The solstice on Saturday means we're entering into the second half of 2020. A year in which we've lost so much, felt so much pain, seen so much turmoil. It's also the official start to summer.
Summer will be different this year, and I have to admit I'm entering the season with a sense of sadness and trepidation. In the near future there won't be the same late nights out with friends, long meals on restaurant patios, and pot luck backyard barbecues that usually accompany the warm weather. It also increasingly feels as if the United States has given up on COVID, and that we're becoming inured to the virus's very real continued spread and death toll in many parts of the country.
When winter hibernation turned into a spring of isolating at home, it felt okay. Cozy, even. There was a solidarity in the effort - we were all alone together. Now, as more parts of the country and New York state continue to re-open, and as NYC stirs and crowds, isolation feels more isolating. I'm starting to understand what's changed, the things I've lost. The casual closeness that used to go unnoticed, the ability to make spur of the moment plans, easy transportation across the boroughs on the subways, and comfort and confidence when stepping outside my home. No more of these things, not for some time, not for me. But sometimes it feels like people are forgetting, or pretending as if the virus has gone away.
I worry about the season ahead, about whether people will be able to remain diligent about wearing masks, social distancing, and washing their hands. I worry that the end of the summer brings the next flu season, and whether that will mean a resurgence of the coronavirus as well. I worry about the parts of the world and the country in which cases are still rising, and what that will mean as travel begins to flow again between regions.
There's just no way to know for sure what summer, or the rest of the year for that matter, will look like. It feels incomplete to leave my thoughts here, without a hopeful note. I looked for one, and right now the best I can do is to try to take it one day at a time.