Opinion | The Last Person in the World Who Should Be Going on a Cruise

The pandemic marooned Charles Falls Jr. on land for nearly two years. Now, he’s finally setting sail again.







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Since the pandemic started, we’ve 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 livestream; go on vacation, or cancel it — again. But going into Year 3, that calculus has lost its urgency for many people. This summer’s chaotic travel season is evidence enough.

[You can listen to this episode of “First Person” on Apple, Spotify or Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

For Charles Falls Jr., or Chillie, the biggest decision of the last two years has been when, and whether, to get back to taking cruises. 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 people’s idea of a pandemic nightmare — and for Chillie, who has pulmonary disease, they pose a particular risk. But after he’d spent almost two years marooned on land, the real nightmare, for Chillie, was staying home.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Thoughts? Email us at [email protected] Follow Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Twitter: @lourdesgnavarro

“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. Scoring by Isaac Jones, Pat McCusker and Carole Sabouraud. Mixing by Isaac Jones. Fact-checking by Mary Marge Locker. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta with editorial support from Kristina Samulewski. The director of New York Times audio is Paula Szuchman. Special thanks to Kate Sinclair, Patrick Healy and Katie Kingsbury.

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