If last year Saturday June 20 was the longest day in the longest year, what does that make June 20, 2021?
The longest day in what is shaping up to be a relatively good year.
The 20th of June marks summer solstice, the point in the cosmic calendar when the sun lingers longest in the Northern hemisphere and daylight seems to last in perpetuity.
In other words, it’s the official start of summer, though in this neck of the woods it seemed to begin in late May whenever the local water park—in whatever iteration it was at the time—opened its doors.
Five days before solstice this year the state of California will fully reopen, dispensing with the COVID-19 mandates that were designed to keep people safe from a pandemic that hobbled the nation’s economy and killed more than half a million people nationwide and millions around the globe.
Vaccines are in arms, cases are down and masks are gone—mostly.
The inoculated are almost entirely free to live their lives the way they did pre-pandemic.
Six-foot distancing, masks in bars, small gatherings in restaurants and avoiding large crowds will be a thing of the past.
Those who haven’t taken the vaccine will have continue following mask guidelines in indoor public settings but as of now there is no official way of knowing who is vaccinated so they’ll be using the honor system.
Also, there will be instances in which vaccinated or not people will be required to wear masks, those occasions mostly revolve around public transportation, hospitals, schools and shelters. Of course, each business is free to require masks as a condition of entry and patronage but that may be more the exception than the rule as people climb all over each other to get back to their favorite eatery.
Anticipate more barbecues at parks and local bay sides, more people crowded into the COVID-inspired sidewalk cafes and longer commutes to the stores and gas stations as people prepare for the upcoming Independence Day holiday.
The longest day after the longest year approaches. It will be interesting to see what it brings.