We are in a strange time. It’s not exactly post COVID, as we are still in the throes of the pandemic, but every day we seem to be making a foothold towards a better place. The numbers of vaccinated is reassuring, as is the declining numbers of infected and fatalities. So, the grip, the stranglehold of an oppressive situation is relieving itself, loosening and in some ways we can all imagine it being over.

But now’s the hard part. This is the time we cannot let down our guard nor be too relaxed. The virus is still as transmittable as the day it began. My son, who is in school in Boston, has been dealing with a situation of roommates that have been diagnosed with COVID which has made for a domino effect and his life has become a series of isolation and testing.

There are plenty of opportunities to “be free” of a mask, at home usually with family, working outside alone or with family members. In public though, ‘shot or not’ during this transition to be vigilant and follow the CDC protocol.

The weather has broken and maybe our hearts are a little lighter. I still feel the lingering sadness at the loss of so many acquaintances and friends during this time – it has left a mark on all of us in some form. That loss makes me want this to end sooner than later and for that I recognize that this is the moment not to compromise.

For the time, I will continue to find joy in the simple pleasures of dinner with my wife, reading a great book or home projects inside and with great pleasure outside. I’m looking forward to the days ahead and remain cautiously optimistic.