WAIMEA, Hawaii–One major upside of flying almost 4,800 miles to attend a tech event here was finally catching up with a lot of tech-journalism friends I hadn’t seen in almost two years… many of whom live only 235 miles north of my home.
But for whatever reason, New York has yet to host any high-profile tech events that would have given all of us an excuse to meet somewhere in NYC. Instead, Qualcomm staged its Snapdragon Tech Summit at a resort here and covered lodging and airfare for invited journalists and analysts (me included, something I discussed in more length in a post for Patreon readers). And so in between keynotes and demos, I’ve had versions of the following conversations:
- remembering how much work it was to get vaccinated early in this year and the continued frustration of having friends or family members who still refuse to get vaxxed;
- testimony about surviving COVID-19 infections; one friend recalled being barely able to breathe at the worst moments, something that sounds utterly horrifying;
- shared sighs over the psychic damage a year of pandemic-enforced isolation has done to our kids (usually followed by me feeling guilty over leaving my wife alone to deal with that);
- recaps of what it was like reunite with distant family members after months of living a coronavirus-cloistered existence;
- comparing when we started traveling for work again, to where, and for what purposes;
- discussions of who will be at CES and MWC, and if those events will happen at all given the rapid spread and unclear risk of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus..
That last question felt somewhat safe to contemplate on an island that requires either a negative test or proof of vaccination if visitors want to avoid a mandatory quarantine–see, who says a vaccination mandate for air travel is impossible here?–but now we’re going home to uncertain futures.
My next travel will be for Christmas, after which I’ve got flights and lodging booked for Las Vegas and Barcelona, all refundable. I would like to be able to proceed with those plans and see at least some of my tech-nerd friends in those cities, but it’s not up to me.