This week I made a quick trip – about 26 hours from departure to return – to celebrate a special day at a favorite location with my fella. It was a step back onto the stage of life after an extended intermission. It was plan-pack-drive instead of lights-camera-action as play resumed. The normal we knew may never return. Some of the changes might be here to stay, and that’s okay with me. For instance:
(1) Contact-less welcomes to overnight lodging with reservations made and paid online.
(2) Secure key locations with text – email directions, like a kid’s treasure hunt. Fun as long as it doesn’t turn into mission impossible.
(3) Crowd monitoring. Throngs of folks make me cringe normally, so reducing capacity is a relief. (4) Removal of seating creates spacious lively atmospheres. (5) No more condiment bottles on tables. Servings arrive in individual containers. (6) Pre-order, pre-pay with curbside pickup. I haven’t tried it, but it works for lots of folks. Reduces in-person dining without decreasing sales.
(7) Friendly smiles/nods from strangers entering/exiting doors, holding them for others.
(8) Increased opportunities for outdoor activities. (9) That pump bottle of sanitizer in my cup holder will stay put. I bet they stay put on business counters, too. (10) Spare masks are in the glovebox and purse. I am vaccinated but will honor mask requests wherever I am.
(11) Gratitude for services and activities that have resumed makes for kinder interactions. I hope that lasts.
(12) This one might be more my imagination than accurate observation, but there seems to be more eye-contact these days, with merchants and with fellow customers.
Though I understand #4 above – removal of seating – I sure miss the reading nooks in bookstores. It reduces multiple sources of potentially contaminated contacts. I get that but I miss them nonetheless. I will adjust to that one eventually. Life is good.
Published 4/2021 in Close to Home column in hometown newspaper The Prospect-News