The last time I had a chance to restock my supply of conditioner from a hotel shower it was still winter. I haven't enjoyed my regular on-the-road morning meal of two English Breakfast teas and a blueberry scone from Starbucks since 2019. It's been so long, in fact, since I've even set foot in my second home—the United Club—that I've lost my frequent-flier card. Which doesn't matter a huge amount since United has lost so many of its frequent flights that, its agents tell me, it won't be able to replace any card any time soon.
What does a lifelong traveler do in a world without travel? In this prolonged season of the virus, hundreds of millions have suffered much more than I have. But still, it's been a curious no-man's-land for those of us used to always being up in the air to go overnight from playing Bill Murray in Lost in Translation, furiously walking a treadmill in the hotel health club at 3 a.m., to Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, reliving the same morning again and again. Even as we know that the only way to break the cycle, by flying into tomorrow, is unavailable.