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  • Ed Elam

Now What?

After weathering the pandemic shut down and now seeing the people slowly resume some of the activities they have missed, I am still scratching my head and wondering now what…. on so many levels. From going to a restaurant, to shopping at the grocery store, to going to a movie, from entertaining to traveling...now what?


This week’s grocery shopping was interesting. Many establishments are no longer requiring a face mask yet encourage those who have not been vaccinated to consider wearing one. I chose to get the vaccination and I still choose to wear a mask when around large crowds. I saw many people wearing masks and it made me wonder why they are still wearing a mask. Curiosity got the better of me and I asked a woman why she was wearing a mask and if she was vaccinated. We had a pleasant conversation and I learned that she had not been vaccinated but would soon be required to be due to her employer. She shared with me that she was still unsure about the vaccine but was feeling more comfortable with more data and personal stories/observations of friends, family, and co-workers. I was pleased and comfortable with our discussion and truly respect her position and appreciate her wearing a mask for the greater good.


We were invited to a restaurant to celebrate a friend's retirement and it was a wonderful evening. I must admit I was apprehensive to be in such busy and close quarters with other diners and workers and no one having a mask. I am not all-in to resume dining to pre-pandemic ease. I will continue to look for outdoor dining options, slower days, or times to dine at less congested establishments and will gladly abide by establishment guidelines.


With streaming, I do not have a huge desire to return to the movie theater. There are so many options to view at home and with summer upon us, it is easy to forgo all viewing to be on the patio, in the garden, or enjoying the great outdoors. Being outdoors and active is so invigorating for the body and soul.


Would I like to travel? Heck yes but I am going to remain pretty close to home for the foreseeable future. With the huge increase in travel there are delays, lots of extremely anxious people, shortages in accommodations and rental cars, over-crowded everything and tensions are high. I just do not see enduring these things for the sake of travel. I expect a level of calm to return once people get this initial “trip” out of their system – I hope. I know that businesses are struggling and really need the tourism dollar and I hope that the crush of travelers does not negatively impact the overworked employees and communities.


All in all, I am optimistic and hopeful about getting back to a more normal routine but for me, it will be a modified approach to life. My wish is that everyone takes personal inventory, decides if they NEED everything they used to do or whether a simpler more gracious approach to life is a better fit. Everyone please take a deep breath and remember everyone is trying to make the comeback so be patient, be kind, be generous and reflect on how your grandparents or great grandparents would want you to treat others!


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