New horizons

The hotels we called in Vermont all had the same answer. They’d tell us that to book a room we’d have to come with a negative Covid 19 test result, plus proof of a two-week quarantine. It was law for everyone out-of-state, especially if they were from New York, according to the hotel staff.

We looked into the Adirondacks. Lake George had a few spots open with closed pools and beaches, or two-week rental requirements.

The reopening protocols are supposed to be uniform across a region, but they’re not. One of the places I work is quite lax, with everyone wearing masks but piles of stuff everywhere, just as it had been before the quarantine orders. Meanwhile, a similar business that should be considered essential news media isn’t letting anyone in their building. The library where I clerk has thermometers and masks everywhere, plus custom keyboards and mice for each employee. My wife’s office has a gym attached. Everyone shares a kitchen.


We are headed west to a hotel and restaurant on Lake Ontario, far from anyone else. The place started as a bootlegger’s getaway. They know about lockdown.

We’re gingerly eyeing travel abroad next winter. We’re considering getting down to see family in Brooklyn, other family in Boston and Washington, D.C. We’re ready to increase our orbit, see different horizons.

Competing marches came upon each other Saturday. One consisted of  a couple of hundred mostly white anti-vaxxers. The other, a mix of kids and parents, half white and half black, were carrying signs that read “Black Little League Matters,”. They wanted a change to the Police Athletic League’s management of kids’ baseball, which hasn’t changed much in the last half-century.

Will those who have been vaccinated be tattooed in some way to be identified more easily at borders? Will we separate further into groups that always, sometimes, or never wear masks?

I’m looking forward to gazing west at an unpeopled horizon. I’m looking forward to new subjects to ponder.

Read more installments of Village Voices by Paul Smart.