As I previously noted, the vacation that we scheduled in late May for early July along the South Carolina coast has been cancelled. At one level, I realize that this really was the last time we are or will likely to be able to travel anywhere for a long period of time. We may not ever really see a second wave in the US because we won't get beyond the first wave and it may be impossible to say when one wave ends and the next one began.
In particular, besides this trip, I was planning to run two marathons in Europe this fall; one in Venice, Italy and one in Athens, Greece (the "Authentic Marathon" from Marathon, Greece to Athens, Greece). While they may still be held in some other form than "elites only" or virtually (I have my doubts), it seems that as a US citizen, I wouldn't be allowed into the EU countries anyway. There's no quarantine, just won't be allowed in. I note that the EU has maintained its own travel ban to the US. I am reminded of the line about the USA in the movie V is for Vendetta; the "Ulcered Sphincter of Asserica." Seems to fit in this time.
For a marathon runner, there is a lot of certainty that we deal with. We know the date of the marathon, the where and when to show up. We know how long the course is and what we have to train for in terms of distance. The official course is 26 miles, 385 yards or 42 km, 195 meters. We know the course layout and the elevation characteristics we have to deal with and train for (the hilliest courses I've run are the local marathons, the flattest one was in Venice, Italy along with several along the SC coast). After having run one or two marathons, we have a sense of what training for the race really looks like and what it takes to seriously train. But the question that arises in the running community is "How do I train for a race that might not happen?" And that is part of the uncertainty that actually exists for all of us.
How do I "plan" for a life that might not happen? How do we operate in a society that may never be able to "go back" or equally as important should we go back. I am coming to the end of a career and I have been fortunate to have a career in an area that I "saw myself in" 50 years ago. In terms of career, I have been lucky. Not everything has worked out, but the basic plan has. Now, we have a pandemic where we really can't plan for a very uncertain future. Life has always been uncertainty even though we treat it with certainty.
This pandemic has reflected how uncertain things really are.