At LEAST until the morning light. Possibly longer.
Things are happening, apparently. BC has completely ramped up the vaccination rollout much faster than we thought possible – as of this typing, anyone in BC born in 2009 or earlier (ages 12 and up) is eligible for their first dose of the vaccine. Yesterday, they (they being the shadowy government organizations that decide which microchips will be activated first) announced that second doses are starting pretty much immediately, with your second dose invitations arriving 8 weeks after your first dose. My 8 weeks is up on June 2nd, so while I’m not holding out for that exact flavour of hero, it’s looking like both Ed and I will be double-dosed by the end of June. That is much faster than the original plan, which had us getting our first shots by September, or the updated plan, which said our second shots would be minimum 16 weeks after our first. This is good.
Ed and I have had multiple discussions about what we’re comfortable with when it comes to societal exposure. We’re in agreement that we’ll still be wearing masks indoors in public places, because I don’t think my anxiety could handle a naked face in public just yet. I’m very, VERY excited at the thought of the border opening up again, because I desperately miss our US friends and also Trader Joe’s and my package depot. I haven’t started making lists yet, but I’m basically seconds away from mapping out our Grand Return to Normalcy (which, in our world, is basically a large bag of frozen corn and tater tots).
And yet, for all my eagerness for March 2020 to be over already, there’s one notable area I refuse to think about just yet:
Just as I was willing to be one of the last people vaccinated if it meant that frontline workers, teachers, and retail folk could go first (obviously didn’t happen), I am willing to wait for the world to *truly* go back to “normal” before I start thinking about international travel.
I don’t want part of the experience – social distancing, limited entry, hand washing, mandatory pants in public, restrictions – I want it all. I want to be squished into an elevator with 50 other tourists to get to the top of a tower. I want to hop aboard a bus with strangers and listen to a cheesy recorded tour set to upbeat, royalty-free music. I want to stand in line for an expensive hot dog and not be able to put my preferred relish on it but will make do with the same condiments half the city has used before me. I want to sample foods and drinks and take transit in places I have no business being. I want to experience every single part of “travel”, and I’m willing to wait for it: we’ve all spent so long compromising on our entire existence for the last 15 months that when we’re free, I want to truly be free.
I’ll wear a mask in public for as long as I need to and wear masks indoors if the air I’m breathing isn’t my own, but I’m not going to be hopping on a plane the day after I get my second shot. Hell, my anxiety ramps up if I’m away from my own house for longer than a few hours, so I’ve got a touch of agoraphobia to work through before I get to the point of needing my emergency travel underwear stash .. but it almost feels like it’s time to start hoping again. That would be nice. I’ve been burned out on nothing for so long that I forget what it feels like to have something to look forward to that isn’t sleep because there’s nothing else to do.
For the first time in a long, long while, I’m cautiously optimistic – cautimistic – that there’s something more than an endless sea of nothing just over that horizon.