Wednesday, March 31, 2021

COVID-19: One Year Later

It feels like forever-ago that we all first heard of COVID-19. As I posted back in March 2020, I was a skeptic in the beginning. I reread some of my diary entries from that time, and I laugh about musings like this (from March 10 2020): "So help me, if we're still talking about the [beep] Corona Virus [in November], I'll STICK MY [redacted]." You get the picture.

Now the vaccine is imminent for my age group in my state, so the end feels close. However, what awaits on the other side is the new normal that this virus has forged. Here's what the new normal means for me:

  • Crowds. I am less social than when I was younger, but with mandates to stay at home, and avoid large gatherings, I realize how easily I used to be in a crowd. Now, being in a small group when I'm picking up take-out food feels fraught, never mind being in a restaurant or an airplane. It'll take some time to make crowds familiar again.

  • Keeping in touch. I reached out to more people via phone, FaceTime, TXTs and email than I had before. Nothing major, just a simple greeting and hello. Everyone's lives were upended in one way, shape, or form, and touching base to hear different stories and perspectives helped. I'll be in touch more I think!

  • Wearing masks. I have become accustomed to wearing my mask, of late even double-masking. I have not had a cold or a runny nose since March of last year, which is remarkable, though avoiding people is probably the reason for that. Once things open up, I probably will still bring one to wear if I want to cut down risks from airborne droplets.

  • Sports Television. I experienced many evenings when I didn't even turn on the TV, mostly because my usual television consumption was sports. When sports shut down last year, I switched to video games. When sports came back, it looked strange. Things have gotten better since the World Series, through the Super Bowl. More sports TV is in the future for me.

  • The Library. What have I been doing instead of watching TV? I've been diving into the local library. Our library has plenty of online resources that I explored including streaming music, online books and magazines. I also attended a handful of talks hosted on Zoom. I'll continue maximizing the library after discovering all it has to offer.

  • Work. Throughout my career I've met many co-workers who worked out of satellite offices (aka a home office). They were usually salespeople or consultants. How did they get things done, I wondered. I've always worked at a company's main office. Now I know how remote workers work. For office workers like me, work has experienced a seismic shift. I anxiously await the new normal in this front.

The past year has been suffused with a vague sense of loss, even among the fortunate, or the nay-sayers. The past year was off in some way. We've all had to adjust. I can only hope I'm not talking or thinking about COVID one year from now!

Picture Credit: Chad Davis