Journey Into the Unknown: Coping with the Next Phase of the Pandemic
The Gardens at Versailles
What’s the next phase? It’s waiting to get vaccinated. I started my series on Scotland when it seemed so far away. More importantly it was the unknown. Now, here in Maryland, we know it will be a long time before we get vaccinated. Three out of the five members of my family have letters saying they qualify to get vaccinated (unfortunately not the highest risk members, me and Scarlett), but they can’t get an appointment. I genuinely thought we might be able to go to Disney in May because we’d have our vaccines here in MD, but was concerned FL would be the problem. Turns out it’s sort of the opposite. Looking at you Hogan. Sure, FL has lines around the block of little old ladies in their lawn chairs, but at least they have a chance. Here you can’t even get on a waiting list. Ok let’s move on from this bitterness.
Today was National Travel Agent Day. Remember my TA Christina? The bringer of hope? She posted on facebook an advertisement of her services. I responded with “you know I’ll call you as soon as we know.” Then the reality set in. We kinda do know. Of all the options available to the party going with me to Disney “this year” I have few options. Spring Break is laughable and June is a pipe dream. Even if all of us are vaccinated, and I hold out hope that will be the case, Disney won’t be back to normal. Disney is cutting services “permanently” left and right. Until they start turning a profit, Disney World just won’t be the same. So I text Christina and I say I am about to email you. Then I text and say actually I need to call. 30 mins later I have something that resembles a plan. Much like I want to be the bringer of joy at Christmas, planning trips is even worse.
My husband’s rule about Disney is we can only go if I don’t talk about it incessantly. At this point he knows how much work goes into it. You saw my spreadsheet on Scotland, well that’s nothing compared to Disney. He knows I ask a million questions because I want everyone to have fun. I do the work now so the vacation goes smoothly. We weren’t prepared when we went on our last cruise. It had been years and we thought we had it down and the first two days were miserable. My outlet for this frustration was to send Christina and the cruise company a 5 page letter on why it was disappointing. But more research could have solved many of the problems.
I promise this isn’t about Disney so much as it is about learning to live with disappointment. We’ve developed a system with Disney to cut back on potential disappointments. Everyone picks three things they must do and as long as we accomplish that no one is sad about missing other stuff. It’s a great rule. Even Christina approves. Pandemic life isn’t much different. When we asked for permission for Scarlett to play soccer, her doctor said, it’s like everything else. When you get there and look around and see that the other team is following the rules. They’re not hugging, coughing or other bad covid activities. Her teammates were amazing about not coming to practice if there was even a hint they were sick or had traveled. She said it’s the same with stores, restaurants or anything else you do right now.
That was in August. Ugh, it’s no different in January. Too many people in line at UPS, well then I have to come back tomorrow. Someone is touching all the apples, get pears. Too many people at a restaurant, get takeout. We know more than we used to. People don’t get covid at Target. Air conditioning and surfaces aren’t how you get covid either. The mall is actually one of the safer places I’ve been, as it’s huge and no one is there. I went into Nordstrom to make returns and we decided to pop our heads into the actual mall and we saw about 10 people who weren’t employees of some store. We got a pretzel to go. It was totally fine. But half the time and half the places you go aren’t fine and you just have to deal with disappointment. We have a few people in our bubble and sometimes they see family members we don’t know and we have to wait two weeks to see them. That’s pandemic life.
I feel like we should have to have the Disney rule. This month we each get to pick one thing we really want to do and the rest is just a bonus. In the meantime I am going to throw out weeks, months really, of work on my 13 tab spreadsheet for 6 cancelled Disney trips and start over. I was more realistic on the Paris front, but is it time yet to book? If I don’t I could miss out on the ideal week. It would be plain reckless to book a flight, right? There are no answers, just questions. Meanwhile I will continue to be angry with Governor Hogan for screwing up vaccination distribution and look to Christina for hope.
Disney's Animal Kingdom