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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Napa's Season to Smile!

By Lisa Adams Walter

This month marks the two-year anniversary of the Coronavirus shutdowns of 2020. Thankfully, last month we received the good news that the decline in COVID-19 cases in California resulted in the softening of mask mandates around the state. Napa County has followed suit, and in many public settings mask mandates for those that are vaccinated against the Coronavirus have been lifted.

What does this mean for us as locals? For me, I feel very optimistic. While I already have a tendency to view most situations positively, even my sunny disposition has been tested over the past couple of years. The data is now showing that the numbers of life-threatening infections have been on the decline. Perhaps we really will move from a pandemic, into an endemic stage.

The local requirements are that unvaccinated people are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings. Fully vaccinated individuals are recommended to continue indoor masking when the risk might be high. There has also been an increase in the number of people at a “Mega Event” to 1,000 for indoor events and 10,000 for outdoor events.

This all sounds pretty positive and doable, if we all do our part! We can again shop, dine out, taste wine, socialize, be entertained even in a big setting!

Local merchants, restaurants, wineries, entertainment venues and other small businesses that require human interaction, have clearly suffered tremendous losses for two years. Now is the time for all of us to choose to support our community by doing two things: spending locally and interacting with others with gratitude, kindness and smiles.

This month, these are some things that you may want to consider:

MOVIES - Go to see a movie in an actual theater. Whether a small cinema Upvalley, or a modern large venue in Napa—I am craving hot buttered popcorn, a state-of-the-art sound system, cushy chairs or loveseats and the audience reaction that can only be experienced in an actual movie house.

BOWLING - Alleys have been open, but I haven’t been since 2019. I am gathering my people and heading to the lanes!

DINING OUT - Restaurants continue to need our support, patience and kindness. While I was a frequent “to go” customer over the past two years, I am looking forward to more meeting up with others to eat out. I can’t recall the last time I had an actual “business meeting” at a restaurant or met up for coffee - it was definitelybefore 2020, so now is the time.

WORKING OUT - Home health habits have definitely been on the rise, but there is really nothing like meeting up with others in a gym or yoga studio and get after it, collectively taking care of your body and mind.

SHOP - Plan a day of shopping, to check out the local wares. Yes, it will be nice to thank in person and smile at the checkers that have been on the front lines. Yet, it would really be a treat to browse a store, and have a conversation with a shopkeeper, perhaps testing out products or trying on clothes. It’s been far too long—I want to continue to support our community, rather than shop online.

WINE TASTING - Living in Napa, it is sometimes rare for locals to enjoy activities typical for tourists. There are a couple of wineries I have enjoyed outdoors while sitting with my small group, but an actual tour and tasting sounds pretty appealing.

SPA DAY - Ahhhh… the spa. How I’ve missed that kind of pampering. Even though for me, spa treatments are usually reserved for special occasions. Plenty of day spas dot the valley, so book a facial or massage.

SMILE - Yes! It is finally, for real, the season to smile. I am hopeful that we are returning to a sense of normalcy (See? Positive thinking over here!). If it becomes safe enough, I may even give out some hugs.


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