It looks like there’s a vaccine!!!
Or might be, in a while!
Okay, we have no idea when, but this is a really, really big deal. If we can get a vaccine that’s over 90% effective, it means two things.
One? The eventual end of the COVID-19 pandemic!
Two? and I haven’t heard anyone else talking about this yet? But it could also mean... the end of the common cold! Which is bananas! But it might happen!
My hubby just pointed out the other day that he hasn’t really had anything all year. We were fortunate enough that I didn’t give him coronavirus, so he got to skip that. We both got the flu from spending the night in the ER back in January. Other than that, isn’t it remarkable the way that wearing a mask everywhere also stops the spread of other airborne respiratory illnesses?
I am hopeful about a lot of things as a result of this fantastic news.
But that’s all big-picture stuff. I tend to think in the 15-year range. Right now it’s probably more useful to plan over the next... say... 15 months.
I’ve been saying for months now that I personally plan on isolating and being home until 2023. By that I have generally meant January of that year, meaning I’m ruling out 2021 and 2022. It’s easier on me emotionally to not get my hopes up.
Where do I get my numbers? Spanish Flu epidemic a century ago, plus fastest-known development of a vaccine, which previously was four years.
If I’m pleasantly surprised by one of the many benefits of living in the 21st century, then great! I’ll put on my dancing socks.
All that being said, I am someone who really likes the anticipation factor of planning a few years ahead. I generally set my goals in the three-year range. Now I have the great fun of starting to shape out plans for post-COVID, and also what sorts of things I’d like to get done while we’re still all stuck at home.
There are certain advantages to this current iteration of the world. The most obvious one is that my hubby and I, like a lot of people, don’t have to commute right now. We’re probably sleeping 90 minutes later each morning than we would if we had to drive in (and wear proper professional clothes). We’re probably also eating dinner earlier than we would if we had to commute. Might as well make the most out of it.
There is a strong chance that we’ll both be able to continue to work from home the majority of the time. My hubby would probably go in to work in the lab on occasion, maybe once a week, or maybe for days at a stretch but only during certain phases of a project. I would be more likely to go in for events like a quarterly meeting. Other than that, personally I would prefer to work from home in my socks. (Regular or dancing variety? That is for me to know and you to find out).
If not, though, I have to calculate that I currently have about two more hours at my disposal each workday than I would post-COVID. What am I going to do with it? Anything?
One of my work-related plans, post-COVID, is to rebuild a work wardrobe. I haven’t had to wear office clothes in over ten years. I’d make a day of it: a real haircut! A shopping trip! If I have at least a year to save for it, I could make this a montage-worthy sequence and walk out with bags of outfits, coordinated from stem to stern.
Something else that would happen post-COVID is that we’d have a reason to use some of our reservoir of vacation days. My hubby and I have been collecting reward points for quite a while, and they will have built up even more by then. We won’t be the only people with that idea, so we might have to book pretty far in advance, which is another way of saying we would plan quite far ahead and have that much longer to fantasize about our trip.
Part of our post-COVID plans, then, will be about where we would want to go, what season, and how long we would want to stay there.
When would I see my family? Uh, immediately?? Like, I would book my ticket the day I got my second shot?
It’s easy to think about all these things from the luxurious position that we are currently in, with two incomes and nowhere to spend them. It might seem unfair for those who are financially hurting - and it is! - and yet, there is worth in the fantasy of how the economy will pick up after the pandemic ends. How many jobs will be created, how much pent-up consumer demand will be unleashed.
We’ve been here before, historically. They still call it the Roaring Twenties. Part of it was the end of World War I, but part of it was certainly the end of the terrifyingly lethal H1N1 pandemic. That thing was so bad, some people bled out of their eyes. Someone would be perfectly fine in the morning, suddenly start coughing, and be dead by the end of the day. Whole families gone over the weekend. When it was finally over, those who survived were almost delirious with delight and the urge to party.
Isn’t it interesting that we’re in the Twenties again, and we’re going to live through the end of a pandemic? Doesn’t it seem likely that the economy will rebound in the same way?
And then what? What will we do to make it special, having come away with a bit of wisdom and insight? We have time to plan, so let’s plan well.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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