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.

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.   

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. KT Workman March 24, 2021 / 12:39 am

    My husband and I got our second dose of the Pfizer vaccine today, so in a couple of weeks will be good to go. We’re both retired, so have stayed pretty much close to home for a year now. The virus has my husband pretty freaked out, while I didn’t really worry much about it, though I do the mask thing, wash hands a lot, and make liberal use of hand sanitizer. I haven’t seen my grandchildren in a year, have seen my son (an only child) a few times outside on my driveway, doing the social distancing thing. Husband and I are both more than ready to do some traveling, but most of all, to see—in person—family and friends.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 12:11 pm

      We can only hope that the vaccines truly work. If they don’t, it will be years (if ever) before the variants of the virus run their course.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Lynette d'Arty-Cross March 24, 2021 / 1:17 am

    “Itching madly” is just about right. My patience is wearing very thin, but I’m gritting my teeth. I’ve had both doses of Moderna three weeks ago and now feel like I’m dressed up with nowhere to go. Still locked up, too. But very little covid here and no community spread. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. sloppy buddhist March 24, 2021 / 1:23 am

    I believe it will be an endemic…we’re slow on the vaccine here in Alberta…we’ve lived mindfully and respected the protocols…for over a year now…with a doc in family getting information to us…I’m ready to get stronger…I feel weak…ready to get back to the pool and weights…I’m fatigued from misinformation…I’m sad for the humans who have lost loved ones…hopefully we learn more along the way…be kind and gentle is best…I’m also grateful…my heart aches for those grieving loss…a little hedy ramble Neil…thanks for sharing…sending joy hedy ☺️💫🙏🙋‍♀️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 12:16 pm

      This pandemic has taken a toll on just about all of us. Mentally and emotionally, if nothing else. Thanks for your input, Hedy. Have a good day.


  4. George March 24, 2021 / 3:31 am

    The freedom you feel on the beach at Cape Cod is what I feel walking the Lakeland fells. But they’re not going anywhere and will be waiting for both of us when it’s deemed safe to return. Not too far away now, hopefully. And the air will taste even sweeter for the absence.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 12:19 pm

      Hey there, George. I wonder why certain locales connect deeply to people. It would be hard to figure out, I think. But it’s great that the connections happen!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Paddy Tobin March 24, 2021 / 4:05 am

    I’m delighted that you are approaching the date for your second dose of the vaccine. It will bring a great peace of mind, a release from worry and tension and, of course, the freedom to return to your exploring – and reporting – ways.

    We have had no date for our first dose and the vaccination programme is moving slowly, it seems to me waiting anxiously for it.

    We have been very much a stay-at-home family since March of 2020. We haven’t even been to the supermarket in that time, ordering online with delivery to our gate. There were particularly high numbers of daily cases in our area after Christmas and we haven’t even been out for walks this year – actually, we went out twice but just along our quiet country road, a road which has become busier with people walking on it in the last few weeks.

    We are very fortunate to have a big garden and, weather permitting, spend all day everyday outside working/pottering away. It’s a good pastime. Television doesn’t take my attention but I enjoy reading.

    One son who lives nearest to us has dropped in on occasion – dropping flowers for Mother’s Day, for example – but it has been with masks, outdoors, and … better than not meeting him at all. We especially miss our grandchildren.

    It will pass!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 12:23 pm

      Greetings, Paddy. From what I gather, so far there are only a few countries that have been doing an ace job of getting their populations vaccinated. Let’s hope that much improvement takes place over the next few months.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Paddy Tobin March 24, 2021 / 4:09 pm

        It’s moving slowly but, at least, it’s moving!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Alan NOTHERN March 27, 2021 / 10:56 am

          Covid blues : Paris 2021 :
          Loved your article Neil ; just as the virus is worldwide, so are Homo Sapiens’ reactions : in Europe too stress and anxiety are high, people are fed up with periods of lockdown on then off, the vaccination campaign is tied up in bureaucracy etc. Billions will be spent trying to get back to a « normal » which may never return.
          I share your feeling of freedom in Cape Cod ; we spent 5 days on the French Atlantic coast at the end of February mostly walking on the huge beaches , watching the fishing boats and wild birds.
          These places will outlive us and keep their pristine purity.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Yeah, Another Blogger March 27, 2021 / 1:34 pm

            Bonjour, Alan. Long walks on long, beautiful beaches are where it’s at. It’s easy to commune with nature in locales like those.


