My friend called me, her voice tinged with panic: “Do you think we should do this, with the delta variant and all?”

We were planning to fly together to a women’s fitness camp on the western slope of the Rockies that we both had attended several times in past years.

I reassured my friend, “We are all responsible adults. The people are all women we’ve known for years now. We’ll be outside most of the time.”

“OK, I just needed to hear that,” she said.

We continued with our plan that she would drive to my house the night before our trip, meeting me and my sister, and the three of us would be driven to the airport early the next morning by my Personal Travel Consultant, aka husband.

It happened that my son came down for an overnight visit the evening before the other women arrived, and he stayed working from our upstairs “office” for the day until joining us for happy hour and dinner the eve of our departure.

“You’re going to be sharing eating space with a bunch of people you don’t know?” he asked. “And just taking their word that they’ve been vaccinated?”

My son was so upset that he jumped to his feet and walked up and down the street outside for several minutes to settle down. He and his family had been to a party a couple of weeks earlier where “everyone was supposed to have been vaccinated, but the hostess called us the next day to let us know that a guy who left just 10 or 15 minutes after we arrived had just reported testing positive for COVID-19. So, we were all exposed.” His faith in folks’ “word of honor” is badly shaken.

But I need to go. I need to look at something different out the window, preferably something more than 30 feet away. I need to hear some different voices. I need to vary my diet from the familiar favorite offerings of my Personal Chef (aka husband). I need to stop reading about chaos in Afghanistan, earthquakes in Haiti, flooding in Tennessee, overwhelmed hospitals in Florida, hurricanes in Louisiana, wildfires in the Sierra and attempts to overthrow the governments in Washington, D.C., and California.

When he returned to our back patio, I tried to reassure my son in the same way I had reassured my friend. He listened, and then smiled with resignation.

“Mom, I have just one thing to say to you,” he said. “Make wise choices.”

Seven days after my return, I had a COVID-19 test, for my own peace of mind and that of my family. It came back negative. I got away with it.

Allyson Johnson is a longtime Los Altos resident. To read her blog, visit