How Do You Measure a Year in the Life?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

It's hard to believe it's been a year since the pandemic began. 

Do you remember the last thing you did before your quarantine began? I do. I went to Saucy Brew Works to play Bachelor trivia with a Twitter friend I'd never met in real life before. We lost badly, & afterward, I grabbed a drink at Jukebox, across the street. The next day, I got coffee at Civilization, talking with one of my favorite baristas about the weird "coronavirus" that seemed to be headed our way. Would it really impact us?

And then I basically never went anywhere ever again.

I have not eaten inside a restaurant in a year.

I have not set foot inside a grocery store. 

I have not been shopping or tried on clothes or browsed the aisles of a single store.

I have been inside Target only twice, both times rushing through to grab just what I needed.

I didn't go back inside my mother's home until November 2020. 

I have not hugged or even touched anyone who is not my husband or my mother. 

I have not left the state of Ohio for 13 months.

I know I have been so, so, so very lucky. But that doesn't mean it hasn't still been hard. 

Now that vaccines are beginning to roll out, I keep thinking about what life will be like, will feel like, when this is all over, when COVID-19 is truly in the rear-view mirror (& not just when politicians & naysayers declare that we can stop wearing our masks). So many businesses we loved will be gone; so many people we loved will be gone. And even when things reopen, how comfortable will I feel in large crowds & on airplanes? How long will it take for me to reacclimate to the pieces of life that used to feel so normal, so standard? 

In the first months of the pandemic, I said that I could feel myself, in real-time, developing some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder, & I still believe that to be true. I'm doing better now than I was then, much better – I don't feel debilitatingly scared & anxious all the time. Life feels normal again, albeit an incredibly different version of normal that we knew before. But when the old normal returns again (or some semblance of it), how will I feel? How will I cope? How terrified will I be, like, all the time?

It feels like spring again, & with spring comes the hope of better times. But will I even be able to enjoy & appreciate them when they arrive? 

1 comment:

Anne said...

Oh, I feel you on this one. I did not isolate quite as much as you - I went to the grocery store and Target (but early, as I'm technically vulnerable), but otherwise I have only seen one other person, for a few hours in a socially distanced set up, in the last year. So I think you were totally reasonable in your choices, to be honest.

And since I waited so long to comment on this, now I know you've contracted COVID despite all of your really reasonable precautions... oh, it must be so frustrating. You did everything right. I'm so sorry.

One final note - gosh this is disjointed, sorry - I am also highly anxious about the world starting up again. I almost wish things could stay like this because I've gotten so comfortable. There was an excellent article (opinion, or perspective piece) in the Washington Post about how the author was NOT yearning to go back to "how things were". I'm with them.

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