A musician plays his guitar for restaurant guests in downtown San Diego as COVID-19 restrictions continue to be scaled back. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

More and more residents are getting vaccinated, schools are somewhat coming back; the great reopening is upon us.

The governor announced – intentionally, I believe – my birthday, June 15, as The Day the Tiers Will Die.

But it’s hard to picture what even a semi-return to normalcy might look like, and not just because we’ve been quarantined for so long.

That’s because the caution that’s been burned into us, both out of legitimate fear of contracting the virus and legitimate fear of encountering the judgmental wrath of our neighbors that has become its own kind of parallel pandemic, isn’t going to disappear.

And presumably at least some of the vaccinated, the very people who can now venture out into the world again, will also be the ones to continue to adhere to the types of precautions we got used to in a world without vaccines.

It’s going to be a strange hybrid between the world we knew before – and the strange, stifling reality of the last year. We can go out to eat again, but many of us will stick with outdoor dining, and wear a mask when we venture in to use the restrooms. Kids can start to go back to school, but they might simply be doing a version of distance learning inside their class – neither stuck at home, but also not quite back back. We might begin venturing back into our offices and conducting in-person work meetings, but it’s unlikely many of us will ever return to a rigid 9-to-5 at a desk we sit in traffic to get to.

There won’t be a switch flipped allowing us to collectively return back to the way things were. In a few ways, it will be good. In many ways, we’ll still long for how it was. Mostly, it will keep being weird.

What VOSD Learned This Week

We created this interactive chart so you can see just how much of the billions of dollars in aid pouring in from the state and federal government is going to your school district. Speaking of school finances, a ruling in a major charter school scandal has big financial implications for districts that oversee charters. And here’s the latest on standardized testing requirements for this very, very weird school year.


Some of the Chula Vista Police officers who helped launch the department’s drone program are now consultants for drone companies, trying to sell other police agencies the technology.


A group of volunteers went door to door to ensure a shipment of vaccines were utilized by Barrio Logan residents. And you know vaccines are helping things are going back to normal, because we talked about the Convention Center on this week’s podcast. (By the way, there’s one big difference between the citizens’ initiatives that courts have given their blessing to as having passed with a simple majority, and San Diego’s Measure C.)


Jesse Marx looked into the case of a woman who’s been jailed in San Diego County for more than five years without trial, and found a tangle of mental health, criminal justice and psychiatric bed availability issues.

What I’m Reading

Line of the Week

“To me, this is something you do, ideally, zero times. You never experience the impulse to do it, and you lead a pleasant life. You travel. You eat lunchmeat sandwiches. Maybe you do a marathon, or climb something. You lead a blithe existence for many decades, you die in your bed in your mid-nineties surrounded by your cherished relatives, and in all that time, you never walk up to a colleague on the floor of the House of Representatives and out of nowhere present him with a nude photograph of someone you claim to have had sex with.” – I truly can’t wrap my mind around how Alexandra Petri is this good, this consistently.

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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