  6. endardoo March 24, 2021 / 5:09 am

    Good to hear the positivity in your words, Neil. Great places to visit and return to. And friends. Soon, soon! My lifestyle hasn’t changed much. Working from home was a big change, but a great development. The thing is I get angsty about is not being able to make choices!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 12:25 pm

      It’s going to be interesting to see what things are like a year or two from now. Even if the pandemic fades away, quite a few economic and lifestyle changes will remain.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. johnlmalone March 24, 2021 / 6:15 am

    it must be your really special place. Neil; I recall many posts where you’ve rhapsodized over Cape Cod; hope you get back to it soon 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. swabby429 March 24, 2021 / 7:48 am

    The lock down and distancing have enhanced my propensity to be a hermit. That said, I do have my limits and am eager to once again ponder my social and travel bucket lists.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Carol Balawyder March 24, 2021 / 8:29 am

    Lovely post. I love Cape Cod and miss the ocean. Your photos of the dunes brought a warm glow to me heart. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 12:29 pm

      Those dunes are amazing, as you know. They are not what people think about when they envision Cape Cod. They are otherworldly.


      • Carol Balawyder March 25, 2021 / 8:31 pm

        So right. I remember biking through the dunes and it felt like I was going through the desert!


  10. Browsing the Atlas March 24, 2021 / 8:47 am

    I’ve followed very much the same pattern as you through all of this. Extremely cautious at first, then it started to wane a little. Last fall I was getting together with family members. My 75-year-old mother got a mild case of COVID after Christmas, so she quarantined. Now we’ve all had our first shots and can’t wait to resume more of a normal life! I’ve started planning a vacation in May. We’ll still wear masks, but we’ll be vaccinated and we feel hopeful again.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. rivertoprambles March 24, 2021 / 8:48 am

    Received my second Moderna yesterday & the only after-effect this morning is complete frustration with the overnight “updates” imposed on me as a blogger with WordPress. Damn, I’ve lost a draft & feel adrift… Overreacting, perhaps. Thank you for help putting life in perspective. The real problems of the world are out there, like how to deal with the maniacs who like to kill, like how to go forth into the new normality of a (hopefully) post-pandemic time. We’ll get there, and I wish you a happy new travel era & some fine Cape Codding, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 12:35 pm

      Hi, and many thanks for adding your thoughts. I think that the fully-vaccinated will be able to resume a pretty normal lifestyle. Travelling, getting together with people, etc. Quite a few musical acts are planning tours for later this year, which to me is a good sign that things really are going to get better.


  12. J. Kelland Perry March 24, 2021 / 9:01 am

    I look forward to the day when whoever can get vaccinated, is. Hubby and I are yet to get the vaccine. I guess we’re not old enough, vulnerable enough, or essential enough. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 12:38 pm

      The vaccine rollouts have been pretty problematic, for a variety of reasons. Eventually, though, the vaccines will reach all who want to be vaccinated. And let’s hope that at least 75% of the adult population worldwide will choose to be vaccinated.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. JOYCE HAMILTON March 24, 2021 / 10:10 am

    I totally agree with you. After my vaccines l plan on enjoying life as before. My friends from Hyannis will visit me for a couple days in June and hopefully l will go there sometime this summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jacqui Murray March 24, 2021 / 10:21 am

    What I/we (husby and I) went through is so similar to you, despite being across the country and worlds apart. Fear, how bad will it get, cautious optimisim, trying to stay safe and keep those around me safe. I was angrier than you–still am–but it help me not give up. I’ve given up thinking Fauci and the CDC are gods. They’ve been wrong too many times–but why wouldn’t they be. No one has faced this particular pandemic before. So, I’m unreasonable trying to reach acceptance.

