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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2021

We weren’t expecting this. Last summer we expected things to be cancelled: school, sports, the Olympics, the Hollywood Bowl season, the Rose Parade. Now, a whole year later, we’re approaching fall with caution and contingency plans. Yes, we plan to meet in person, the first email says. A few weeks later, it’s yes, but. . . maybe . . . no, not yet.

A few excerpts from my email box this week:

  • “Due to ever changing circumstances, we are cancelling our planned August 30 [book club] meeting.”
  • “Due to the rise in numbers . . . and because of the delta variant. . . the program will be cancelled this year.”
  • [luncheon] “has been postponed until the first of next year.”

The caution is evident in the hesitance to reschedule. Maybe later, maybe next year. One year ago we looked at plans for Fall 2020: “Pandemic Day 142: Fast Forward to Fall, Thursday, July 30, 2020.” How is fall 2021 shaping up?

College football was on again, off again last year because of COVID. The 2021 Rose Bowl wasn’t even played in Pasadena’s Rose Bowl. It was played in Arlington, Texas, leading to a legal dispute between the Tournament of Roses Association and the city of Pasadena over who owned the rights to call it the Rose Bowl Game. But the 2021 season has been scheduled with an abundance of COVID protocols for athletes and fans.

Only 88 days to The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Last year it was not as much a parade as a tv spectacular, but whatever the format, the show will go on. Something new has been added, though, with Macy’s partnership with the owners of Toys R Us. The iconic brand will be a part of the parade and Macy’s will open up Toys R Us departments in 400 stores next year. You can now shop at Toys R Us on line at Macy’s. Toys have been big sellers during the pandemic and Macy’s took notice.

New Year’s Eve 2022: Want to watch the ball drop in Times Square, NYC? Maybe. The FAQ page takes a cautious tone: “No details have been announced about NYE 2022, but we hope to be able to celebrate in person if it’s safe to do so.” Last year we watched it on television as usual, but it was strange to see the ball drop into an empty square.

Shopping for the Rose Parade

You can wake up on New Year’s Day to watch The Rose Parade. It’s on, so far, with a theme of “Dream, Believe, Achieve.” The Equestrian groups for the Jan. 1, 2022, parade were announced this week. The first item listed on the Shop Tournament of Roses website? A facemask covered with roses, of course.

A recent article in VOX tells us that this is not last year’s pandemic. The second point in their article is titled, “Instead of trying to eliminate risk, aim to reduce it.” We know more about the virus and we understand more about mitigation strategies than we did last year. So last year we were told to use every precaution under the sun to not get infected. With the information we have now, we are in a better position to weigh our risks, and recover our lives, taking the precautions we find necessary.

We are adapting to changing plans and reshaping old traditions. This is the year of start, stop, or maybe, but you can see some of last year’s innovations becoming part of the plan and others falling by the wayside. I don’t know what next year’s events will look like, but I think they will go more smoothly because we are learning to push forward when we can and adapt when we must.

Today’s Notable Headlines

“City Says Tournament ‘Doubling Down’ on ‘Alternate Reality’ Regarding 2020 Rose Bowl Game Lawsuit.” Pasadena Now, Aug. 16, 2021. https://www.pasadenanow.com/main/city-says-tournament-doubling-down-on-alternate-reality-regarding-2020-rose-bowl-game/

“The 2021 college football COVID protocols — Requirements, attendance, forfeits and more,” ESPN, Aug. 26, 2021. https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/32084177/the-2021-college-football-covid-protocols-requirements-attendance-forfeits-more

“Macy’s Brings Back Toys ‘R’ Us To Gain Millennial Shoppers,” Forbes, Aug. 19, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelleykohan/2021/08/19/macys-brings-back-toysrus-to-gain-millennial-shoppers/?sh=22723ce73cd8

“EQUESTRIANS SELECTED FOR 2022 ROSE PARADE,” Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Aug. 26, 2021. https://tournamentofroses.com/equestrians-selected-for-2022-rose-parade/

“Preseason B1G bowl projections: Another mad scramble begins,” Saturday Tradition, Aug. 28, 2021. https://saturdaytradition.com/big-ten-football/b1g-bowl-projections-2021-preseason/

“4 lessons from the early pandemic that no longer apply,” Vox. Aug. 25, 2021. https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2021/8/25/22627918/covid-pandemic-mindset-delta-kids-harm-reduction

Additional Sources

“Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, ” https://www.macys.com/social/parade/

Toys R Us at Macys, https://www.macys.com/s/toys-r-us/

Times Square, The Official Website, New Year’s Eve FAQ, https://www.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-new-years-eve/nye-faq

Tournament of Roses Shop, https://shoptournamentofroses.com/product-category/roseparade/

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.

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