We imagined a gleeful summer of pandemic relief. Instead, new anxieties have replaced old ones
We were promised a Hot Vax Summer.
The term – a riff on Hot Girl Summer, the hit 2019 summer single – emerged this spring as predictive shorthand for the (perhaps literally) orgiastic welcome of a post-vaccine reality. But, as might be expected of a phenomenon named for the last great summer anthem of a world before Covid-19, Hot Vax Summer connoted more than a gleeful exchange of fluids. It came to signal a best-case scenario for a time of transition. Pure celebration and best lives lived. In simplest terms, relief.