Most of us probably have the same assortment of friends and contacts on social media: Those who want to get back to the way things were as of yesterday, those who believe any opening without a treatment or vaccine is crazy, and those of us in between who believe in remaining vigilant, but acknowledging we can’t stay home forever.
We all have our reasons to believe what we do, and we all have the right to those beliefs. That right is what makes this nation great, so long as we don’t impose our beliefs on others.
We’re I to classify myself, I’d fall in the “can’t stay home forever” group. For one thing, I need to earn money. Without it, I’ll be on the streets, and I’m not the only one in that boat. The economy must function, and I’m simply not someone who believes business failures are just part of the price for this situation.
For another, this isn’t going away. Perhaps it will spread less in summer, but we don’t know. Maybe there will be a treatment, the folks at Oxford seem to have hit on something, but who knows? A vaccine? A year if we are lucky. We can’t sit and wait for a year or two. So, for me, that means it’s time to start getting back out in the world.
When we moved out of home in February, we promised ourselves a weekend away. It would be the first time we’d been away on our own in a couple of years. Obviously, the lockdowns changed those plans, but with businesses starting to reopen, we seized on the opportunity to escape to the water.
Risky? Some may see it that way. Certainly, even after months of living with COVID-19, we seem to know very little about it. Thus, we took plenty of precautions. We wore masks. We used sanitizer. We kept to ourselves and maintained distance.
We also ate out, stayed in a hotel, and took a boat cruise.
All of this was in Maryland, which was among the more cautious states to reopen its economy (here in West Virginia, we have been at this stage for several weeks).
Everywhere we went, employees took their own precautions while showing patience and understanding with the new way of doing things to comply with state regulations, and everyone seemed happy to be able to get back to work, help the businesses they worked for and to interact with the people again.
A couple of places even had live music, and it felt good to hear musicians, who have been hit so hard by these circumstances, being able to get back to work.
From our point of view, the new rules presented their challenges. Certainly, there were longer lines, capacity issues, typical human-based frustrations, and some places remain closed. But, in the end, the weather was beautiful, we had some delicious food and drinks, amazing experiences and plenty of relaxation time.
I don’t think our decision was particularly cavalier, and I say that knowing there are people in my family who fall into the at-risk categories. In the end, each of us is going to have to weigh that decision for ourselves, based on what we are capable of doing and what we believe is necessary for our families.
For my family, both close and extended, we were comfortable with getting back out there. Responsibly.