    I’ve had both shots and the 2 weeks after. I hugged a girlfriend yesterday. Boy did that feel good!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 12:50 pm

      You know, I think that the recommended restriction on hugging was wrong all along. I don’t think that a person is giving to get infected by giving someone a quick hug., especially if both parties are wearing a mask.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jacqui Murray March 24, 2021 / 3:08 pm

        That actually is relieving, Neil. I by accident hugged a girlfriend last March, as everything was starting–wasn’t used to the guidelines! We both cringed a little.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. loristory March 24, 2021 / 10:44 am

    I moved 2500 miles to be closer to my family. Was extremely careful while driving across the country, including the need to wear a face shield in one Texas hotel. So far, with one vaccine in my arm and one to go, I’ve visited my daughters and grandsons (in their driveways, with masks on). Just seeing them in person once and making plans for future visits made my move worthwhile. I have ventured out to stores only out of necessity. In about a month, though, I’ll be ready to get back into the real world. Like you, I’ve been fortunate, but will be glad when I can finally go out to dinner and see the rest of my family, who only live a few hours away now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 12:54 pm

      Hi. I appreciate your input. When this craziness is over, you and your family are going to party together like crazy! The end of the tunnel is in sight!


  16. Janakay | YouMightAsWellRead March 24, 2021 / 11:00 am

    My experience has been much like your own — more fortunate than most but . . . missing my old life very much. Like you, I adore concerts, museums and travel and had thought that 2020 would be filled with all three. Also like you, I hope to be taking at least a few little trips by the end of the year.
    P.S. I only visited Cape Cod once, many, many years ago but I still remember those awesome sand dunes at Truro. What an incredible experience!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 12:56 pm

      Hi. I’m glad to hear from you. Yeah, better days lie ahead. They are not far off. See ya!


  17. greenpete58 March 24, 2021 / 11:34 am

    Everyone needs a Cape Cod, ‘specially in these times. Mine used to be Destin, Florida, and now it’s a mountain trail far from the madding crowd. Hang in there, Neil, and you’ll have sand between your toes before you know it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 12:59 pm

      Pete, I’m looking forward like crazy to do some traveling and meeting up with relatives and friends. And to go to concerts too — I can’t wait to see a hard-rocking band in person. That will be great.

      Liked by 1 person

      • greenpete58 March 24, 2021 / 1:48 pm

        Not sure if you’re a fan, but the Doobie Brothers plan to reignite their 50th anniversary tour this year. Looks like they’re in your neck of the woods (Allentown) on Aug. 1!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Basia Korzeniowska March 24, 2021 / 12:45 pm

    Hi Neil
    I’ve just read your piece and looked at the wonderful photos of Cape cod – not how I imagined it at all, but very much more exciting and I also read everyone’s comments. It seems we are all in the same boat, resigned, thankful and longing to go!. I was offered the pfizer vaccine a couple of months ago and my husband had the first jab and is waiting for the second. I’ve been on a novavax trial and they asked me to wait. finally today they offered me my crossover jabs – one next week and one three weeks after that. I am incredibly excited. I wont know until the end of the trial whether these will be real or a placebo – in fact I may have had the real thing already, but they wont tell me yet.
    But i cant wait to go for a coffee in a cafe, for a drink in a pub, for a meal in a restaurant, or just to see friends and family in a sitting down position rather than talking in the street. it will be a long time until we can see my mother in law who lives in Poland, but the place I really want to go to is Menaggio in Lake Como. Of all the Italian lakes it is the least unspoilt, both architecturally and commercially, but very civilised and beautiful.
    meanwhile we have to be patient, something apparently i am quite good at, but it’s beginning to wear thin with me too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 3:21 pm

      I hope that your travel adventures come true soon. Hi, Basia. I’d like to travel in Italy too. My wife and I were there ten years ago. We had a great time and would love to explore parts of the country we didn’t see. Maybe next year . . .

      Liked by 1 person

  19. SandyL March 24, 2021 / 1:00 pm

    Well said Neil. Your experience and feelings reflect much the same with me. I’m old, retired and stuck at home, but it’s ok. I’m grateful for having done as well so far.

    I’m sorry for all those who have been directly affected by Covid, but also for the many more who’ve had their lives put on hold. I don’t know that things will get back to normal soon though. It will be a while before the whole world is vaccinated 😉

    But I too look forward to traveling to the coast & getting reacquainted with the ocean. More importantly, to the day that I can walk around without consideration of how & who I’ll meet along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 3:27 pm

      Your last sentence really rings true. It will be so great to be able to walk around without worry, especially in crowded cities. And to eat indoors at restaurants — my wife and I have eaten outdoors at restaurants, but so far have deemed indoor dining to be too risky.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SandyL March 24, 2021 / 4:08 pm

