Now is the Spring of Our Re-Emergence

spring fever, pandemic, spring, 2021Spring has finally arrived in New England, bringing sunshine, warm air, daffodils and vaccinations. All of them combine to make us feel that life is returning and a new season of growth is emerging for everyone. Those of us who have been vaccinated, can cautiously undertake activities that have been off limits for more than a year. My husband and I just celebrated our vaccine-aversary, so we have some protection.

The Library Opens

On Wednesday, I went into a library for the first time since February of 2020. First the pandemic closed the libraries and that was a dark time. Then they opened for curb-side pickup. That meant we could order books online and arrive at a pre-determined time to pick up a bag with the book(s) in it. This made books available. It may not have been convenient but at least we could read new arrivals without adding to Amazon’s bloated profits. I met several other patrons walking in and we all mentioned how exciting this development was.

A Seafood Lunch

Blue Marlin Grille, lobster roll. Essex, MassachusettsOn Friday, we drove up to the North Shore of Massachusetts for a seafood lunch near the ocean. We had experimented with this back in the fall after we took a boat cruise of the Ipswitch River from the Essex waterfront. We had wanted to get fried clams nearby but all the restaurants were packed and we ended up just leaving.

Thursday, we visited the Blue Marlin Grille in Essex—newly opened after the pandemic—and had a wonderful lunch of chowder and lobster rolls. They have the best clam chowdah evah and the lobstah roll is packed with meat. It’s still early in the season, so it was hardshell lobster and full of flavor. The outing; felt extraordinary after our year of eating in.

Museum of Fine Arts

We chose a weekday to visit the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, figuring that the big galleries and lots of open space would be relatively empty. Given that it was Good Friday, though, the museum had many more visitors than we expected.

Museum of Fine Arts, MFA, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, @MFAboston

MFA’s Huntington Avenue Entrance

The entry protocol was new, too:

  • Make a reservation
  • Print off and bring your tickets
  • Go to the Huntington Avenue entrance, the only one open
  • Show your ticket on the sidewalk, then wait if you’re early
  • Present your ticket to the folks in the tent on the sidewalk
  • Enter the museum and show your ticket a third time to a staffer inside
  • No coat check available

For all that, it was fun just to be away from home, wander around and look at things. (Masked, of course) I would like to say we saw something new but we were long-time MFA members until the pandemic, so we have spent a lot of time there and are pretty familiar with the collection.

What I really wanted to see—the Monet show—was sold out for April. The MFA owns something like 38 paintings by Monet and has all of them on display right now. We should be able to get tickets in another week or so, as we renewed our membership.

The New Tour Season

I have taken many online tours and listened to many Zoom lectures during the lockdown—and even given a few. Boston By Foot has announced that the organization will resume walking tours on Memorial Day.

That’s one. Haunted Boston has not been in touch and Destinations North America will not have any information for the tour guides until June. Last year, I was due to add tours of Boston for people arriving on bus tours of New England but I can’t imagine when those will start up again.

Spreading Spring Fever

As vaccinations increase in Massachusetts and across the country, this gradual re-opening will spread and increase. Some states, of course, are wide open and rocking their spring fever, contributing to the spread of Covid-19 and delaying the time when we reach herd immunity. At one point, Massachusetts had a positivity rate below one percent.

herd immunity, Covid-19, pandemic, spring fever,

Now we just have to be careful, vaccine or no vaccine. At one point, Massachusetts had a Covid-19 positivity rate under 1% before it went back up to over five percent. Currently it’s just over two percent and there have been fewer than 10 deaths per day.  Thank goodness for that.

The light at the end of the tunnel appears to be a gorgeous spring day. Go out and enjoy it—but stay safe.

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About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at aknextphase.com. She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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