The City of Chicago yesterday agreed with the latest CDC guidelines that those of us fully vaccinated no longer have to wear masks in most settings. Lollapalooza, the big Chicago music festival, will be held in full capacity this summer. There are still some restrictions but barring any surprise setbacks should be mostly gone by the Fourth of July.
It's not appropriate to call the pandemic over. Too many countries are suffering and lack good access to vaccines or strong health care. But in most of the US vaccinations are readily available and it really feels like we are putting the pandemic in the past.
Variants that beat the vaccines could emerge. Vaccines could become ineffective over time. Too many still need to be vaccinated and too many don't want to do so. Typically problems start small and quickly get big by exponential growth but likely with enough warning if we need boosters or extra precautions. And all those who cut in line to get shots early are now my canaries for the effects wearing off.
What will this post-pandemic world look like? Continued virtual meetings from people who don't want to spend the 10-15 minutes to get across campus or to come to campus at all. A bigger move to casual dress, even in the corporate world. No more snow days. Changes in ways we won't expect.
We all have our different attitudes but I'm ready to move on. Time to start the "after times".