Nearly “Normal,” Whatever That Is

In this summer of the Omicron BA5 variant, I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering, “What happened to the ‘new normal?’” We’re getting there, but this dastardly virus isn’t done with us yet. Yes, the death rate isn’t as staggering as with the past viral variations. And, yes, hospitalizations are down significantly for the most part.

But we’ve been forced to adapt yet again to changing circumstances, this time coping with a far more transmissible disease that is still affecting day-to-day life, especially if your are a senior, or someone with an underlying condition or are immunocompromised. Nonetheless, families are gathering, ballparks are seeing filled stands, music festivals are being held—and people are traveling, as I just did, making my first venture asea since 2019.

I am just returned from seven glorious nights aboard Cunard’s luxurious Queen Mary 2, the only ocean liner on Earth, one I traveled on in 2019 for a 108-day World Voyage. It was like coming home. It was, for the most part, “normal,” except for the pre-boarding Covid protocols and the on-board mandate to mask in common areas.  What a breath of fresh air, albeit through KN95 fibers.

I hope your Summer of ’22 brings you as much joy in your comings and goings as mine did. Maybe, just maybe, I can inspire you to venture forth.

In this first of three installments about my holiday voyage, I’m sharing with you glimpses of the ubiquitous elegance of this magnificent vessel. She is a world unto herself, especially in this ravaged world of war and political conflict, and, in the United States, of relentless crudeness, gun violence, and contraction of rights for women and minorities. Seeing that such elegance and grace still exist was healing. May that vibe touch you, too.

Welcome to Suite 10024, An Upgrade to the Highest QM2 Level!
Flowers Everywhere Throughout the Ship

The Clarendon Gallery aboard the QM2
The Remains of a Jacuzzi Bubble Bath before Dining; Champagne Not Shown
At Dinner on Gala (Formal) Night, in an Original Screen-Printed Silk Gown


10 thoughts on “Nearly “Normal,” Whatever That Is

  1. Thanks for the tour, Karla! Glad you had a fun time. And, yes, here’s hoping we can all weather the latest storm.




  2. Thanks, John! That was prompt!!!! Yes, let’s hope. We are all so tired of this crapola. And I’m doubly one of those threatened by this. No one wearing masks around here. I was the only one in Wegmans yesterday whom I saw who was wearing one. Had to pick up an Rx to start immediately, otherwise I wouldn’t have been in the store–still getting my groceries delivered. Sigh.


  3. Twice in a lifetime, Karla! Gorgeous settings and stylistic extras. Truly an adventure to remember and to capture in poetry and art. Congratulations!!


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