To say 2020 is off to a rocky start would be a fairly big understatement.
Apart from some rather frightening political tension between the United States and Iran, the world also experienced the tragic Australia megafires that decimated a large portion of their natural life, the Taal volcano eruption that covered the Philippines in ash, the passing away of basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his young daughter, and of course the start of the COVID-19 epidemic which would heavily impact the entire world.
All of that happened in January.
Undoubtedly day-to-day life has changed since the Coronavirus spread throughout the globe. Governments have responded by enacting lockdowns of varying levels in an effort to stave the growth of the virus.
Everyone has experienced a monumental and abrupt shift in their day-to-day routines as a result of this pandemic. There’s the increased need to truly, thoroughly wash one’s hands and even the hoarding of hand sanitizers, alcohol, and masks. A lot of places we used to frequent- cafes, malls, gyms- are suddenly no longer accessible. Classes have been canceled. Masks are a common sight and have quickly become a commodity.
Everyone has to stay indoors, only going out for necessities or to exercise alone. Every time you venture out, you venture out with uncertainty. When you are out in public, you are advised to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. Public gatherings are a no-go, resulting in the cancellations of festivals, concerts, conventions, and more. Students have had to graduate in programs like Zoom instead of receiving hard-earned diplomas in person.
This is to say nothing of friends and family who are front-liners. Those of us who are doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, grocery workers, and more, who have had to work longer, grueling hours and are truly at risk on a daily basis, and those who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus. The toll is heartbreakingly heavy. It’s alright to admit that this epidemic has completely changed everything.
But the human spirit is much more resilient than one would initially think. During these times of turmoil, we have seen some truly inspiring acts of solidarity and kindness.
People on lockdown playing music and singing together to keep spirits up. People driving by homes to celebrate teachers, birthdays, graduations. Charities, personal acts of kindness. New levels of communication and understanding. United by a common bond- albeit a very unfortunate one, of course- we’ve seen some true peace.
I think you’d be correct in assuming that life will probably never be the same once this pandemic tides over. We have experienced such huge changes in not only our day-to-day routines but in how we perceive things, such as the effectiveness of working from home and of course the need for our essential workers to be compensated much more. Life likely won’t feel normal again for quite a while, even when cases see a decline