Last Halloween I was in Chicago, in one of the biggest cities in the US visiting a customer. This was near the end of a very busy travel year, where I'd been to England 5 times, Australia twice, and was returning home for the weekend before heading back out on a trip to Seattle for the 2019 PASS Summit.
This year I expected more of the same, even into early February, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. Since then, much of the world has changed, certainly travel, conferences, SQL Saturdays, and most other types of gatherings have changed. Not just work events, but work itself, with many of us, perhaps most, working from come. Concerts, comedy, sporting events, and more have been cancelled or changed to taking place without spectators. While some things are starting to come back, they've forever changed.
I have started coaching volleyball again, and while we've started competition, we do so without spectators, which is a very strange experience. As I sat between matches recently, my wife and I noticed how quiet it was and how calm. In a good way, but also a strange feeling for us.
Perhaps one of the strangest things is watching media more than in the past, and seeing people without masks, in crowds, living life in a way that I assumed would always exist a year ago. It's certainly jarring, and I wonder to what extent we'll return to that world in the future.
Tomorrow is Halloween, and while it's not an event I'll participate in, I'll think about the spooky feeling of this entire year, where nothing seems to have gone in the way I'd have expected. I hope that does change in 2021, but for now, I'm assuming we have at least seven more months, through at least April of 2021, living in the same world. Hopefully, I'm wrong.