You'd have to be living under a rock not to have heard of the Delta variant currently driving the pandemic era, and the increased push to get vaccinations widespread.
Things are definitively returning to normal. The biggest complaints now are that jobs aren't being filled because people don't want to work, with the common explanation that they're getting too much money with unemployment benefits to bother with earning a paycheck. Businesses are putting signs up explaining curtailed operations, offering huge signing bonuses...
Yeah, the pandemic is still happening. At work, a slew of (vaccinated) coworkers have been wiped out recently, either because they actually caught COVID-19 or were exposed to those who did, and ended up taking time out either to get diagnosed or because it was confirmed.
Combined with the hurricane that whipped through the region early in the month, I've been plagued by considerable uncertainty. I had a project that ended up aborted because I ran into rights issues, but have since revamped it (and will talk more about that later), and others that I haven't been working on virtually at all, stuck in a holding pattern, and have struggled with feelings of inadequacy.
On the other hand, the family front seems to be getting better, far better than it seemed at the start of the year, although now of course my dad is doubling down on his pandemic thoughts and even I am finding it hard to listen to it now. But the calls continue, mostly every Sunday, and that means another tomorrow, regardless of how conversation flows.
I finally reconciled myself with all the pandemic spending I was doing, and am actively taking measures to be fiscally responsible again. Strange to say, but for me that's how things played out. I am well aware, again, how fortunate I've been in all this. I'm grateful all over again that I had medical coverage two falls ago when I needed it for emergency optometrist visits, which I used again a few weeks ago, and have once again updated my contacts prescriptions after yet another emergency when one of the legs on my glasses inexplicably, randomly and suddenly broke off. (I successfully glued it back on! But have made the decision to switch back to regular contacts use, after depending on the glasses since I had those updated, two falls ago.)
Life is strange; life continues.