Here’s to new beginnings! Our lives will forever be punctuated by the pandemic. Every story we tell our children and grandchildren will begin with “I remember
when, before Covid…” Or, I remember, in lockdown…” It must be how my grandparents would tell stories. So many of them must have started with “I remember before the War…”
Every generation has that seminal event that forever changes how they look at the world, how they remember their own timelines and experiences and how they changed, from “before” and “after.” I always thought mine would be the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, then later my marriage, or when my kids were born. Most of the time these important events get superseded by more recent, more important ones. But I honestly don’t think anything else will compare with 2020 and the challenges it brought.
But here we are, 15 months in and the light at the end of the tunnel is clearly visible. More and more people are getting vaccinated and the vaccines are working – Covid deaths have plummeted and severe illness among the vaccinated is near zero. The “cure” we all prayed for is finally here and, as more and more Americans get shots in arms, the more our economy improves. Even here in super Covid-conservative California, our governor has declared June 15 as the day we can lift all restrictions, save for masks in some cases.
As the nation’s businesses continue reopening, so does coin-op. News of locations unlocking the doors has peppered RePlay’s newsletters where not long ago, the opposite was the dominant story. We’re making plans for Louisville, Vegas and Orlando, and we’ve restarted the Players’ Choice chart!
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I sent out the chart ballots to operators, but was more than pleasantly surprised by the returns. And while it is a straw poll to be sure, I think it really is an excellent snapshot of where we are, right now, digging out from under. Thanks to all of those who replied, and if anyone out there wants to be part of our Players’ Choice community, drop me a note at [email protected]. Never forget that we’re a small, tight-knit industry that needs each other to be the most successful. Let’s move forward with that new normal in mind.