It seems like only yesterday that I started the On The Road to Providence For Victory Programs to document Ruth Anne and Tom's journey of training and fundraising. It started out as on the road to the Providence Marathon, but after a 15 mile training run left Tom sideways, Team McManus opted for the Half Marathon distance. They received so much support from our village and Victory Programs for their decision. When we talked with Coach Brian Simons, we talked about how the pandemic had taken a toll on everyone mind, body and soul. As we emerge from the pandemic, we all needed to honor what would be best for all Tom and Ruth Anne as runners, and for me as the marathon manager.
Our last race-cation was in February of 2020 at Hyannis Marathon Weekend. As we crowded the ballroom and hallways, greeted each other with hugs and high fives and warmly hugged each other goodbye with "See you in Boston," we had no idea life would come to a screeching halt a few weeks later. The pandemic has been quite the journey. I know how incredibly blessed we have been through it all. Ruth Anne had to take yet another COVID test for work and once again it was negative. We have all been physically healthy throughout the pandemic. There were bumps along the road exacerbated by the pandemic that took a toll on our emotional well-being but gratitude helps us to keep a perspective on how blessed and fortunate we are.
Tom and Ruth Anne trained through every kind of weather. The forecast looks amazing for Sunday. The question is how many times can I refresh the Weather Channel page set to Providence weather before Sunday. We started packing last week checking off necessities that we could pack ahead of time on our list. This Race-cation has a very different feel from pre-pandemic Race-cations. There is an excitement intensified by the two year hiatus since we had a running vacation. Appreciation and gratitude overflow knowing how precious life is. Our freedom to travel, stay at a hotel and gather with friends at a race weekend is no longer something we come to expect in our lives.
During an interview on Tuesday, chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci shared that the U.S. is “out of the pandemic phase” of COVID-19 as hospitalizations and cases have plummeted.
Fauci made his statement during an interview with PBS’s “NewsHour” when he was asked if the nation was close to the end of the pandemic.
“We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase,” Fauci said.
During an interview with The Washington Post, Fauci clarified that the global pandemic is still going on, but the U.S. is going through a transition period.
“The world is still in a pandemic. There’s no doubt about that. Don’t anybody get any misinterpretation of that. We are still experiencing a pandemic,” Fauci said.
However, he said that the virus is no longer causing the same amount of hospitalizations and deaths that it had when omicron swept the nation over the winter.
Throughout the winter, Fauci said the U.S. was experiencing a “full-blown pandemic phase.” Then, he said when cases started falling, it moved into a “deceleration” phase, and now we are transitioning to the control phase.
“The way we were months ago, where we were having 900,000 cases a day, tens of thousands of hospitalizations, three thousand deaths a day,” Fauci said. “The deaths went from 3,000 down to 300.”
Fauci predicted we would hit a “control” stage of the pandemic by last fall, before the delta and omicron variants emerged, causing a spike in cases. Now he is saying the same, as new variants are not posing a threat.
The doctor said that omicron subvariants have started to spread, they are not impacting hospitalizations or deaths like their variant predecessor.
“Right now, we’re at a low enough level that I believe that we’re transitioning into endemicity. ... We’re not in the full-blown explosive pandemic phase. That does not mean that the pandemic is over,” Fauci said. “A pandemic means widespread infection throughout the world. ... In our country, we’re transitioning into more of a controlled endemicity.”
With cases getting better, the nation has started to adjust to a new way of life as mask mandates, restrictions, and other COVID-19 era policies continue to be lifted.
Even though mandates are becoming a thing of the past, COVID-19 is still present in our communities, and health experts continue to urge Americans to make the best choices for themselves.
During a Race-cation, we would plan to take advantage of all of the hotel amenities. We decided to forego use of the swimming pool. Food service at the hotel is still limited so we will be bringing all of our breakfast needs for race day. We will look like we are going away for a week with all of our bags but that was true pre-pandemic.
When we check into the hotel, we will have come full circle from the last week of February in 2020. Once again we are able to look forward to a weekend of anticipation, excitement, bib pick ups, pre-race fueling for runners and support crew, asking people as they pass by, "You running on Sunday?", getting up at the crack of dawn on Sunday, feeling #allthefeels and heading to the start line. We are visualizing Race Weekend from start to finish with exactly how we want it to be. It's easy for gremlin thoughts that are residue from having lived through the pandemic to creep in but I keep coming back to focusing on how we all want the weekend to be and staying focused on only positive experiences.
The hay is in the barn as they say. The fundraising was a phenomenal success raising $7700 for Victory Programs and their ReVision Urban Farm. To learn about the work they do to help with healing, hope, recovery, housing and food security visit Ruth Anne's fundraising page and if you are so moved, make a donation to support her run.
It's two more sleeps until we head to Providence for our first Race-cation in two years.
From my heart to yours,
In health and wellness,
Be sure to visit my website at https://marymcmanus.com to learn about my journey to health and wellness in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma
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