What to do about Lake Placid?
For weeks, Dave and Nancy Nathan had been debating whether to proceed with a long-planned family trip to a lodge there next month, marking his 80th birthday.
“It looked dreamy, mountains and lakes,” said Nancy, 74. Besides, they hadn’t gathered their clan — three daughters and their families, a dozen people in all — for a year. She thought she and Dave could manage the drive from their home in Bethesda, Md., to upstate New York.
He wasn’t so sure.
Both retirees, they’d been cautious through the pandemic, mindful that while neither had health conditions that would make Covid-19 especially dangerous, age alone put them at higher risk. They had avoided supermarkets, relying on grocery delivery services and take out food. Dave wore gloves on the tennis court.
“I’ve been dubious about travel,” he said. “I have no need to be more daring.” Worried, too, about the family members flying from Oregon and Florida for his birthday, he called himself Dr. No.
“It’s not fun for him, or anyone, if he’s always looking over his shoulder,” Nancy said, sympathizing. Still, she hoped they could go.
Early on in the pandemic, most public health officials warned older adults to simply stay at home, except to buy food or medicine or exercise outdoors apart from others. Now, with states and cities reopening (and some re-closing) at varying paces, the calculations grow steadily more complicated.
“Lots of people are really agonizing about what to do and whom to have faith in,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.