There was a week recently where I was out and about nearly every night.
One night, Jessica and I went to the cinema. There was a double bill of Alien and Aliens in the beautiful Duke of York’s picture house. We booked one of the comfy sofas on the balcony.
The next night we were out at the session in The Jolly Brewer, playing trad Irish tunes all evening. Bliss!
It really felt like The Before Times. Of course in reality it wasn’t quite like old times. There’s always an awareness of relative risk. How crowded is the cinema likely to be? Will they have the doors open at The Jolly Brewer to improve the airflow? Will people at the Low gig comply with the band’s request to wear masks?
Still, in each case, I weighed the risk and decided the evening was worth it. If I caught Covid because of that cinematic double bill, or that tune-filled gathering, or that excellent gig, that price would be acceptable.
Mind you, I say that without having experienced the horribleness of having a nasty bout of coronavirus. And the prospect of long Covid is genuinely scary.
But there’s no doubt that the vaccines have changed the equation. There’s still plenty of risk but it’s on a different scale. The Situation isn’t over, but it has ratcheted down a notch to something more manageable.
Now with the weather starting to get nice, there’ll be more opportunities for safer outdoor gatherings. I’m here for it.
Actually, I’m not going to literally be here for all of it. I’m making travel plans to go and speak at European events—another positive signal of the changing situation. Soon I’ll be boarding the Eurostar to head to Amsterdam, and not long after I’ll be on the Eurostar again for a trip to Lille. And then of course there’s UX London at the end of June. With each gathering, there’s an inevitable sense of calculated risk, but there’s also a welcome sense of normality seeping back in.