Is it over yet?  Where did I put my suitcase?  Let’s Just Go!

We have RESERVATIONS!!!  That’s right!  Reservations to take the RV out in June and July.  We are probably more excited than usual because we’ve been shuttered in the house for so long but regardless, we have reservations and we are going!  At last! Plans to make, bags to pack, and blogs to write!

But wait a second!  Is it safe to emerge from our safe havens or not?  It’s unclear which crazed voices we should believe with mixed messages swirling around us.  

Photo: Kelly Sikkema/Uplash

While we’ve sadly watched the confirmed cases and death tolls rise in places like New York and in our beloved Italy, here in my home town, this period has had the familiar feeling of preparing for a hurricane that never materializes.  You know.  The news channels are talking none stop, prescribing their best advice of “stay home” and the grocery stores have been ravaged like no hurricane we’ve EVER had!  However familiar the feeling, it is now enhanced by the devastating loss of jobs, the awkward dance in the aisles of the few stores that are open for essentials, and the actual shock of someone we know who has had some they know get sick and pass away.  It is all just unbelievable.  

As a natural introvert, I feel like I’ve been in training for this quarantine experience all my life!  However, even an introvert wants to get out and go somewhere once in a while!

I can only laugh at myself when I think that in only 7 weeks, I have happily gotten used to living in my tee shirts and leggings everyday. Going back to the bra required dress code is going to be a huge adjustment, for sure.  I love working from home and not having to schlep to the office.  When summoned, the drive will, no doubt at first, feel more of an odyssey because I’ve gotten out of the habit of driving 45 minutes one way, on a good day.  I love having three hot meals at home every day but I am conflicted with the constant flow of dishes in and out the dishwasher.  Only a few weeks ago, I used to HATE going grocery shopping but over the last 7 weeks, I have found myself almost giddy about going!  For me, it’s all about the list making and the hunt for the illusive toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins.  With face masks and gloves, the whole shopping experience feels like some strange scavenger hunt.

Really? Is THIS the new normal and how long will it last? Will we ever go back to what was once our normal?  This whole period in quarantine has obviously become a love/hate situation for me.  After the constant shift from one “new normal” to the next since all this started, I don’t know what to think about this next stage of “reopening.”

Photo: Claire Mueller/Uplash

As we step out, what will the world feel like?  How will we interact with our friends, coworkers, and strangers in line at Target?  Somehow, I envision us acting like kids that have just been let out of school for the summer.  In fact, living close to the beaches, we are already seeing this.  Yes, the main tourist beaches remain closed here but our Governor can’t have patrols on all the beaches.  We recently walked along a riverside beach, bobbing and weaving to stay clear of others.  There were people EVERYWHERE!  This is all so bizarre! We haven’t been released back into the wild officially and we went to a spot we felt would be pretty remote.  Wrong!  If anything, it proves how much we all WANT OUT even if it might not be entirely safe to do so. 

As those of us who yearn to pack a suitcase start to emerge, there are even more questions.  How will the airlines keep us from violating each other’s personal space?  I can’t imagine having personal space on a commercial jet.  Being packed in like a sardine in a flying tin can is all I know!  We have plans to fly in September so stay tuned.

Photo: Kelly Sikkema/Uplash

 In our exuberance to be free, will we remember to respect each other’s space?  Somehow, I’m not that confident as I watched a Mother and her son head right for me and pass within inches in the grocery store recently, all while not a mask and consideration for my space in sight!  It seems that there are a lot of folks out there with a different attitude than mine.  Being a chronically ill patient, I am very careful when we go out and while I have always been uber sensitive around others who are coughing and sneezing, I am supremely cautious now as I step out and watchful for how others respect (or don’t) my personal space.     

Regardless, the world is starting to open up.  Pants with waistbands and bras will be donned along with the new addition of masks.  In the summer heat, that should be loads of fun! 

For now, The Travel Addicts of Let’s Just Go plan to head for the woods first and continue to self isolate but this time, enjoying the out of doors in our RV.  But then, there are the Murder Hornets to consider!  Oh Good grief!

Be safe out there and take care of yourself and others!