Since the start of the pandemic, we have all had to make endless decisions about what is worth the risk: eat out or stay home; attend a best friend’s wedding or watch the live broadcast; go on vacation or cancel it – again. But entering year 3, this calculation has lost its urgency for many people. This summer’s chaotic travel season is proof enough.
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For Charles Falls Jr., or Chillie, the biggest decision of the past two years has been when and whether to resume cruising. Before the pandemic, he spent much of his time at sea, on cruise ships. With their buffet lines and cramped quarters, cruise ships are many’s idea of a pandemic nightmare — and for Chillie, who has a lung condition, they pose a particular risk. But after nearly two years stranded on earth, the real nightmare for Chillie was staying home.
(A full transcript of the episode will be available at noon on the Times website.)
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“First Person” is produced by Cristal Duhaime, Olivia Natt, Derek Arthur, Christina Djossa and Jason Pagano and Courtney Stein. The show is edited by Kaari Pitkin, Stephanie Joyce and Lisa Tobin. Music by Isaac Jones, Pat McCusker and Carole Sabouraud. Mixing by Isaac Jones. Fact check by Mary Marge Locker. Audience Strategy by Shannon Busta with editorial support from Kristina Samulewski. The New York Times’ audio director is Paula Szuchman. Special thanks to Kate Sinclair, Patrick Healy and Katie Kingsbury.