Possible Covid-19 vaccination here in South Africa…What is “normal?”…

Spikey, young male bushbuck drinking from the birdbath.

Who’s in the garden this morning?

  • 9 warthogs
  • 7 bushbucks
  • 18 kudus
  • 54 mongoose
  • 20 helmeted guinea-fowls
  • Frank and The Misses

When Linda and Ken texted me last night to tell me they’d been notified by the South Africa website where we all registered for the Covid vaccine, I was hopeful. They live in Johannesburg, so they’d probably get theirs sooner than us, living in a remote area. Today, Linda sent me a text that they’ve had their first of two vaccines.

Bossy never misses an opportunity to let us know she’s in the garden. She prances right up onto the veranda, staring into our eyes.

With only 36 days remaining until we have to depart the country for a visa stamp, having the vaccine out of the way would be a huge relief, even if we only got the first of the two jabs, receiving the second jab after we return. If we cannot go to Kenya due to new lockdown measures, we’ll head to the US for a few weeks, see the family and get the second dose there.

It’s not easy having everything up in the air for so long for all of us. Both Tom and I agree that we don’t care for the expression “the new normal,” which has been grossly overused since the onset of the pandemic over 15 months ago. But, will life ever return to “normal?”

Kudus in the garden.

What is “normal” after all? Simply, we can say it was freedom of movement; lack of requirements to wear face masks; lack of a necessity of social distancing; shops and restaurants open during “expected” operational hours; public and private gatherings with no limitations on numbers of participants, other than space considerations; and, for us, most importantly, the ability to travel to most countries in the world without outrageous requirements, Covid-19 PRC tests, Covid-19 vaccines and additional documents to complete.

This pandemic has cost a fortune for most people due to loss of jobs/income; loss of businesses; loss of entrepreneurial opportunities in many fields of endeavor, and in many cases; loss of a sense of self-worth and hopefulness for the future.

Bushbucks in the garden on a sunny afternoon.

This is not to say that “normal” meant “perfect” in the past, before the pandemic. It wasn’t then, and it won’t be now going forward. It’s the nature of life itself. There will always be wars, political unrest, opposing political and social views, illness, disasters, and more. The list goes on and on. Was all of that “normal?” In its day and in days to come, that may be considered normal.

But, we’re not here to espouse the virtues or the lack thereof of the state of the world, the economy, or social unrest. Instead, our goal here is to share our thoughts, dreams, and ideas about world travel, particularly as retired seniors, to see as much of the world as possible, in whatever time God or a higher power has given us to continue life on this planet.

Big Daddy stopped by to check out the female visitors.

And, what is “normal” now, as opposed to the phrase “new normal.?” Many areas of life are the same as they’ve always been. We eat, drink, sleep, entertain ourselves in myriad ways, engage socially and psychologically with others.

We spend time on our phones and other digital devices in a constant search for answers to whatever is our flavor of the month, whether work-related, socially related, or on a mission to expand our interests and knowledge. We all share a commonality in many of these areas. That hasn’t changed. That may never change in this generation or this life as we know it. That sense of normalcy will most likely remain with us, as far as any one of us can see, well into the future.

Although the pandemic has changed so many lives, sadly lost so many lives, and altered the day-to-day of many lives throughout the world, in reality, it’s not a “new normal.” Instead, it’s a consequential and profound “glitch” in the cycle of life on the planet. Believe it or not, in time, I feel confident this will go away, sadly leaving in its wake, losing loved ones, and a loss of financial security in its destructive path.

This is a Thick Neck. He’s an older bushbuck with long horns and an oversized girth to his neck. He stops by daily.

But, we humans are resilient. After all, we’ve been here for the millennium, with varying scientific opinions as to whether it’s been millions of years or considerably less. Countless species have become extinct, yet we remain largely due to the size of our brains and perhaps by divine intervention. We may never fully know the answer with certainty.

In any case, normal will be what we make it. As that innate resiliency prevails in most of our lives and we’ll continue to make the best of it, in whatever form that takes.

May we all tap into our resiliency and form the lives we choose for the future…

Photo from one year ago today, May 25, 2020:

A room was offered for rent at this property in Bali for INR 834, US $10.97 per night! For more photos, please click here.

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