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Sightings over sixty: We have canceled all plans RETIREMENT

My wife and I were scheduled to go to Wisconsin on a two-week trip today to visit my daughter and grandchild. Instead, we decided to stay at home.

We had already booked the trip in May when the Covid cases dropped from an average of 30,000 a day to 20,000 a day. The virus was supposed to take the summer off, and the experts were only worried about a second wave that could occur in the fall.

So we booked an Airbnb and I said to my daughter, “We have reservations and we’ll be there … you know, unless the coronavirus is making a big comeback and is preventing us from traveling.”

We wrote the time on our calendar and looked forward to vacationing in Wisconsin – we had never been to Wisconsin before. We were doubly excited because we had already canceled two trips due to Covid. We wanted to spend a long weekend in New York in late April, but the event was canceled and we were careful to travel anyway, so we didn’t go. Airbnb was good to us – it gave us a full refund.

Then our summer trip to Cape Cod was canceled. We booked for a week in July, but the woman who rented her house called us and said they decided not to rent at all in the summer.

We later learned from a friend who lives on the Cape that many Bostonians and New Yorkers who have summer spots on the Cape moved there for the duration. The Cape is quite crowded – not with tourists, but with second home owners.

B read that at nearby Martha’s Vineyard, where registrations for fall schools increased in the rich and famous summer. A number of second home owners intend to spend the next year there, working from home, and sending their children to local school.

In any case, we had canceled two trips. But I bet we’re not alone. I would suspect that many of us had to cancel travel plans because of Covid.

Nevertheless, we were looking forward to the trip to Wisconsin. And we have prepared. We asked our Airbnb host whether she was cleaned and disinfected. On the way we made a reservation with a “CleanStay” program in a hotel. We stocked up on disinfectants and masks and even investigated how to avoid public toilets on the highway.

I’m not going to Wisconsin

But there was no way around it. Instead of falling, the cases of Covid increased again. Big time.

On May 17, 13,000 new cases a day occurred nationwide. There were several other days in late May when new cases under 20,000 were received. But then they rose again – 21,000, 23,000, 25,000. On June 19, they reached another 30,000. On June 25, they reached 40,000. They rose to over 50,000 by July 1 and to over 60,000 by July 8.

That made us nervous. The virus should go to sleep for the summer; instead it raged back. I started drilling down and looked at the cases in Wisconsin – and in Ohio, where we had to spend a night at the hotel. In July, Wisconsin rose from 500 cases a day to 700 cases a day and 900 cases a day. There were 1,058 new cases in Wisconsin on Friday. Ohio was worse. The state has suffered over 1,000 cases a day since early July and reached 1,560 cases on Friday.

The numbers at home have also increased. But gentler. Pennsylvania currently has about 800 cases a day. So we finally decided it would be stupid to get into the teeth of the epidemic. Even if we are careful, we have found that we would have more contact when we were on the go and would expose ourselves to more public touch points.

So again it’s about staying at home, isolating yourself and talking to people on zoom. But that’s better than signing Covid, maybe going to the hospital, or worse, and possibly giving it to my daughter and her family.

So I woke up this morning. And my first thought was: what about Thanksgiving? Maybe we could go to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving! And then there’s our winter trip …

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