The light at the end of the tunnel is BRIGHT. After a year of hesitation, we’ve finally gotten to the stage where vaccines aren’t just a fantasy and it’s nearly impossible to believe. But despite vaccinations providing the beacon of hope we so desperately need, the road to “normal” still seems… long. And this has many of us wondering… are we there yet? The short answer is, no. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start looking forward to life post-pandemic.
I’m not in an essential role, and I don’t anticipate getting a COVID-19 vaccine anytime soon. I also am not in an age group or population that puts me at high risk should I contract the virus, either. However. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will absolutely be getting vaccinated. Anti-vaxxers–you can exit here.
Everyone else: be sure to check your local state guidelines for eligibility and resources! Quick links:
Moving to Chicago during the pandemic was a… weird decision. You can read about my initial thoughts here. We’ve had a peek into the city when she’s quiet. That basically never happens in a major metropolitan. So I’m happy we came when we did. I’ve developed a relationship with our silent streets that feels like a special moment only my neighbors and I get to share. We *know* what our city looks like when she’s not all gussied up. When her hair is down and her make-up is off, and she is still, in fact, beautiful.
But as many of us have found a way to adapt to this shift in pace, we’re changing gears with the assumption that we will (eventually) move back to a more typical speed. And maybe even like the metaphorical finish line is in sight. Yet, we may still be looking at another summer of social distancing and close monitoring for COVID spikes.
It can be hard to stay positive right now. Being *so close* [to spring, vaccinations, traveling, a sense of normalcy] and yet so far away is temptation at its finest. And for some reason, the song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels band vividly comes to mind.
I envision Johnny rosining up his bow while wearing medical scrubs. In preparation for a round against the Devil in the house of the rising sun (a.k.a, the ICU of any medical center). I’m not particularly religious so don’t worry, I won’t get all gospel-y. BUT in this case, “the Devil” happens to be this wily virus that likes to mutate and tempt us into thinking that our risk is non-existent.
I’ve slowly started re-entering the world, dining out with my bubble of friends, donning my mask, and investing in bougie hand sanitizer. Of my bubble, I’m actually the only person who remains to receive the vaccination. And while I eagerly await the ability to visit my family and travel without fear, I find that now, more than ever, I’m just as vigilant as I was while at say, the grocery store while at the height of the pandemic’s spikes.
There’s a case to be made for staying completely isolated. There’s also a case to be made for supporting the industries that were adversely affected by the shutdowns. There is not, however, a case to be made for getting reckless.
Hang in there, friends. We’re so close! And we’re still “in this together”. Mask up. Make good decisions, and remember… we’re not there yet, BUT I promise you’ll know when we are!
You don't have to settle. I've stretched the boundaries of expectation my whole life and I don't intend to stop now. Life is meant for the senses to thrive, and I'm going to nourish them all. The best part? I'm sharing it all here so when you're ready, you can dive in, too. So what are you waiting for? Let's do all the things.
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