As we wind down from the COVID restrictions from the past few years, life needs to return to normal. However, whether that is the old normal or the new normal will depend on the person. I know that while I am excited that conferences are starting to happen again, I personally am unsure of how I will feel, and I am sure many of us feel the same way.
I am high-risk health-wise for many reasons, and I fear I will be somewhat agoraphobic my first time out. We are driving from Ontario, Canada to Orlando Florida in June for Scaling New Heights, as I know I am not ready for flying yet. However, I am packing like a prepper. I have my visor, my N95 masks, extra hand sanitizer, and my phone sanitizer. Sigh. The list goes on. I will use what I feel comfortable with when I get there.
One thing that I learned from COVID is that it’s not only COVID I should be worried about. A conference used to make me sick for almost 6 months before my lungs were back to normal. I have spent the better part of 2 years healthy. So that just tells me that I am highly susceptible to anything, and if I have the proper precautions, I can enjoy the conferences (or post-conference) time much more. I am so glad that we have a community of supportive colleagues and friends that will respect the wide range of comfort levels that I am sure we’ll see.
My thought for this blog was that we should be thinking not just about COVID, but how to best protect ourselves against any bacteria and viruses in the not-quite-yet-post-COVID world, find that balance with comfort, and protection, and ensure that we all respect that everyone will have a different comfort levels. One thing that will stick with me is that I will be packing differently from now on for conferences to stay safe and enjoy them.