Celebrating an Unhappy Anniversary

A New Reality

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Lest we forget, it was one year ago today the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel Coronavirus-19 a Global Pandemic.  How many of us really thought it would last this long?  I was an optimist and thought it would soon pass.  My pragmatic mate figured it would be months.  We were both wrong as this monstrous attack on our health and well-being continues still.  The disruption to our lives and livelihoods is immense.

Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you heard the news.  When did you realize how topsy-turvy our lives would become?  We were aboard Holland America’s MS Koningsdam, happily cruising the Caribbean Islands.  On the 10th of March we were touring Castries, St. Lucia.  The next day, the Port of Basseterre in St. Kitts closed to all cruise ships.  And so, rather than docking, we spent the day of March 11th at sea.   We did dock in Charlotte-Amalie, St. Thomas (a U.S. Territory) on March 12th.  It was a somber day as we strolled the town.  We had just learned our follow-on cruise to the Southern Caribbean aboard the Celebrity Silhouette was canceled.  World-wide, ALL cruises were canceled effective March 15th.   As we made plans to get home from our suddenly aborted itinerary, THAT was the moment we knew the world would change.

We last cruised aboard the MS Amsterdam in March of 2020 on what should have been a 3-week Caribbean adventure.
MS Amsterdam in Fort de France, Martinique
MS Amsterdam in Fort de France, Martinique. After this, ports were canceled, substituted, and then dropped again. It became a hit-or-miss adventure.
Docked in Castries, St Lucia
Libations at the dock in Castries, St. Lucia.
Our last port of call, Charlotte-Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI

Today, we like to think that, on a personal basis, we coped with this crisis well.  But who knows???  It will take time to sort out the effects of this global catastrophe.

And so, it is with hopeful hearts and sincere well-wishes as we receive our vaccines and begin the return to normalcy that we wish you relief and joy; the contentment of reuniting with friends and family; and the joyful prospect of resuming our lives.

This may be a very unhappy anniversary.

But with the assorted vaccines in increasing production, we can look forward to happy days ahead. 

It’s 2021. Travel awaits!!! Hopefully soon!!!

2 thoughts on “Celebrating an Unhappy Anniversary”

  1. Didn’t know you were on a cruise when all hell broke loose! Glad you were able to get home without any problems. Your writing gets across quite vividly how a person feels in the circumstances.

    We were cancelled by HAL just before we were to fly to FLL and glad that we were still home when the email came in. That 49 day cruise was a huge loss! You know, great cruise, excellent last minute pricing, the Koningsdam which we had wanted to try out for quite a while…….

    Looking like maybe November to start up? Fingers crossed that we will all be back at least early next year. We should be eligible for the vaccine by May depending how the supply lines hold up. Lots of time to spare for cruising. Did you get any documentation about your vaccine? Understand that people likely will need proof, and probably a negative test as well to travel by air and cruise.

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    1. Spring is coming and the feeling of renewal seems to bein the air!! Oh, joy!! The vaccine is the key. Full efficacy kicks-in a month after the second injection. That is when normalcy returns. Here in the U.S., we expect to have everyone vaccinated this summer. I’m hoping Fall will bring the surge of travel we’re all waiting for. I’ve been reading about digital health passports–there is no standardization at this time–but the Covid-19 Vaccination Record Card (issued when you get the shots) is the start. Keep it in a safe place. Eventually a system will be developed to digitally link that record to your passport as proof of vaccination.

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