        I haven’t eaten in a restaurant indoors or outdoors, for over a year. Only in the last 2 weeks has the city opened up patio dining. There are some foods that can only be eaten hot of the cooker, never take-out.. like English style Fish & Chips or crispy Chinese Sweet & Sour pork or prime rib roast or a medium rare steak or …these things I cannot cook well, so I’m looking for the day when I can enjoy it in a nice, safe, sit-down restaurant 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Rosaliene Bacchus March 24, 2021 / 1:25 pm

    Like you, I’m in a fortunate place. I’m looking forward to using the bus again without fear to take care of my personal affairs and needs, and going to the places I enjoy. I miss going down to Venice Beach for a stroll along the boardwalk.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. snakesinthegrass2014 March 24, 2021 / 3:36 pm

    So perfect that you used “happy days” up at the top of your post. I’m currently reading a book about Franklin Roosevelt, and I just literally read this morning how that song (“Happy Days Are Here Again”) was played at his 1932 campaign rallies. As I read it, I thought it would be apt to hear when things are ready to open up again. You’re quite prescient here, Neil. 🙂 Your desired travel destinations all sound wonderful; for us I’m hoping and mentally planning for a trip in 2022 to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Stay safe! – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

      • snakesinthegrass2014 March 24, 2021 / 7:11 pm

        Yes, but back in the nineties. I lived on the west coast for twenty years, so I’m wanting to rediscover the east again big time. I’ve got a jones to travel again.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Ann Coleman March 24, 2021 / 3:50 pm

    I’m glad you were able to get your first vaccination already, and will soon have your second. I can’t wait until we can travel more, either. I know it will be a while before international travel is safe, as many countries are just beginning to vaccinate their populations, but even domestic travel will be something to enjoy. My husband has had both of his shots, due to his age and his status as a cancer paitent (who knew we’d ever be grateful for that?) and I got my first one last week. Here’s looking forward to happier days!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. stargazer March 24, 2021 / 4:36 pm

    I hope you will get your second shot soon and will be able to get out there! I can’t wait to return to a more normal life either, which will presumably be soon here in the UK, if numbers stay low. No vaccination yet, though. Looking back at the lockdown, I do find it amazing how adaptable human beings are – it didn’t take us long to get used to this completely different way of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 6:36 pm

      You’re right — humans are adaptable. And some of that adaptive behavior I suppose will carry over into the post-pandemic period.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter March 24, 2021 / 5:23 pm

    I too followed a similar path – fear to start with, and a conviction that I would be bound to get it, followed by an easing off to a general sense of unease and frustration. We have been fairly cautious all along, not least because my 94 year old mother depends on us. But she gets her second shot next week and John and I have both had our first, so we are hopeful. I miss the spontaneity of my previous life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 6:37 pm

      You picked a very apt word: spontaneity. I hadn’t thought about that, and you’re absolutely right. Pre=pandemic, spontaneity played a big part in many people’s lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. annieasksyou March 24, 2021 / 5:32 pm

    It’s nice to contemplate a return to what used to be normal. Where is your family in New Mexico? On our one trip there 15 years ago, I loved it so much that I thought it would be a great place to live after retirement. We also love Martha’s Vineyard, where friends have a wonderful house. We always visited with three other couples, but the ravages of aging have reduced the size of the party. I’m hoping we’ll get there this year.

    Did you visit the plucky penguin in my previous post? If not, I hope you will. He’s in a place I never thought of as a vacation Mecca: Antarctica. But apparently it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 24, 2021 / 6:39 pm

      Hey there, Annie. I’ve read various books about Antarctica. The place interests me. But I wouldn’t want to visit!


  26. cincinnatibabyhead March 24, 2021 / 7:50 pm

    You will be running those Cape Cod dunes, sand cliffs and beaches, barenaked sooner than you can say Jack Robinson (Who ever the hell he Is). I would really like to see some photo evidence of that visit in the fall.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Robert Parker March 24, 2021 / 8:18 pm

    Very handsome photos, looks great. I’ve been to the shore in New England, mostly Maine, but not the Cape yet. It looks wonderful, I hope (and expect) you can do your old-guy-scampering-and-staring-out-to-sea thing this very summer. I’ve continued walking around town here, all winter, but it’ll be really nice to be done with shunning – – just say “Hi!” to people coming down the pike toward you, instead of bailing out for a snowdrift six feet away, when they’re not wearing masks, and holding my breath. And nice to see my co-workers and friends again face-to-face.
    Feeling hopeful for sure, I think the tide is turning on this Covid thing. Finally!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Laurie Graves March 24, 2021 / 9:04 pm

