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Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021

We’re in Big Bear this weekend! To those who say I’m always going somewhere, let me just point out that this is my fourth weekend getaway in eleven months. Three to the mountains, one to the beach, and all in the great state of California.

The pandemic is still on, of course, and to prove it, a trip I had planned for May 16 was just canceled. A friend and I were signed up to go on a Colorado excursion with Road Scholar. Back in September this trip seemed feasible, but last week they called to say it’s canceled because not enough people have had their shots and not enough signed up. They can refund our deposit or apply it to another trip. They plan to start up tours again in the fall.

Vaccinations are going slowly, it’s true. My second shot has been delayed from March 2 to March 11. They emailed me that there’s a shortage. But just yesterday a third vaccine, Johnson & Johnson’s, received emergency approval from the FDA. This is the one that only requires one shot. And with the winter weather is easing up, I am very optimistic that we will be flooded with vaccinations by April.

With that hope, and the feeling that restrictions are loosening up already, I’m beginning to make plans for this year. In two weeks I’m going to visit a friend at Freedom Village—in person! In two months, another friend and I are going to replace that canceled trip with a road trip of our own, possibly up route 395 to see the Bristlecone Pines, Devil’s Postpile, and Obsidian Mountain. This summer I want to see all my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren again (including two born this year that I’ve never seen). And I’m boldly planning a cruise on the Rhine for December. That’s it for now and I dare to hope it will all be possible.

In the meantime, Big Bear seems to hardly know there’s a pandemic. The ski slopes are full, albeit at limited capacity, and the traffic in town is heavy. Most restaurants are only open for takeout, but a few have limited indoor dining. Masks are required in any indoor space and in the ski areas, which are quite busy. Check-in is contact-free this year, with a Big Bear app that records your reservation and lift ticket. These are scanned one time upon entry to the ski area rather then every time you ride the lifts.

While my son enjoys snowboarding with friends, I’m just relaxing by the fire in the cozy townhouse we rented through Airbnb a few weeks ago—hotels were closed at the time by the lockdown, which has since been lifted. I’m just reading and writing and occasionally going out to walk and take pictures in the snow.

Last year I was canceling everything. This year I’m daring to plan ahead. Always look forward to something. It feeds the soul.

Today’s Notable Headlines

No headlines during vacations, remember?

Why am I doing this?

The coronavirus pandemic will be indelibly written on our memories just as the Great Depression or the Battle of Britain left their mark on past generations. I intend to journal the pandemic experience from three perspectives: as a retired medical technologist, as a historian (Ph.D., 2014), and an ordinary person living through an extraordinary world crisis.

You are on History’s Edge.

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