The initial auspices for an endurable trip turned out to be justified. Most people were unmasked at O’Hare and on the plane, we left Chicago and arrived in Rome on time, and, although we arrived early at the Azeglio on Via Cavour, two blocks from Stazione Termini, the hotel had one of our rooms ready so we could stash the bags, take a walk, and eat a lunch that, while it was not offensive, was nothing to write home—or this website—about. Rome has changed in two years but the signs are not dramatic. A significant minority wear masks on the...
I know it wasn’t that long ago that we were told it was going to be two weeks to flatten the curve, and perhaps the more pessimistic thought it would be two months, but I can’t imagine anyone speculating it would be two years before travel resumed as it was before March 2020. But here we are….
Perhaps it is only now, towards the end of 2020, that some of us are beginning to see this year as the best one in recent memory, perhaps in our entire lives. But that’s only possible if you’ve really been reflecting on what is truly going on this year and you’ve taken the time to diligently compare perception with reality.
It was the Summer of 2008 when I first made my way up to Rockford, Illinois. It was a slow, languorous summer drive, with plenty of preparatory reading to do, some often crammed in during the final segment of the voyage. In many ways, this year was no different. In other ways, the long tentacles of Covid-19 (and its handlers) couldn’t help but be felt by the attendees. But perhaps the miracle is that we were able to meet at all, while most of the world huddled inside or behind masks, frightened by the government, media, and the new bands...
I’ve spent my entire life in countries with unrestricted freedom of movement. Not only did those countries let me go where I wanted, whenever I wanted, as long as I wasn’t breaking laws, the countries were indifferent to my location on a given day at a given time.
Two weekends ago the weather was particularly lovely and, while I was out for a Sunday stroll in my neighborhood, what I had already been sensing over the previous weeks became crystal clear: Many Parisians were not abiding by the draconian rules of quarantine that had been laid down in March,