I did some ordinary things today that I was surprised to see felt very much not ordinary. I blame COVID and the last fifteen months of quarantine and pandemic conditions.
First, there was an announcement that Elton John’s final US tour was coming in 2022, and it will end with two concerts at Dodger Stadium on November 19th & 20th, 2022. Tickets don’t go on sale to the general public until June 30th, but there are presale deals for American Express customers, so I was able to get “floor seats” (the stage will be in the outfield, we’ll be sitting on the outer edge of the infield dirt just to the right of 2nd base – which was not ever a sentence I expected to write…) for a very reasonable price. (Let’s define “reasonable” as considerably less than the $500 to $1,000 each, which is what I expected to be paying for those seats.)
So, seventeen months from now, we’ll presumably be at Dodger Stadium seeing Elton John live.
Or at least that’s the plan – what was the world like seventeen months ago and how much has it changed? How “normal” will the next seventeen months be?
Shorter term, the 79th Worldcon (World Science Fiction Convention) will be in Washington, DC in mid-December. It’s normally in August or early September, but a huge problem with the convention hotel going bankrupt due to COVID has caused a change in schedule. It’s also caused the convention to only have about a quarter of the hotel rooms they normally would have reserved. While the hotel room block opened up just on Monday, it’s already sold out. We’ll be staying at the Hilton about a mile away and figuring out how to grab cabs or Uber or Lyft or whatever to get back and forth between the venues. I also went over the schedule with my bosses since that’s a busy time for us and made sure we had a plan for me to be gone then.
So, six months from now, we’ll presumably be in Washington, DC seeing friends we haven’t seen in a couple of years and probably on our first plane trip in over two years.
Or at least that’s the plan – what was the world like six months ago and how much has it changed? On that time scale the changes are mostly for the better, but only because it was so bad at the beginning of 2021. Watching the news, both medically and politically, I think we’re all a lot more sensitive to how fast things can change for the worse and I know that I personally am not convinced at all that we’re completely safe and away from the thin ice.
Hope springs eternal. We see threats coming on the horizon, but they’re vague and uncertain. We’re exhausted from the last eighteen months of COVID, and even more exhausted from the previous four years of one political party trying to turn our country into a third-rate dictatorship – yet we’re making plans. Plans for travel, plans to see friends, plans to go to concerts.
It feels normal and simultaneously feels anything BUT normal.
We might need to get used to that feeling, as much as we may dislike it.