The (small) Dog Days of Summer
I'm sure you've seen the memes, the ones that show something great with the caption "my fall plans" contrasted with something terrible captioned "the delta variant." Well, a similar situation happened to us recently.
In retrospect, I should have known that making any travel plans would be a bad idea. Especially when the CDC decided to prematurely pull the mask recommendation for vaccinated folks, knowing full well that meant everyone, vaccinated or not, would stop complying with all virus abatement tactics. That I haven't come down with a breakthrough case is a testament to the efficacy of proper masking and avoiding unnecessary contact (seriously, get your vaccine and keep masking, it's not rocket science!).
However, a vacation was something we sorely needed, and we had a single one week window in mid-August to do so. As such, I made us plans to visit Austin. I secured a residential hotel with an exterior room entrance, planned outdoor activities only, and had a long list of vegan food trucks where we could safely pick up meals without ever stepping foot inside a restaurant. And I fought tooth and nail to get the time off of work, something, I might add, that I am still salty about seeing as everyone else had no issue getting time off for their vacations this summer, but I digress.
Much like the aforementioned meme, the Delta variant had other plans. Austin went on a level 5 alert, meaning any unnecessary public interactions were strongly discouraged due to the high level of community spread. This of course, while the governor held maskless, unvaccinated super spreader events. As such, we made the prudent decision to cancel our vacation, knowing full well it will be potentially years before we might have the chance for one again.
And while I'm extremely disappointed in my fellow humans, I do not regret my decision. Not just because I know that putting my own wants above the safety of others is despicable, but also because it gave me the chance to do something I have been on the fence about for a while.
Internet, meet Nick: