Where do we go from here?
So the past couple months have been quite strange for all of us. We are, each and every one of us, weathering the same storm. But each of our paths and experiences throughout this time differ from everyone else's.
I will not pretend to understand YOUR path and resulting choices so please.... try not to make assumptions or judgments about anyone else's.
For those who receive my newsletter and/or follow me on Twitter, some of what I'm writing here will be a bit of a rerun. However, I do tend to keep my messages brief on both those mediums while here is where I feel free to blather on and on and....... on. ;-)
I am now planning my tours and general path forward but I won't lie: I'm nervous. I am afraid to get on airplane and I will be avoiding public spaces as much as possible for the forseeable future. Because I only do one-week trips at a time, returning home every weekend, not flying means I am having a bit of difficulty sorting out logistics for a few of my more far-flung destinations.
Driving distances further than 350 miles is challenging for me these days but never fear, I will figure out how to make cities such as Omaha, Wichita (and more!) work for me again!
Any definite changes? The only one which you need to be aware of is that I will be granting requests to wear a face-mask and/or gloves. I won't unless requested nor will I require anyone else to wear these items behind closed doors but if you feel more comfortable wearing them, please feel free to do so. :-)
Because many hotels will be mostly-unoccupied for a little while, how I choose my accommodations is slightly different now. That may mean altering the neighborhood/area where I usually stay in each given city but I will do my best to always pick a convenient location!
If I find a hotel is so quiet that foot-traffic from my guests might be noticed, I may ask you to meet me at a side door rather than going through the lobby as per usual so please do not be alarmed if this is the case.
I've always kept a "buffer window" of at least 30 minutes between dates, but now I will need a minimum of one hour for cleaning as well as discretion.
Yes, yes.... I always showered, re-did my hair/makeup and turned over the bedding in between dates. But now I'll also be wiping down any/all walls & surfaces my friends may have touched as well as changing over the bedding/linens more thoroughly so please understand my availability (especially at in-demand periods of morning, lunch & dinner hours) will be more limited due to the additional time this takes.
Something I haven't mentioned anywhere else is that I have lost a family member to Covid-19. We weren't close nor closely-related but family is family. He was my age, healthy, had young children; naturally, this has been traumatic for everyone who knew him.
I am certain some of my friends have also lost family members or at least had a major scare. You have my most heartfelt empathy and sypathies.
So for those who aren't taking the pandemic seriously: please keep that opinion to yourself. Thank you.
As of right now, I don't have many dates on my schedule but I will be adding many more as soon as possible.
I sincerely appreciate everyone's patience while I decide when to return to all my favorite cities, as well as trying to work in the new areas I had promised for this year.
Another plan for this year which has been changed was my move to the Southwestern US. I've had to delay that but this gives me the opportunity to reassure everyone that you probably won't notice when it DOES happen.
Most importantly: My tour destinations will remain largely the same. I might not visit the Chicago area very frequently, if at all, but all my other Midwestern destinations will still have the dubious honor of my regular visits. ;-)
In other words: No need to say, "we'll miss you!" because I will still be coming around.
Thank you all so much and I hope everyone is staying healthy and (relatively) sane throughout all this!