SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - The unofficial start to the summer season is days away, but it’s hard to tell.
From roadways to airports, there’s little buzz and little differentiating one day from the next.
“This year is the first year in 20 years that AAA is not issuing a Memorial Day travel forecast,” said Sergio Avila, a spokesman for the company.
Those forecast numbers have been corrupted by the advent of the COVID-19 crisis. In its wake, many people who would normally head out for a three-day weekend feel as though they’re living Groundhog Day.
“Probably doing the same thing that we’re doing today. Going for a walk and then going back home,” said a Los Gatos resident at Vasona Park, when asked how he would spend the holiday. Added Dr. Thomas Plante, a Santa Clara University psychologist, “Weekend. Weekday. What does it matter? It’s all sort of the same.”
Plante says the rut that we all feel is real. Instead of looking forward to a fun-filled summer, this Memorial Day is a time of introspection.
“It is a time to not only launch the summer, but it’s also a time to kind of reflect, on, 'What’s this summer gonna look like for me,'” said Plante.
With travel well below last year’s levels, and shelter-in-place restrictions easing in many places, but not everywhere, some people are choosing to travel and see sights, without leaving the comforts of home.
“I think this is common for all of us. We’re all trying to navigate this new world of being home all the time,” said Google's data editor Simon Rogers.
Speaking with KTVU's Mike Mibach on Thursday, Rogers said virtual touring is now the rage. The Louvre, the Smithsonian, and Yellowstone Park are all just a click away.
“It’s a great way for you to come and explore in a way you can’t do. Maybe later it’ll inspire you to go and see it for yourself. And you’ll see something in that virtual tour you might not know is there,” said Rogers.
It’s a new tool for discovery some will put to good use this holiday weekend.
“In life you always adjust to what’s in front of you,” said Los Gatos resident Anne Griffin as she walked in Vasona Park.
This, as a nation remembers its war dead while moving down the road in its own recovery.