Available on Amazon
"Equal and Opposite Reactions" http://amzn.to/2xvcgRa
and the sequel, "Hail Mary" https://www.amzn.com/1684334888
In April of 2021, when several COVID vaccines hit the market, cases of the infection were dropping, and there was optimism that we might soon be seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, I decided to go for it. I made reservations for Tom and myself, our kids, kids-in-law and grand kids - eleven of us altogether - at the Hale Koa from April 2 through April 9, 2022. I figured a year later the whole country - maybe even the whole world - would be vaccinated against the coronavirus infection and our back-to-Hawaii trip would be a celebration of back to life.
Or so I thought. Who knew that half the population of the United States would refuse the COVID vaccine and half the population of the world would be deprived a supply of it, so that the coronavirus would continue to thrive and mutate in the lungs of the unvaccinated?
And so by the end of summer 2021 a new and more deadly COVID variant, the Delta, had sent cases sky-high again. By the beginning of winter the hyper-contagious Omicron variant had arrived and by January of 2022 COVID cases were at an all-time high. The trip I had cheerily planned the year before now seemed like a terrible idea and, if the virus kept growing in virulence and contagion, one that might very well fall apart.
And then suddenly around the end of January the COVID case numbers began dropping. Then plunging. Another new variant was discovered but didn't appear to be gaining traction. Across the country mask mandates were being lifted. And then, miraculously, on March 26, 2022, just about a week before our trip, all public health mandates - mask mandates, vaccine proofs, pre-entry COVID tests - were lifted for the Hawaiian islands.
And so on April 2, 2022, we set out from our various domiciles - Columbus, Chicago, and Los Angeles. And that night, wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, our Ohana - Hawaiian for family - joyfully met up in the lobby of the Hale Koa,