For nearly a year now, every significant in-person Coachella Valley event has been postponed, forced into the digital realm or cancelled entirely due to COVID-19.
We’ve even done stories about some of them—for example, theater companies’ plans to produce socially distanced productions. But none of them have actually taken place with live attendees—and, frankly, not a single one of these postponements and cancellations has come as a surprise. Since the pandemic arrived, there’s never been a point at which regular consumers of quality pandemic news could point at a date on the calendar and say, “Hey, we might be able to gather together then”—even in a limited way.
That is, there hasn’t been until now.
Yes, the vaccine rollout has been a debacle … but, honestly, shouldn’t we have seen that coming? Until noon on Jan. 20, our federal government was being led by an administration that had washed its hands of responsibility over vaccine distribution—leaving it entirely up to states, just like it did with testing. Combine that with the fact that never before has there been a mass vaccination effort like the one taking place now, and … well, in some ways, it’s a miracle that things haven’t been more of a mess.
And, yes, the vaccines aren’t a sure thing. It seems like every day, there’s news of a scary new SARS-CoV-2 variant that’s more contagious—and possibly more resistant to the vaccines.
However … the vaccination effort can only get better from here. As of noon on Jan. 20, our federal government is being led by an administration that is vowing to do all it can to get shots into arms. There’s also a decent chance that while this issue is on stands, one or possibly two more vaccines will be approved—and one of them, from Johnson and Johnson, may require just one dose rather than two. And while the variants are indeed scary, the vast majority of the scientific world believes the vaccines will still work against them.
Yesterday, we published our latest update on Modernism Week. The first part of the article has to do with the challenges the organization faced in creating new online offerings—like virtual home tours—for the February “Online Experience.” However, the second part delves into some of the in-person events being planned for April. While the events are all tailored toward social distancing and limited audiences, they’re real events—including the first events held at the Palm Springs Convention Center since … you know.
While it’s far from certain, I have hope that, hey, we might be able to gather together then—in a limited way.
As always, thanks for reading—and be sure to pick up the February 2021 print edition of the Coachella Valley Independent, available across the valley by the end of the week.