The Virus Diary: A Year In
I'm reading that today, March 11th, marks the one year anniversary of the "lock down;" or today is the day that we (America?) went into serious mode. Or maybe it was a year ago that we realized (or were forced to realize) that this was not a drill; this was the real thing (it IS the real thing.) I realize that there are some people out there who STILL don't believe in Covid-19 and who STILL won't do what needs to be done to keep our world safe (social distancing, masks, vaccinations, etc.)
On March 11, 2020, I was writing about touching my face. You weren't supposed to touch your face. I still do. (It's an unconscious thing.) You weren't supposed to shake hands. (I never imagined that elbow or fist bumping would become such a thing.) You washed your hands. You washed your hands for at least 20 seconds. I remember a bunch of us standing in the ladies room with the water running washing our hands for much longer than we ever would talking. That might have been the last time I saw some of those people since we worked in different office suites. Some I knew relatively well (Diane, I'm thinking about you), some I didn't know at all other than to say hello in the hall, or while washing hands. Where are they a year later? Are they okay? Have their returned to the physical office? I will never know as after my company made a push to go back to the physical office in the summer (a move that flopped) they chose not to renew my office's lease. After March 12th I returned to the office three times. Once in July where I found that I was the only one there and I was unable to connect to the internet to work (https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/07/wtf-was-i-thinking.html). The other two times were to pack up the "stuff" that I had accumulated over four years (https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/farewell-cube.html); stuff that seemed so important at one time, but no longer was. And so since March 13, 2020, instead of an office cube, I've been sitting at a small(ish) corner desk in a room that is either deemed the computer room or the home office. My husband sit at his (bigger) desk just a few feet away from me. It's a tight space, but it is a space. At least I have a window, even though my view isn't quite as nice as it was. (Looking down on my neighbor's house and patio with a glimpse of traffic in the distance.)
For me, March 12th would have been the last day that I worked a full day in an office. It was supposed to have been the day that my son and members of the music program boarded to bus to Ohio for a 4 day trip. It was cancelled. I can't remember when, but it was pretty close to the date when they were supposed to go. (Maybe the weekend before?) It wasn't because of our concerns, but because all of the activities that were supposed to happen (attending a concert, college workshops) were cancelled. At the time I was a little miffed. My son was a freshman and this was to be the first of 4 (annual) music trips. Little would I have imagined that a year later he still would not be able to sing. (The group does meet virtually, which does not work well for my son who really needs to be physically around people to hear them and blend.) I believe this year (2021) would have been the year that the group would do their "big" trip to Disney World. Obviously that's not happening and I wonder what WILL happen when he is finally able to sing, surrounded by others. What was once a given will probably feel foreign and maybe even a little uncomfortable. That's what a year of a pandemic will do to you.
It is AMAZING that within a span of 12 months that we have not one, but three FDA approved vaccinations. However, no one in my immediate family has been able to get one yet. (That includes my parents who are in their 80s.) More distant relatives (like aunts and cousins) HAVE gotten vaccinated and that's a wonderful thing. We all just need to continue to be patient and vigilant; the time will come. Maybe not as soon as we would like it, but there is a light and it's getting brighter each and every day.
There will be life after Covid-19. It will certainly look different than the life we once considered "normal" Reality was altered a year ago. What we couldn't conceive of then is now part of our daily routine/life. March 13, 2020 was probably the last day I went grocery shopping without a mask (https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/03/freaky-friday-13th-of-march.html), although in the beginning my "mask" was a scarf that I would wrap around my face and didn't always work so well. I was TRYING, but looking back, it wasn't enough. However, we were all trying to make do. Today I wouldn't go anywhere without a mask. I carry extra in my car (just in case). I know some states have lifted mask regulations, but I think I'll will be wearing one for a while. I know we are able to dine inside with some restrictions. My son has done so, but my husband and I have not. (Other than the time that we were away on vacation at Skytop where safety protocol made me feel safe.) I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm not sure how I'll feel about ANYTHING once all restrictions and regulations are lifted.
It's been a year since our reality was altered. As difficult as these past twelve months have been, I have made it through. If you are reading this, YOU have made it through. It hasn't been pretty. It hasn't been easy. We have made it through.
Now we need to continue to move forward. We need patience (which I know is running thing) and care/consideration for all. We need to continue to do our best; not just for ourselves and our families, but from all. Then perhaps next year when can look back on all of this as just a (perhaps painful) memory.