    Cape Cod and all the places you love will son be open to you. But what a year it has been! Being a homebody and an introvert, I have been content to stay at home. We figured out how to have friends over and social distance on the patio. But I haven’t seen my kids in over a year, and my husband and I spent the holidays alone. Can’t wait to see the buckeroos again.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. talebender March 25, 2021 / 11:56 am

    Sounds so similar to the routines we’ve followed here in Ontario. Had our first Pfizer shots the same day you got yours (my birthday…..nice gift!), and are looking forward to some travelling once the second doses are administered.
    I enjoyed the optimistic tone in this piece.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. denisebushphoto March 25, 2021 / 12:56 pm

    Great post! The pandemic has not affected us as much as many. We are semi-retired and homebodies. I can still so out with my camera and be safe and that has been a saving grace. I forgot where you were from. Being from South Jersey, Philly and Cape May are places I would visit often. I went to college in Philadelphia at Moore College of Art & Design.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 25, 2021 / 2:23 pm

      Hi. I lived in Philadelphia for years. My wife and I moved to Willow Grove 16 years ago. WG is 15 or so miles north of central Philly. Where did you live while at Moore? Does Moore have dorms?

      Liked by 1 person

  31. andrewcferguson March 25, 2021 / 1:14 pm

    That’s the spirit, Neil! I know what you mean about not wanting to complain when others have suffered worse. All the same, I think all of us have felt that some sort of pause button has been pressed on normal life. It would be good to think we’ll go back to it mindful of just how great these simple pleasures – breaking bread with friends, exploring new places and cultures, going to see a band play live – are!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. yvettecarol March 25, 2021 / 7:22 pm

    We went into lockdown twice last year for long periods, and twice this year for shorter periods. Not easy times. The isolation starts to get to you. I never realized how much I enjoyed the normal things like meeting for a coffee, or crossing town to see my eldest and grandchild, etc. Good to hear your feedback re your experience. An interesting post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 25, 2021 / 8:46 pm

      Right, many “little” things have been taken away from us during the pandemic. We’ll appreciate them a lot when life gets back to a normal state.


  33. viewfromoverthehill March 26, 2021 / 12:31 am

    I hope things go well for you and yours and for me too. I wonder if we need to help people everywhere fight this pandemic before we can really relax. I’m still concerned I guess, but what I do best is worry. You already know that. All the best….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 26, 2021 / 7:14 am

      I’m still kind of worried too. For one thing, it seems that nobody knows for how long a person remains protected after being inoculated.


  34. Elizabeth Stokkebye March 26, 2021 / 4:01 am

    Ditto. Total lockdown in March, April and May 2020 in California. Then a more open summer. But we had decided to move back to our homeland of Denmark. Fall was all right but total lockdown since Christmas in Denmark. We are slowly opening up now and won’t be totally open until end of May. It’s been hard but grateful for living by the coast and next to large forests. And not to forget: we FaceTime every weekend with our children and grandchildren.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 26, 2021 / 7:19 am

      Hello, and thanks for the input. I hope that the vaccine rollout is proceeding okay in Denmark. Speaking of Denmark: My wife and I just watched an HBO series set in your country. The Investigation. It’s about the Kim Wall case. Excellent series.


  35. Alyson March 26, 2021 / 5:19 am

    Yes it’s been a rollercoaster of a 12 months but hopefully a bit of what we were used to will return soon. It’s not going to be over until everyone is vaccinated, and that will take some time, but yes, reasons to be hopeful.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. carolinehelbig March 26, 2021 / 1:17 pm

    Nice post, Neil. Like you, my life has changed but I have no reasons to complain. My family and friends remain covid-free (touch wood), we are largely retired and we live in an area where local exploration has been possible except for the first few months of the pandemic. I regularly see my close friends outside for walks. I’m incredibly lucky! I got my first jab a few weeks ago because of my status as a designated visitor at my mom’s long term care facility. Unlike in the States, 2nd doses (for most people) in Canada will be delayed for 16 weeks in order to maximize the number of people getting at least partial immunity with one shot. I hope Dr. Fauci is right and you guys get back to Cape Cod later this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 26, 2021 / 3:07 pm

      At some point, I imagine, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will become the favored one to use, since it requires only one dose.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. JoAnn March 26, 2021 / 4:48 pm

    I’ve only been to Cape Cod once but I loved it the time I went! Very much enjoyed it. We visited Nantucket Island as well… which I have to say is just a rather weird place.

