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Pandemic Diary XVI

Today is the one-year anniversary of my first Pandemic Diary posting. I was worried about my upcoming kitchen remodel, the bridge club, the local restaurants I hoped to continue to support, and my friends and family in New York and Seattle. And I wondered:

Who knows, when this is over, if the world will ever be the same.

Well in some ways, the world seems the same as ever. But it also feels like everything has changed.

Here on the shores of Lake Chapala, there were closures, lockdowns, and lots of cancellations over the last year. Very few snowbirds showed up this winter. There were intermittent roadblocks on the highway from Guadalajara to prevent an influx of weekenders. There's been no theatre, no dances, no parades, no festivals. Much of what makes life wonderful here in Mexico didn't happen.

But there were ongoing attempts at normalcy. We are lucky to have a climate where outdoor dining is possible, and while some restaurants didn't survive, most did and seem to have diners as usual. Casa Domenech, the restaurant down the block from me that has live music, went to livestreamed concerts for a while, but since they reopened, they continue to have performers serenading their dinner guests. Open Circle, the Sunday-morning lecture series at the Lake Chapala Society, has resumed with widely spaced chairs.

So many of the changes to our way of life seem so ingrained already that they no longer feel unusual. Wearing a mask, keeping a distance, limiting the number of people to enter a shop, elbow bumps instead of handshakes -- I wonder if some of these things will be common practice even after the pandemic is over. Doesn't it make sense to take precautions against disease transmission even when the disease isn't as dangerous as Covid? 

A year ago I imagined that people I know and love would die from Covid. But fortunately, no one close to me has died. I did lose a former colleague at Eureka College and a second cousin whom I'd never met. I should knock on wood, though, because this thing is far from over. But I only know a few people who have even gotten sick, and many have already been vaccinated. I feel like I have learned how to stay well, and even though I've taken a risk here and there, I haven't been sick in over a year.

Word is that the Sinovac vaccine will be available for those of us 60 and over this week. Sadly, there will be no appointments. We'll just have to go and stand in line.

I am eager to travel again. I postponed my Middle East trip (which I'd previously postponed from last fall to this fall) until February and March of 2022. For the rest of this year, I'm looking forward to having a few excursions to other parts of Mexico.  In May, which is the hot, dry month before the rainy season starts, I want to go to Mazamitla, a town about two hours away up in the mountains, where it is not so hot, and just enjoy a quiet getaway there. And later in the year, opportunities abound for other adventures.

I am looking forward to playing bridge in the Puerto Vallarta Sectional in early November, as well as getting back to the club for face-to-face bridge again. And of course, Thanksgiving with my family will happen this year, I hope!

Will things be normal? It's hard to know. A year ago, who could have predicted how things would be today?

Life might get back to normal, but the definition of "normal" may have changed forever.

For the pelicans on Lake Chapala, things are still normal

1 comment:

  1. One good thing happened in 2020. The malignant mango was fired.


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