Who here has gotten their Covid vaccine?
I can finally say that I have, too. I got my second dose on Thursday, March 31, which was also the second to the last day of my ski season. A nice bookend to the Season of the Pandemic. And yeah, it went fine. I had a sore arm and the next day I couldn’t get warm (I still skied). But that’s about it.
If you’re a skier and you haven’t gotten yours — or you’re on the fence about it — I have three words for you:
Make an appointment.
I don’t know about you, but I do not want to have a repeat of the season we just experienced. And the more people who are vaccinated, the less likely that’ll be.
Granted, it wasn’t all bad. I did get in 72 days, which isn’t too shabby (my record is 90, BTW).
Still, it wasn’t all lollipops and roses. There were outbreaks at some ski areas. Quebec shut down for a large chunk of time, and Europe was a mess. There were reports of harsh words and bad behavior directed at resort employees saddled with the thankless task of enforcing mask mandates. There were quarantines to deal with; for example, the state of Vermont, which required visitors to quarantine 14 days before coming in or 14 days on arrival, made skiing difficult for many people. And let’s not forget the smaller stuff: booting up in your car, closed lodges, reservation systems, limited food service, and (gasp!) no apres. So yeah, not the easiest season to be a skier.
But all that is small stuff. The important thing is that the snow was there, and yes, we could still ski — something that wasn’t exactly guaranteed when the season began.
It’s not over.
Right now we’re experiencing another surge in Covid cases (this makes number four!). Why? Some people are experiencing pandemic fatigue and just don’t want to deal with it anymore. Some think it’s over. And some have never been able to accept it as a serious problem.
According to the NY Times, the US has averaged 65,000 new cases a day over the past week — a 19 percent increase from two weeks ago. That puts the country close to last summer’s peak, though still far below January levels.
Even as vaccinations continue to climb, new cases have declined in only five states, mainly in the Southeast. This isn’t good. Greater spread fosters the growth of newer variants, which are more contagious than the original strain. Failing to control the virus means it’ll be hanging around and flaring up longer into the future. And that could mean into next ski season.
So what should we do?
We’re not out of the woods yet, but there is cause for optimism — as long as we remain vigilant and take the precautions we’re supposed to. I know it’s hard, but you have to continue doing all the things we’ve done over the past year: wear your mask, stay physically distant, wash your hands, avoid crowds. And yes, as soon as you can, get your vaccine. If you’re anti-vaccine, I can’t even go there with you. I just can’t.
I’d like to boot up in the lodge next year. I’d like some apres. I’d like to have our annual Ski Diva gatherings (we have two: Diva West and Diva East). There are lots of ways I’d like next season to be better than this one was.
So let’s get through this, okay?