Staying safe, social distancing, wearing a mask, and acutely aware of my surroundings has led to unquestioned boredom for the last 11 months. We have tried to be as diligent as possible, avoiding group functions, dining in restaurants, shopping for food only when necessary.
Just having received my second Covid vaccine does not mean everything is automatically better. But I think we are headed slowly in the right direction. Could that direction be Scottsdale in March, Washington, DC in April, and Europe in May? Maybe.
In the meantime, I have broken up my “Ground Hog Day” routine by working two weeks on the local University campus. But there are very few patients here, even fewer people on campus as well. But my daily lunch time walks are quite enjoyable. There is something invigorating abut a university campus, normally filled with hopes and dreams of young, eager students. Just not yet, maybe in the Fall semester? I heard only 3500 students and staff on campus this spring.
With so much rain here, and snow up in the mountains, I was thinking of reviving my skiing. It is actually a bad idea at my age. Maybe I will just drive up there, have a look around, eat some lunch, and get back home before dark, and without broken bones.
Something new: The Covid variants are creating many questions, the answers may only come with time.
Some countries are opening up. But many, I have no desire to visit. One such place is Iceland, no great desire to visit. Another is Romania, where I last visited in 2019. Poland allows visitors who have been vaccinated! I am waiting on Croatia and Greece (taking the Llama’s advice).
From Afar: Total international air arrivals into the United States dropped by more than half in 2020, compared to 2019, according to a year in review report released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on February 4. CBP processed just over 62.1 million travelers at the country’s airports in 2020, or 54.2 percent fewer than one year prior. The agency processed nearly 238 million travelers at all ports of entry into the United States in 2020, representing a 42 percent drop compared to 2019. Those declines come after a decade during which international travel increased more than 16 percent, according to CBP. And they’re unsurprising given that not only have international travelers had the concerns of a pandemic to contend with, but since mid-March 2020 the U.S. also has been off limits to foreign nationals traveling from the European Schengen area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, China, and Iran. (In January 2021, the COVID-19 ban on travel to the U.S. was expanded by the Biden administration to include South Africa as well.)
I am packed and ready to go. Who is with me??