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Turning the Corner

Optimism Rediscovered

I feel like I’m writing a chapter in the Star Wars saga: A New Hope. It sounds cliché and even a bit corny, but it’s in the air and I’m not the only pandemic-weary home warrior sensing it.

We’ve just rounded the corner on the vernal equinox, set our clocks ahead one hour, and more and

more of us are getting vaccinated. Hoorah! Spring is the season of fresh life, new beginnings, more daytime hours, and venturing outdoors and seeking others out. If you’re living in Atlanta like I am, it’s also the pollen season. Any day now, I expect to see a shower of yellow pine pollen descending from the newly budded trees, coating everything in sight with one of our biggest allergy triggers of the year.

Oh, well. That’s what the garden hose is for. I don’t mind the yellowing of everything caught outdoors. Not this year. What’s a few weeks of an itchy nose compared with a year of being stuck at home? It’s like the awful allergic and incredibly itchy red rash I suffered over my entire body for a few weeks when I was a teen, when I didn’t know that I was allergic to penicillin and was using a LOT of it to fight off a double whammy of mononucleosis and bronchitis. Mosquito bites afterwards seemed a much more minor nuisance and never itched quite as much in comparison.

So I’ll stock up on the allergy medicine and the Kleenex. ‘Cause it’s still spring! And the kids have come out to play in droves. This afternoon, my neighborhood held a socially-distanced spring fling in our community park for the kiddos to celebrate the coming of the Easter bunny, with an egg hunt, the mandatory and very messy egg toss, your standard teen-in-a-giant-Easter bunny suit posing for photos, and even a small petting zoo, with a rabbit, several goats, a turtle, and even a baby llama. Don’t know where they found the llama, but it was hanging out nonchalantly with the goats. Interesting, all the animals were vying for the spots in the middle of their pens to keep out of reach of the more enthusiastic toddlers. Smart animals.

The kids had a blast. The older ones and the teens decided that it was already summer and were running around in tshirts and shorts, despite the decidedly nippy air. Reminded me of this time back in college, when a somewhat warmer day would suddenly give some of the girls the idea that sunbathing season had started. This year, more than most, everyone just wants to accelerate the progression of time and hurry further into the year when it’ll be warm, sunny, and eventually– we hope! – pandemic-free.

That sense of hope is definitely in the air. Especially now that my husband and I have received our second of the two vaccination shots. Fortunately, the only side effects were our sore arms where the injections were given. A small price to pay, and I consider ourselves very lucky. A close friend had a horrible time with her second shot and was sick for a few days, and I’ve heard of others feeling poorly even after the first one. Just goes to show that, like the virus itself, everyone’s body is different and we’re not able to tell who will be affected and who will be able to shrug these things off.

One thing, though, that I have been able to tell is that most people, my family and I included, have been a lot healthier this fall and winter season than any other. Not surprisingly, it’s due to keeping our distance from others, washing our hands thoroughly and repeatedly like we’ve always should, and having surfaces in common areas like grocery stores constantly wiped down. We certainly don’t miss the colds, flus, or sore throats.

The sense of hope and a return to “normal” is showing up in the on-camera and voice over auditions, too. Atlanta film/TV production is in full swing and I’ve been thrilled to audition for so many projects this month. The voice over auditions are having more and more of an upbeat tone than in previous months, too. Call me an optimist, but I think these are all exciting signs that we are turning a corner on recovering from this pandemic. And once it becomes clear, watch out! Just like the Roaring 20s followed the Spanish flu pandemic, we’ll see a flurry of retail activity, travel, and good times that we’ll think we’re in the middle of one long New Year’s Eve party.

We can only hope so. 