Look, let’s get a few things straight:
This is serious
This is scary
This really does suck
I, for one, am sulking locked away in my room majority of the day wishing I could go out and leisurely go to Target and browse the shelves. I wish I had other things to do instead of staying home, avoiding doing my schoolwork and staring at my TV all day long, but I can’t. Mainly, I stay home because there is literally nothing else to do, but I also do it to keep myself and others around me healthy. I’m an essential worker for a retirement home, meaning I deal one-on-one with elderly people on a near daily basis, delivering food and being one of only a handful of people they see during the day. I have an obligation to those I work with, to keep myself as healthy as possible in order to keep them as healthy as possible.
I try to abide by the policies set out, the hand washing, not touching my face (which I’m slowly realizing is my worst habit), the six-feet distancing, especially in public places, all of it, but it’s draining and stressful and overall just not fun but it’s important. During this time, it’s our responsibility to keep not only ourselves but those around us safe and healthy. Those who cannot protect themselves need our help to do it for them. All these protocols, as annoying as they are, are in place to give us a fighting chance and to help us get through this dark time.
But this is not our new normal.
I know this is not what everyone wants to hear but it’s the only thing keeping me sane, knowing that there is a possible end to this madness. I know there are people out there that believe everything in place right now will become the policies we follow in the future, but I can only hope that there will come a time when there aren’t rules. When I’ll be able to get back to my aimless wandering through stores and pointless hangouts with friends. A time where I won’t have to wear a mask to talk to one of my residents at work and can actually have a conversation with them where I can stand closer than six feet. Where I can eat with my family in a restaurant or go to the park and swing. This is what I hope for and for me, I just can’t believe this is going to last.
This virus has taken so much from everyone already, and while I’m not a senior missing out on graduation or prom, I’m starting to feel the weight of it. I left campus nearly three months early, meaning three months of independence I no longer have, three months of not being able to see the friends I’ve come to love and need in my life, three months of lost time with the friends and classmates that are graduating this year, three months away from a campus and a city I’ve really grown to love. I’m still missing out and it’s killing me inside, I can only imagine what others are going through.
But remember this is only for now, and while we can’t get back the possible moments we missed like graduation or prom, while we can’t relive the time that we spent laying around the house doing absolutely nothing when we wished we were doing something, we can pride ourselves on knowing we were a part of the solution. We helped not only ourselves but those around us. We took a moment in life and history that is utterly horrible and really found our sense of community (besides the people that are hoarding all the toilet paper and hand sanitizer, you guys suck). We made a cruddy moment and made it into something worth living. Remember that.
Remember that things will get better and this is not our new normal.
Stay safe and stay healthy.