three months later, as my health remained stabile and my worst personal fears didn’t materialize, I began to gain courage. Since then I’ve been out and about for a fair number of hours each week. Cautious yet unafraid I keep my distance from others, wear a mask when inside stores, and use hand sanitizer liberally, Still, those precautions don’t guarantee protection from an invisible enemy. The vaccines do though, apparently. Needless to say, Sandy and I can’t wait to get jabbed a second time (we each got our first dose of Moderna on March 19).

My life has been diminished by the pandemic, but not incredibly so. Who am I to complain about anything anyway, considering that the virus has ended more than two million lives and significantly disrupted countless more? I’m an old guy on a pension, so I don’t have to deal with anywhere near the number of demanding familial and economic situations that are typical for many folks.

Yeah, I miss the part-time volunteer jobs that gave me heavy doses of satisfaction. By necessity, they were put on hiatus when the virus hit. And I miss the very decent social life that I had. But it hasn’t entirely disappeared, because I have met up with friends now and then, most notably in October. That’s when Sandy and I vacationed for a few days with two pals in Cape May, New Jersey. Social distancing went out the window among the four of us during that time. Very thankfully, we all remained virus-free. And those several days of normalcy have gone a long way in helping to keep my spirits up. 

And though I miss seeing my brother, sister-in-law and other relatives, most of whom live too far away to make getting together possible right now, I’m in regular contact with them. And it’s been tough not being able to go to movies and concerts — two of my favorite activities —  but TV-watching has kept me nicely entertained.

Overall, I’m in a fortunate place.

However . . . there’s no doubt whatsoever that I’m itching madly to reinstate the lifestyle that I’m accustomed to. A big part of which involves casually exploring places near and far, something that I’m wired to do. The good ol” pandemic has limited that dramatically.

When it comes to near, in normal times I often investigate on foot various sections of Philadelphia, a fascinating city a relative handful of miles from my town. But doing so, at least my way of doing so, requires the use of public transportation to get to the areas where I want to be. And I’ve felt that it’s just too risky, virus-wise, to situate my aged ass inside trains or buses. Yeah, soon after I get jabbed a second time it will be Philadelphia, here I come! 

In regard to far, heading to New Mexico with Sandy, to visit my brother and sister-in-law, is high on my list. Not only because we are close with them but also because they dig exploration as much or more than I do. Ditto for meeting up in Europe with Sandy’s and my friends who live in Gay Paree. We’ve had fabulous times with that couple in their city and also in Amsterdam and Edinburgh.

It’s almost closing time for this essay. I shall not depart, however, without expending some wordage on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, which isn’t anywhere near my home but isn’t terribly far away either. I’ve written about the Cape maybe too many times before. But I can’t help myself. The reasons? Cape Cod fills me with wonder and delight. I feel totally at home there. At peace. Sandy would say the same about her Cape relationship.

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A small section of the enormous dunes in Provincetown, Cape Cod (October 2019)

On Cape Cod I’m almost as free as a bird. And nowhere more so than on its Atlantic Ocean coastline, a stunning expanse of water, beach, dunes and sand cliffs that never ceases to floor me. I’m anxious to stare once again at the ocean, and to do my old-guy scampering thing among the humungous dunes that dominate a long section of Cape Cod’s farthest reaches. The pandemic nixed the Cape vacation that Sandy and I would have had last October. But I’m taking Dr. Fauci at his word. In other words, I expect to be on Cape Cod with Sandy this coming autumn. Being there is going to bring me to tears.   

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Atlantic Ocean coastline (Eastham, Cape Cod, October 2019)

(How has the pandemic affected you and yours? Are you hopeful for the future? Please don’t be shy about adding your comments about those or any related topics. Thanks.)

125 thoughts on “Looking Back And Looking Ahead

  1. cath April 5, 2021 / 2:30 pm

    Glad to hear you’re bearing up, Neil. Love the pictures. It seems like I can feel a gentle breeze blowing in from the sea just by looking at them.

    I love your plans. We’re still feeling tentative about ours, although we’ve both had our first jabs. Our priority will be visiting family. Like so many, we’re not enjoying the realisation that it’s more than a year since we saw them in person. A trip north is top of our wish-list for the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. chattykerry April 6, 2021 / 3:24 pm

    Our situation is not that different from yours although I lost my contract job. I feel like I lost some precious time but curiously I am still afraid of busy shops despite being inoculated. I have gained some patience and a deep love of my house/surroundings. Perhaps it is amazing that we haven’t had a full blown pandemic in 100 years?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Crystal Byers April 7, 2021 / 9:55 am

    Definitely feeling hopeful. Got my second shot (Pfizer) two weeks ago, and I have a trip planned to Mexico in May. To health, happiness, and travel!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. rkrontheroad April 10, 2021 / 2:13 pm

    I’ve been fully vaccinated now, and just passed the two week point after my second. I feel like I can enter the world again! I probably won’t change my life much yet, but taking baby steps… visited a bar with friends last night, coffee with another friend today. Can’t imagine getting on a plane anytime soon. But there is a sense of calm and relief.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 10, 2021 / 4:01 pm

      Things definitely are looking up overall. I don’t know if life ever will be what it used to be, but if it gets to 75% of what it was, that’s good enough I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The Coastal Crone April 11, 2021 / 3:35 pm

    I hope you make it back to Cape Cod soon! Husband and I (retirees) haven’t gotten out much in the past year but with vaccinations we are anxious to get out when masks are not required. Like you, we have much to be thankful for. Stay well and may Dr. Fauci be right!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 11, 2021 / 5:32 pm

      Hi there. Thanks for adding your thoughts. One thing for sure is that 2021 is shaping up tp be a whole lot better than 2020 was. And,, hopefully, 2022 will be very normal.

      Like

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