Welcome. Will this summer be a wild, maskless frolic, a Roaring ’20s montage of window sashes flung open, giddy reunions, spontaneous making out with strangers? In her essay for this week’s Times Magazine, the Canadian writer Mireille Silcoff examines how advertising has fueled the notion that the pandemic’s end will inevitably lead to a collective explosion of “MULT,” or “Making Up for Lost Time.” While a viral gum ad depicts a “multigenerational cuddle puddle — a pandemonium of sweatpants askew and unshaven body parts and sprinklers gone wild,” Silcoff observes that the “pain and wisdom seeded by the past year are fragile” and “need to be introduced back into the world carefully.”
That’s the balance so many of us are seeking, isn’t it? Optimistic, but cautious. More than half of the people in the United States, nearly 170 million, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but that’s not the case everywhere. Much as it may seem like it in some places, this isn’t over yet.
There’s no right way to feel, no one way to experience this summer. Mike Hale has 26 shows to watch “if the pandemic — or just life in general — still has you favoring food delivery and maximum social distancing.” If you’re looking for places to visit in the U.S. that are encouraging vaccinated travelers, Sarah Firshein has you covered. Or perhaps Brad Walls’s images of pools, shot from above, are enough for now. It’s tricky: “Wary after a year of dealing with an airborne virus, many people are wondering when it will be possible to plan a week in Paris or the Caribbean without worrying whether the pandemic will overshadow the fun,” writes Andrew Solomon in “Can Travel Be Fun Again?”
I’ll be watching the French Open, with Christopher Clarey as my guide (read him on Naomi Osaka, as well as Roger Federer and Serena Williams, both ranked eighth in the world at age 39). I might sample a classic of camp cinema. I’ll definitely read this profile of Anthony Ramos, the star of “In the Heights,” and “What Happens to Philip Roth’s Legacy Now?,” about the novelist’s posthumous reputation following sexual assault allegations against his biographer. I’m going to finish “The Plot,” Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel about a frustrated writer. The Book Review podcast has an interview with Korelitz, and you can read an excerpt from the book here.
What’s on your mind? What are you excited about as the season changes, and what are you concerned about? Write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re At Home and Away. We’ll read every letter sent. Check out more ideas below for leading a full and cultured life, no matter where the weekend takes you. See you next week.