Sarah Smalls returns to her old routine on tiptoe after being fully vaccinated against Covid-19. She hosted the Easter dinner. Your grown son is now stopping for indoor visits. She and her husband plan to travel again.
But like many other newly vaccinated Americans, Ms. Smalls, who is 74 years old and lives in Lorton, Virginia, is not just trying to freeze and restart her life before the pandemic.
Ms. Smalls says the person who went into the pandemic is not the same person who is coming out. She shows up with new goals, priorities, and concerns. The long pause, which forced both isolation and introspection, was a catalyst to change course.
Ms. Smalls finally wants to learn to swim. She wants to go on weekend trips with her best friends. Most importantly, she will not return to the breakneck pace she maintained for years when she raised three grandchildren and worked for a nonprofit. During the pandemic, she left her job as a staff member to counsel for the group, a change she hadn’t expected in several years.
“As the kids say, ‘I’ll do myself,” says Ms. Smalls. “It took a pandemic to show me that you don’t have much time to do what you want to do. It gave me this one Kick-off, and it was a tough kick-off. “