One year ago, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic. In the year that’s passed, countless lives were lost, as were both jobs and homes. No one could have prepared us for the year we’ve had. Who could have known what was to come?
As I look back on my year, there were many lessons learned. Here are a few of them:
There’s no right way to deal with this.
Some people baked or got really into cooking. Others started focusing on fitness. Some chose to embrace the lounge time that pre-Covid life did not allow them.
This past year has been a collective traumatic experience. The kind that (hopefully) only comes once in a lifetime. The only wrong thing to do in this situation is to critique how anyone has been handling it. We’re all doing our best and that is more than enough.
It’s okay to not be okay.
At the start of this pandemic, there were days I didn’t get out of bed. I felt this inexplicable heaviness that I felt guilty for. I’d tell myself you have a job, you’re healthy, your family is healthy — what’s wrong with you?
Then I realized that everyone is feeling this way. Maybe not to the extent of not getting out of bed, but at least the heaviness. This a heavy time and it is okay to not be okay sometimes (or all of the time).
Keep in touch, but respect people’s space.
Remember the Zoom happy hours that we all started doing? We might not have been going outside, but our social calendars were filled to the brim with Zooms. In theory, it was great. I saw people regularly that I barely saw pre-pandemic. We all were so in touch with our loved ones in a way we’d never been before.
But there’s a downside. Being on camera requires you to be “on”. There were days when I felt so sad and the last thing I wanted to do was a Zoom. We were in lockdown though. It’s not like I could say that I have other plans. So I was “on”. I am sure I am not the only one who felt this way.
I am not saying abolish Zoom celebrations. They serve their purpose, but as we creak into year two of this pandemic be thoughtful with how you plan. Every occasion is not Zoom worthy, respectfully.
Even if you are not personally unaffected, remember the lives lost.
Empathy and compassion are free. Even you haven’t personally lost someone, there are over half a million families reeling with losses of a loved one (or loved ones). We must always remember that it’s not just about us. If the pandemic teaches us all anything, it should be that.
The pandemic isn’t over.
We are turning a corner, but we’re still a ways away from the pandemic being over. At least in the United States. So, we should all be doing our best to act accordingly.
There are some things I would do this year that I wouldn’t have done last year. I’ve come to accept the fact that Covid-19 is our reality, and will be for the foreseeable future. So, I have to find ways to safely live life to the fullest.
Keyword being, “safely”. This means wearing a mask. Avoiding places where social distancing isn’t possible, such as large indoor gatherings. Exercising a healthy amount of caution.
We all want life to go back to what it was before. The only way for that to happen is to acknowledge the situation we are in now. Which is in a pandemic that is not over.