Getting out of the pandemic holding pattern

posted by Jeff | Sunday, June 20, 2021, 4:28 PM | comments: 0

If there was anything I could say about the length of the pandemic, which frankly has different levels of "over" based on the vaccination of you and your family members and friends, it's that it was long enough that I learned what it really meant to have to wait for things. There were so many things that, as a practical matter of mitigating the spread of the disease, you had to put off. You did find the doable things pretty quickly, most of which involved outdoor activities, including, mercifully, trips to the beach. But longer travel was out. The uncertainty of it all also had people putting off big purchases or spending on leisure activities and eating out.

Now that things have gotten better with widespread, if incomplete, vaccination, some have already arrived at the point of what I call "rage spending," and all of that pent up demand is pushing the supply and demand curve into some interesting inflation patterns. Economists suspect it will be temporary, but we'll see. The travel industry is still not quite there, but with Europe opening back up and the cruise lines coming back in the fall, I'm sure people will be anxious to move about the world. I'd settle for seeing the Bahamas right now (or as I like to call it, East Florida).

Psychologically, I'm still stuck in this mode of waiting for something. I'm super focused on saving for retirement, I don't have anything I really want to rage spend on, I feel like I don't remember what I did in my spare time and I'm definitely waiting for the travel situation to improve. I guess I'm also waiting for Simon to be vaccine eligible. He's likely low-risk for his age, but the bouts of pneumonia, apparent allergies and such, I'm OK with being cautious. For all that longing for normalcy though, I'm still waiting for something even though things are kind of getting normal.

There are two routine things we did that aren't quite back yet: theatrical shows and cruising. We didn't get to the end of the 2019-20 Broadway season, and now I think it's the 2021-2022 season that goes deep into next year, but dammit, we will see The Prom this year. Cruise lines are all over the place, but if the protocols for Royal Caribbean are any indication (additional charges for the unvaccinated, separate dining times), I can only assume that it won't be "fun" again until more of the world is vaccinated.

I'd like to find ways to help others more, too, and I think a lot about that. As sensitive as I am to understand the value of self-care, life has certainly demonstrated that we have to play a role in moving the world forward. I'm not entirely sure what that looks like, but we'll figure something out.


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