(Note: Portions of this Editor’s Note, which appears in the May 2021 print edition, previously appeared in the April 21 Daily Digest.)

In recent weeks, life has started to feel a lot more … well, normal.

And this is a blessed, lovely thing.

On April 18, I played my first softball game in 16 months, when the Palm Springs Gay Softball League returned to action after a pandemic-forced hiatus of more than 13 months. I was rather emotional before stepping on the field for two reasons: One, the fact that the resumption of play signifies the waning (?) of the pandemic, and two, a year ago at this time, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to play softball again.

I missed the spring 2020 season—all two weeks of it, before COVID-19 shut it down—after dislocating my right (dominant) elbow. My doctor told me I’d probably need UCL reconstruction, aka Tommy John surgery, because my ulnar collateral ligament was completely torn. If I didn’t have the surgery, he said, I’d probably never again be able to play softball at my (admittedly rather low) accustomed level.

At this time last year, I rehabilitated my busted elbow with physical therapy three days per week, working toward a return to normalcy that I wasn’t sure would ever come, both due to the pandemic and my elbow.

Fortunately (?), it turns out that my UCL has probably been torn for more than two decades, and I am able to throw just fine without it. Even more fortunately, those vaccines that scientists were feverishly working on this time last year work.

It’s because of these vaccines that I will soon be seeing my mom and my in-laws for the first time since Christmas 2019. All of our 2020 plans to get together were cancelled by … well, you know. But we’re all fully vaccinated, so we can finally see each other (with appropriate cautions, of course).

Being able to see my mom … hooray for normalcy.

In the vein of normalcy: Last month, I mentioned that we planned on bringing back The Venue Report for the month of May—and I am relieved to say that, indeed, we have. Since most of the larger venues remain closed, this iteration of The Venue Report is a bit smaller than previous ones, and includes some different sorts of places—but, hey, at least we have some live entertainment back!

Here’s hoping that the state’s announced plans to drop the COVID-19 tier system, and allow the vast majority of the state’s businesses to reopen at full capacity on June 15, come to fruition. That’s only one print edition of the Independent away!

Stay safe. Please, please get vaccinated if you haven’t already. And be sure to pick up the May 2021 print edition of the Coachella Valley Independent, hitting newsstands this week. As always, thank you for reading.

Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. A native of Reno, Nevada, the Dodgers fan went to Stanford University intending to become a sportswriter—but fell...