The most important voyage in my life

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Social June 29 @ 10:13pm

The Most Important Voyage of MY Lifetime
Harold Emert

I write after returning from the most important voyage of my life: a five-day visit to the nearby mountainside city of Teresopolis after a confinement due to Covid of 17 months in my Copacabana apartment.
The trip-- which took 90 minutes and spanned 62 kilometers to arrive in what some call Eretzopolis (Hebrew) in Rio de Janeiro state ---signified my own attempt to return to a “normal” life after surviving a plague which has killed over 511,000 victims in Brazil and almost four million worldwide.
I and others who departed their caged-up lives waited for ages this moment!
And to my surprise the first day and night that I reached my hotel in the lovely mountains ( which remind me of my native upstate New York), I missed my “cage” and surprisingly missed my confinement, parallel to a prisoner who is let out of his or her jail cell.
But, in my memory of world travels, most voyages start out like this: missing “home” and by the end of the travels and adventure not wishing to return “home.”
My trip involved professionally performing/videotaping for an empty auditorium a recital for oboe and guitar . And like an Olympic athlete returning after being out of training the return to performing a recital was not easy .
For it is one thing to play /practice in one´s room and another to perform in public!
(Hopefully, these words of an experience will aid others returning to performing activities which were “normal” before Covid hit our planet.)
The trip also involved observing that others are also beginning to appreciate the “normalcy” we all knew before a virus attacked .
Hotels and restaurants were filled more than ever . The only difference was despite a negationist, idiotic President of Brazil who refuses to wear a mask, everyone we met was wearing masks and special precautions prescribed to fight the spread of Covid were being observed wherever we went in Eretzopolis:the use of alcohol, and even plastic gloves, social distancing and even taking the temperatures of visitors to shopping centers.
But Brazil is still behind the rest of the rest of the world, which is beginning to take off their masks and return to normal life.
My dislocation from the cage where I only met others online, also meant that I appreciated more than ever friendships and conversations and the opinions/experiences of others.
For I made a point of inviting live meetings with others I haven’t seen in almost two years!
This life was NOT meant to be lived online with written conversations, zoom meetings and other artificial devices which modern technology has wrought on our “modern” lives.
Returning to my “cage” here in Copacabana, south Rio de Janeiro, my five-day escape has made me appreciate more than ever the fact that we have survived –so far—the biggest killer of my lifetime since World War II.
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