After a year of wearing masks, social distancing, and remote learning, I’m ready to get back to normal. What that normal looks like is still up for debate, though. While I’m optimistic about businesses and schools opening up, I’m still very cautious, especially when it comes to protecting my son.
We’ve all been through a pretty traumatic experience over the past year. Many of us lost our jobs. Our kids had to adapt to an entirely new way of life. Unfortunately, some of us lost loved ones to COVID-19. While our post-pandemic world may not be the same as our pre-pandemic world, there is no denying the fact that we are all tied together through this very unique experience.
While I am ready for my son to get back to full-time, in-person learning, a part of me has gotten so used to him being home and being able to share this extra time together that it does make me a bit sad. If you had told me a year ago that we’d still be participating in remote learning the following spring, I probably would have laughed nervously and asked you to pass the wine, but somehow we’ve gotten through remote learning in one piece, and I’m grateful we’ve been able to remain well during this time.
When I think of how life will be post-pandemic, it’s hard to really picture it. How long will we be wearing masks for? Will vaccines be required to attend in-person school, work in an office, or do any number of other activities? Will COVID be around forever, turning into more of a seasonal illness over time? And will our children be scared to interact with each other after being socially distant for so long, or will they adjust seamlessly? There are still so many unknowns that make it very difficult to picture what a post-pandemic world will actually look like.
What I do know is that I’m tired of being masked up and fearful of getting sick. I know we all are. What started off as “six weeks to flatten the curve” has turned into an entire year of fighting against this virus. We’ve all got COVID fatigue, but I’m still committed to doing what needs to be done to keep my family and others safe.
I’m excited to see businesses opening up and states loosening their restrictions on schools because I know so many people have suffered financially and academically. While my family has been one of the lucky ones in terms of work and school, I know not everyone is in the same boat, and my heart breaks for them. While I’ve continued supporting businesses online and through take-out orders during the pandemic, I can’t wait to support them all in-person again soon.
I think the toughest thing for me about this pandemic has been the ever-changing timeline. It’s easier to get through a difficult period if you know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but when that light keeps getting further and further in the distance, frustration can easily set in. Six weeks didn’t sound so bad- even a year is manageable- but the truth is, none of us really know when this is going to end. None of us really know when “normal” will occur, or what that even looks like.
All we can do is put one foot in front of the other. Tackle the remote learning and the working from home day by day, and stay hopeful for a post-pandemic future that is bright for us all.
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