I’ve been very, very eager to travel again. Serious, anxiety-driven, desperation to travel. I’m on several travel mailing lists, and if you think that deals and travel incentives stopped during the pandemic you’d be wrong. In fact, the deals seemed to increase. I’ve seen $49 tickets to California from the Midwest, $250 business class seats to Europe and great South American hotels go for around $60 per night.
I’m not only a travel addict, I’m also a cheapskate. These deals have been driving me mad. But one thing has held me back, one thing has prevented me from pulling the trigger:
Vaccine = travel
I refuse to get on a plane and put my family at risk until we’ve been vaccinated. Staying in a hotel and eating in public during our October “trip” (not a vacation) was so anxiety riddled that I made a firm decision to stay home until we can reduce the effect of the virus. And when I say, “we can reduce the effect,” I mean “we can be vaccinated.”
Fortunately that will happen on Saturday. A few days ago, I received an email announcing that my age group is eligible. Every state seems to be selecting vaccine recipients differently with the exception of healthcare workers and long-term care residents. Indiana announced early that they would focus entirely by age. And it started with those over age 80, then 70, then began incrementally dropping until our current spot, age 50 and up. For once I’m thrilled if people know how old I am.
My husband and I both managed to get an appointment at the exact same time at a mass vaccination at the Indiana Motor Speedway. Thank you, Johnson & Johnson.
We were among 16,800 people who managed to get an appointment before all slots were filled. Some friends were able to get appointments around the same time we did; others weren’t so lucky. By the time we logged in and sat in an online waiting room for ten minutes, the earliest available time was 9 p.m., the last hour before the site closes for the day. It will be our first date night in a year that hasn’t taken place on the couch.
Into the wild blue yonder
Now I feel that, for the first time in a long time, I can actually think about travel. We’ll still wear masks everywhere, but that anxiety will be gone. No more annoyance at the unmasked tour guide, or the waitress who keeps pulling hers down to talk. That major element of concern will disappear.
To me, vaccine = travel. It’s that easy. And the more people who are vaccinated, the more we all can enjoy life like it was two years ago. The more people who get that simple shot, the more we can socialize with others and enjoy time together without worry. It’s such an easy step, even easier than wearing a mask.