As we enter the third year of the covid-19 pandemic, we realise that when lockdown hit nearly 2 years ago, our lives split off into a new reality and the timeline we thought we were on was suddenly gone. As it is 2022 now, we are redefining the new normal and we need to figure out what that means. It’s time to look back on everything we lost over these 2 years. During this pandemic, we have not only lost loved ones, but we lost our old ourselves too. In March 2020, our old hopes and old expectations were taken without our consent (New York Times, 2021). Some of these losses are what we know should have happened but didn’t. There is also everything that could have happened but didn’t. For example, the partner you didn’t meet or the children you didn’t have. Psychologists call this kind of loss that we are all experiencing “Ambiguous Loss” (COVID-19 and Ambiguous Loss, 2022). This type of loss is usually applied to people and in this case, we lost ourselves. We are also suffering from what is known as “Ambiguous Grief” because we feel devastated, but how do you mourn something you never really had? (New York Times, 2021). It’s hard for us to move on from something that isn’t over yet. We can’t just tick off the stages of grief like Anger or Denial. The only thing we can do is to accept that this is the new normal and move on from what we knew before.
However, every time we lost something, we had to create something new. This could have been spending more time with family, those new skills you learned, or the books you finally started reading. I learned how to appreciate my friends and family from afar and it became a blessing in disguise, and in a way I am thankful.