    I’ve worked outside the house all the time through COVID so it hasn’t been too much different that way except for always having to wear a mask, which is a drag but one does get used to it. The big one for me is no travel. It’s really been a drag so I’m looking forward to that coming back for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 26, 2021 / 6:03 pm

      Hi, JoAnn. When the virus is no longer much of a threat, people are going to take to the roads and to the skies like crazy. Thanks for your input. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  38. eden baylee March 26, 2021 / 9:37 pm

    Hi Neil, I’m so happy to learn you and your wife received your first doses of the vaccine. Here’s hoping you both stay healthy and happy, and life returns to some normalcy soon.
    Travel will definitely be welcome and something to look forward to. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  39. tanjabrittonwriter March 26, 2021 / 10:43 pm

    I hope all your wishes and travel plans will come true, Neil. Highest on my wish list is a trip to Germany to see my Dad.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Americaoncoffee March 26, 2021 / 11:46 pm

    Well covered and opinionated. When it comes to Covid and vaccines, we should put ourselves in the hands of God. The preoccupations of the world are quite gloomy and unusual.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 27, 2021 / 7:32 am

      Humans are a complicated species, and it’s a complicated world. Hi, AOC. Have an excellent weekend.


  41. petespringerauthor March 27, 2021 / 2:26 pm

    You and I have had similar experiences. I’m not exactly a social butterfly, but I don’t like living like a hermit either. My wife and I retired from education more than four years ago, and we’ve loved retirement until the pandemic. Like you, it feels selfish to complain when so many have paid the ultimate sacrifice. I can’t help but laugh at the fact that we’re too young for something for the first time in about 40 years. (I’m 62, and my wife is 64.) We live in California, and without warning, after things had inched down to 65 and older, they’ve decided to throw vaccinations open to everyone. I refuse to play, but it’s created this dog-eat-dog mentality. My wife finally got in and is having her first vaccination today. Actually, I think she’s getting the one that requires only one poke, so she’ll be set. Hopefully, I won’t be too far behind her.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 27, 2021 / 3:56 pm

      Greetings, Pete. Thanks for dropping by. We can only hope that a high percentage of the population gets vaccinated eventually. As if there hasn’t been enough to worry about, now it’s worrisome that so many people don’t want the vaccine or don’t have easy access to getting the vaccine. What a world.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. selizabryangmailcom March 28, 2021 / 1:50 am

    When you describe your visit to the Cape later this Fall, I’ll probably get pretty teary-eyed myself.

    We’ve been incredibly lucky here. Both working from home. NOT getting a divorce two weeks after my transition from the office to 24/7 together time with hubby. All our loved ones and friends doing well. Our Cape Cod will be getting on our bikes and riding through Griffith Park again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 28, 2021 / 10:23 am

      Hi there. Right, the virus situation has put a whole lot of marriages to the test. I wonder if the divorce rate has gone up. I hope not.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Mellow Curmudgeon March 28, 2021 / 3:31 pm

    Love the photo with distant hikers on the vegetated crest and the footprints left by intrepid hikers on the sandy slopes.  While it’s been decades since I slogged up a dune, a memory of what it feels like came back instantly when I saw the photo.  Pleasing composition too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 28, 2021 / 5:01 pm

      Greetings. That photo begged me to take it. From where I was standing it would be a 30 minute dune hike to reach the ocean.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. alhenry March 28, 2021 / 6:06 pm

    “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.”

    I know what you mean. Every mention of London, a photo the Thames flowing beneath Tower Bridge, I’m a goner. We have already negotiated a rental apartment in London for Spring 2022. Trips to Portsmouth and New York City are booked for this summer. Jacob’s Pillow will be doing some outdoor (only) dance shows, with social distancing. Waiting to hear about one of the things I love most in the U.S.–Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Summer nights on the lawn, picnic basket full of goodies and a botttle of wine, a candle flickering on our fold-up table, while stars emerge in the night sky to the incredible genius of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahmns, Handel and others. Before I met Ed, I considered moving to London. The one thing I hated to leave was Tanglewood.

