We Have an Issue: Getting Back Out There – But There Where?

Cover by Zeke Barbaro / Getty Images

Everyone's experience of this pandemic is unique, of course. Front-line workers and low-wage earners haven't always had the luxury of socially distancing themselves. Other people have chosen to ignore scientific guidance and gone about their routines uninterrupted. But for the rest of us, newly vaccinated and given the go-ahead to get back out there, these are seriously exciting times.

If the beginning of the pandemic was a slow-motion fall off a cliff, flying past one unintentional landmark after another (last drinks after work, last workout at the gym, last time clocking in at the office), then the vaccinated reentry into society is something far more deliberate. We've spent 14 months learning certain behaviors; unlearning them doesn't happen overnight.

In our weekly editorial staff meetings (still over Zoom, but a return to the office will probably happen this summer), we share stories like nervous freshmen who've been testing out new freedom: "Last night I went to the movies." "I got drunk and hugged five friends." "I bought a plane ticket."

But the thing that's got us most amped – euphoric, even – is the ability to return to reporting on our beats in person. This week, our editors reflect on what it's been like to put away the screens, shut down the livestreams, and head out into the world to the clubs, bars, restaurants, movie theatres, and performance halls we call our second homes. And for all the contrarians out there, perfectly content to stay home away from hubbub – don't worry, we've got you covered, too. Check out the whole package starting here.

You might also have noticed that our event listings have been evolving. Our once sparse listings are ramping back up again, and as venues reopen, we'll be shifting our focus away from virtual programming back to live, in-person events. We've also decided to drop our "ChronEvents" branding and fold our ChronEvents social media channels into our main Austin Chronicle account. After so much stir-craziness, finding something fun to do – getting back out there! – is high on everybody's lists, and we want to make it as easy as possible for readers to connect with our calendar listings. Head over to austinchronicle.com/events to find scads of fun somethings, or to submit your own event for our calendar listings.

Online This Week

A Giant Dog plays a secret house show on May 21 (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

A Giant Dog Teases Impending Concept Album: The Austin punk quintet transports partygoers to "Avalonia."

Austin FC Launches ATXFC Artist Initiative: The pro soccer club's new program partners with Austin artists on works that can be showcased both inside the club's facilities and on merchandise such as T-shirts and posters.

Paramount Theatre Reopens: Doug Freeman reports from the Friday night Ley Line and Nané show that felt like a family reunion.

More in Austin FC: The good news: Q2 Stadium will open at 100% capacity for Austin FC's first home game in June. The not-so-good news: Austin's MLS expansion team's losing streak continues after falling 1-0 to Nashville SC on Sunday.

Last Week in Live Music: Check out David Brendan Hall's photo gallery – featuring Erika Wennerstrom, Carrie Fussell, and Big Head Todd & the Monsters – online at austinchronicle.com/photos.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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