This Coronavirus Diary must end sometime. That time is now, with the State of California, where I live, officially “re-opened” 15 months after the shelter-in-place-order.
It is a moment of closure in my experience of the Coronavirus Crisis. That’s not to say the pandemic is over. We all experience this situation differently. Those who suffer from sickness or lost loved ones may never feel the pandemic ending.
For me, even after a gradual return to my old life in the two months since my second vaccination, the state re-opening is a watershed. The re-opening means communal recognition that the health threat has passed, at least for those vaxed, which is an even greater uplift than the relief and joy of feeling safe as an individual.
So, to close this diary, here are highlights of the weeks between my individual vaccination and our communal exultation.
Those are just the photo highlights. Many one-on-one, face-to-face conversations with other dear friends and family helped me emerge from the pandemic. After isolation, nothing beats breaking bread with people I’ve loved for decades.
Back in the Bay, early June, I miraculously had an in-person business meeting. I wore big boy pants for the first time in 15 months. Now, the lockdowns and quarantines and even most of the mask mandates are officially behind us. Barring the unforeseen, the last steps in my journey through the Coronavirus crisis will be into a pick-up basketball gym in these big boy shoes purchased the day before the courts closed.
Playing basketball with friends and strangers will be the ultimate communal confirmation that the pandemic has passed. With my feet aching, body bruised and maybe bloodied, barely able to breathe, I’ll know that, at least in my world, we’ve returned to full health.
(To read the Coronavirus Diary all the way through, start here.)