    If we didn’t know it before COVID, we know it now: Nothing is guaranteed, but I hope we can resume these things we love, that feed our souls, that bring us joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 28, 2021 / 7:50 pm

      It’s funny you should mention Tanglewood. I was thinking about T yesterday. I likely was there more than once, but I remember only one visit. I think it was the summer of 1974. A double bill: Steeleye Span, and the Souther-Hillman-Furay band.

      Liked by 1 person

  45. Pam Lazos March 29, 2021 / 10:31 am

    Congrats on getting dose numero uno, Neil. I hope you sail through both shots. We’re still waiting, but soon, I hope. For some reason, PA is far behind on giving out doses because they don’t have enough. 🤔And yes, I so look forward to traveling again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 29, 2021 / 1:28 pm

      Hey there, Pam. The people who run the PA Dept of Health have been inept in handling the vaccine rollout. Confusing, illogical procedures. Maybe they’ll get better organized soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pam Lazos March 30, 2021 / 6:44 pm

        Gosh I hope so. PA was like 46 out of 50 stares in rollout! Crazy!

        Liked by 1 person

  46. Darts and Letters March 30, 2021 / 5:02 pm

    I did enjoy your thoughts here when you first shared and it has been interesting reading the thoughtful remarks by your other readers, in the comments above. I’ve never been to Cape Cod let alone Massachusetts. I’m really looking forward to an extended tour of the East coast in the foreseeable future, visiting a lot of the main cities. Obviously that will be a little bit of time off, I want to visit when things are much more normal. I’m teaching my youngest the U.S. capitals and geography around the country and so that distinctive, unusual hook on the map of Cape Cod has been an obvious, easy reference which has guided us. It’s delightful hearing more about the place through your eyes

    As for whether I’m hopeful for the future? I dunno. I feel quite optimistic about the uptick in vaccinations. I’m getting more and more anxious to get one myself, obviously. I’m pretty concerned about the potential for a fourth surge in the U.S., particularly based on some of the things we’re seeing happen in Europe, right now. The past several weeks, some of our enthusiasm about more “normal life” has been tempered since our two boys will be unvaccinated for some time (8 and almost 14) we had started giving more thought as to ramifications around that. It might put us in bit of a bind and mean we can’t travel cross-country as soon as I imagined, to see family. We’re still parsing what it all means. But lordy, think of where we were last year! There’s a f**ng vaccine!!!! honestly, I was very optimistic about the work toward the vaccine but I never would’ve dreamed we’d get there so fast. sorry for the long comment

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 30, 2021 / 6:19 pm

      Jason, your comments are better than my essay! Thanks very much for writing them. You’re right, it’s amazing that vaccines were developed so quickly. They better work! My wife and I will get our second doses of Moderna on April 16. Two weeks after that we’ll be at full immunity. I can’t wait.


  47. johnlmalone March 30, 2021 / 9:07 pm

    love your homage to Cape Cod, Neil: we all have our special places: mine is on the coast too, the South Coast near Victor, with good surf 🙂 our State has been free of community infections for many months and so there is much free movement though we are still encouraged to practice social distancing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 30, 2021 / 10:26 pm

      Hey there, John. I wish I could say the same about my state. There’s still many cases of covid here. Eventually the vaccines will put an end (or almost an end) to that.

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Jeff the Chef April 1, 2021 / 7:35 am

    I’ve been to Cape May! It’s been a long time, though. I appreciate your pandemic woes, as well as your acknowledement that some people have had it much worse. I’m in the same boat. I’ve been able to work from home and it turns out that I like that so much that I wish I could get away with never going back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 1, 2021 / 9:15 am

      Working from home will become a normal thing, I’m sure. Which means that incredible amounts of existing office space won’t be needed in the future. Skyscrapers in cities, for example, will be half vacant or more. The economic consequences of all of this will be terrible.


  49. ckennedy April 4, 2021 / 8:12 pm

    So glad that you and your wife were able to get the first dose of the vaccine! Nate will get his first dose on Friday. Alex and I will have to wait to be eligible until April 15th, but we’re happy that they’re opening up eligibility in our state. Alex was accepted into a university for next year, and he wants to live on campus, so I really want him signed up for that vaccine ASAP. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 4, 2021 / 10:46 pm

      I think I read that Rutgers University will require its students to be vaccinated as of the fall semester. The more institutions and businesses that take this kind of approach, the better. Thanks for your input. Enjoy the week!

      Liked by 1 person

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