My daughter and I recently took a vacation to Las Vegas, from Reno. Not a major vacation but still something in this time of COVID. We had originally wanted to go back home to the Midwest to visit family and friends but circumstances prevented that trip from happening and Vegas was closer. Well, 7 hours closer via road trip family vacation style. In the back of my mind in any planning for vacation is the ongoing reality of this pandemic still being out there.
Traveling during COVID, even with vaccines, even with all that we have been through, is still a bit challenging. Things are open now - by open, I mean pretty much free from any sort of regulation or guidance that would give a person the comfort of thinking we are somewhat safe in this pandemic. The rules about mask wearing for the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated have become what most of us already knew they would become - a free for all, no one wearing masks, most people thinking it is all over, and those wearing masks outnumbered.
In case you had any question, of course those of us who are vaccinated are those of us still by and large wearing masks. There’s a type that cares about public health and understands that they are part of the public and a type that does not and only cares about their individual comforts and perceived rights without any sense of responsibility to the public good. This is an article, or PhD thesis, for another day.
On vacation no matter where we went inside, my daughter and I wore masks. I am vaccinated and she is 12, and halfway vaccinated with just one dose. But her health is my first priority so I made sure we did all that we could to balance vacation fun with COVID protection. In the hotels, on the Strip we wore masks. Outside we were constantly moving and not in crowds, and it was 113 degrees, so we took masks off. When we had to eat at an indoor only establishment we picked a spot far from any crowded area and enjoyed our meal.
It was a balancing act indeed, but I believe if you are a parent or a person who wants to start participating in the ‘open’ of all things but not catch or spread COVID, it can be done. Masks help best when everyone is wearing them, and distancing helps best when everyone is doing it. That is no longer the case and it feels like we are all on our own in this, again - even with vaccines, we all know the variants are rising and the infection numbers, especially in Nevada, are climbing up fast. This thing is not gone, or over.
Do outside things as much as possible, but balance that with staying safe from the dangerous heat. Spread out, wear masks, and as with anything in this society and culture, stay aware of your surroundings. This way you can make moves that keep you and your family safe no matter what the issue.
I wish that more people had a better grasp of society and community, that we are all individuals but we are also all the public - and beating this thing, knocking it out for good is up to all of us being able to commit to some of the basics: getting vaccinated, wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and finding ways to do this in balance with all of the things you want to do - going out, taking a vacation, eating at restaurants. I believe both can be done but sometimes it seems like an uphill battle with so few taking the ongoing reality of the pandmic seriously.
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