With more and more people receiving the vaccine, we are about to find out just how much we’ve changed. What do you want to keep about your pandemic life? 

Fully Vaccinated!

Today’s the day! I’m fully vaccinated! It’s my favorite time of year, and Ollie is up to full strength. Oh happy days!  I keep breaking out into grins.

I have plans

I’ve gone out two nights in a row, I saw one of my favorite colleagues and friends yesterday, and I’m going out tonight, too. Then I’m going to see my family. I have appointments, too.

Honestly, I have more booked in the next week than I have this entire year. The woman who cleans my apartment, who’s already vaccinated, came back after fourteen months. You should see this place gleam.

I’m super excited, especially to see my nephew and nieces (Zoom just doesn’t really work with them), but I fully expect to be exhausted after this huge burst of activity. I may need another fourteen months to recover.

While not entirely unexpected, my rash of plans does have me rather surprised. Maybe I haven’t turned into a complete and utter hermit, but was just playing one for the pandemic.

This isn’t over

Of course, the pandemic isn’t over, certainly not globally. The dire news out of India is absolutely heartbreaking—and terrifying with the variants developing there.

If you haven’t given yet and are able to do so, I donated to GiveIndia to support oxygen resources, but there are other campaigns you can support through GiveIndia.

And, then there’s this story from the New York Times that says that we didn’t vaccinate enough people in time to reach herd immunity in the US. More likely than not, we will live with a risk of Covid for years to come.

Local improvement

Here, though, at least, it is getting better. In Middlesex county, where I live, over half of the population has had at least one dose of the vaccine and over a third are fully vaccinated. While the variants are forming faster than we can vaccinate, the immunity from the vaccines appears to be effective against at least some of them. After months of very high risk, things are starting to decline. Just walking around outside, I can see people starting to relax just a bit. I’m relaxing, just a bit.

Predictions from back in 2020

When all this started, I was talking with a couple of coworkers in the UK over the Zoom about what would change as a result of all of this. One of them replied, “Absolutely nothing. We’re going to wind up back where we were in a matter of weeks.”

Now, like many of us, he assumed that lockdowns would end after a few weeks at most, and by this point in 2021, we’d all be at the pub laughing about our weird Covid ways.

Me, though, my money was on this leaving a mark, no matter how long or short it lasted. I thought that if enough people worked from home for long enough, that would only hasten the end of office culture as we knew it. I wondered about school, particularly higher education. And, over the last year, as you know if you read this blog, I’ve thought about this a great deal.

We’re about to find out what happens post-vaccine

We’re about to find out what happens in the AfterTimes. Will millions of us remain remote workers, and what does that mean for businesses built around providing services to commuters? Locally, in the last month or so, even more businesses have left. While not all of them cite Covid as the reason for closing up shot (the owner of the cool vintage place is moving online and spending more time with the grandchildren), but there are tons of open storefronts, and I wonder what’s going to fill them.

How much have we changed?

How much have we changed as a culture? How much have you changed?

I’m curious. What do you want to take with you, if anything, from this strange time? Let me know in the comments.