It has been an unusual year to do research abroad, as I have spent most of my time in Poland inside my own apartment, “Zoomed out” in front of a computer screen. Travel long remained restricted, restaurants and bars were closed, and public spaces felt risky due to the coronavirus pandemic. Spring 2021 felt like little more than winter 2020 gone into overtime. Even for the first few weeks after things started to reopen, it was hard to shake this sense that the world outside needed to be approached with caution, if not trepidation.
Only with the arrival of summer has it come to seem normal again to eat in a restaurant instead of ordering takeout, to have a drink with friends in the evening, to sit at a café on the market square. Now fully vaccinated (at least according to current regulations), I can at last do the non-academic part of what I came here to do: go out, meet people, and soak up my surroundings.
Here is a look back at what Wrocław looked like before, during, and since “reopening”.