For me, it's Groundhog Day all summer: Things I avoided last summer like long-distance travel and undistanced social events are still on the "no" list, but for different and mostly nonpandemic reasons. Expensive travel when you're underemployed and people you'd like to visit can't host you? Nope. Ditto for large events that require large dollars. And, truth be told, I don't like very crowded events — indoors or outdoors.
But there is one thing I am looking forward to: a housewarming party (a year-and-a-half overdue) that has since morphed into a solstice/graduation/Father's Day-type shindig.
Whatever it's called, it's a cautious embrace of normalcy, a celebration of having persevered, and a reward for having done what I hope was my part to stay well and, more importantly, not sicken someone else. Did I want to wear a mask this past year? Curtail nearly all socializing? Or get injected with something that might have repercussions somewhere down the road? Hell, no. But it's what was asked of the citizenry during this extraordinary time, and I believed it necessary. So did most of my social set. And while some had other ideas about what was right and necessary, I recognize that we can disagree on that (and on politics, religion, whether or not it's acceptable to eat meat cooked medium-well or at all, etcetera) and still agree on the value of our relationship.
So I'm going to have a party and focus not on the past, but on the future. I'm going to cherish hugs, handshakes, and maskless smiles of my friends, business acquaintances, co-workers and others, all of whom have plenty to celebrate just by making it through this past year. With any luck — and continued efforts to respect health protocols — we'll get to celebrate in similar fashion again in summer 2022.