Letter from the Editor: The Places You’ll Go

A very different kind of unknown

Photo by Roberto Gonzalez

Back in October, my editor’s column was about how I am obsessed with imagining what life might be like a week, year, or decade from now, often depending on how a crisis plays out. The impetus for that reflection was Hurricane Dorian, which had miraculously spared Florida, stopping off our coast before turning away. I couldn’t conceive of a natural disaster any worse.

But that was before something called COVID-19, better known as coronavirus, came along.

Certainly, the two threats have things in common, particularly in the fear and stress they cause. And a hurricane season can torture us for months (think back to 2004).  But once a storm makes landfall, it generally moves through quickly, allowing us to begin recovery almost immediately.

With coronavirus, though, there are no storm movements to track. We don’t know how fast it will move. We don’t know exactly when recovery can begin because we have no idea when we’ll be out of danger.  We track the damage not in wreckage to dwellings but rather in damage to our bodies as well as our way of life.

Most of this issue was assembled in late February and early March, before the social effects of the pandemic—particularly the postponements and closings—became evident. And so, some of the articles you read will be, for lack of a better term, “clip and save,’’ looking ahead to a time when we can enjoy getting out again. That’s true in the case of our annual travel package, in which Patricia Letakis guides us to 10 hidden gems in our state—from the lovely community of Alys Beach in the Panhandle, to the remote getaway that awaits you in Everglades City. Then there’s Stuart, Lake Placid, Boca Grande, Key Biscayne, Flagler Beach, Fernandina Beach, Steinhatchee, and the Guy Harvey Camp Mack Lodge in Lake Wales.

Elsewhere, dining critic Joseph Hayes checks out the fabulous Takumi-Tei restaurant at Epcot’s Japan Pavilion, as well as the vegan-centric Hungry Pants. Peter Kerasotis traces the quest of Pat Williams, who brought the Magic to town and has turned his attention to drawing a Major League Baseball team here. Laura Anders Lee looks at her fascination with the Easter Bunny (as well as a distant bunny relative from her childhood known as The Lollipop Fairy). This is also our annual Best Lawyers issue, listing more than 400 top attorneys in dozens of fields. In our Women of the Year section, we honor 22 individuals—nominated by readers–making a difference in our community. Finally, the voting for Best of ORL is going on at our website—orlandomagazine.com—until May 1. So take the stress level down a notch by going there and voting for your favorites in dozens of categories, from community leaders to hair salons, bars to bike shops.

Looking to the future: We aren’t certain of all the content that these pages will hold. It’s pretty safe to say that both in print and online we’ll adapt to what serves readers best—including some advice on things to do while hunkering down in your homes. As always, we’ll remain positive. And like you, we’ll eagerly await the day when this storm has passed and all of us can venture out freely–and rejoice at the chance to gripe about I-4 construction once again.

In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the places you’ll go.’’ And, believe me, one day you will.


Categories: Column