Life After the One Year Anniversary of COVID-19

March 13, 2020 I came home from a spring break trip in Florida where I flew on a plane in the middle seat between two strangers. March 14, 2020 I was at a darty in a driveway in Providence to celebrate Saint Patrick's day, sardined between my fellow college students. March 15, 2020 the CoronaVirus pandemic became a reality to me and everyone around me when sporting events and concerts were cancelled, when restaurants and stores closed its doors to all, when hospitals became overcrowded, and when finding toilet paper gave people the same feeling as hitting the lottery. As the Coronavirus’ first anniversary approaches, I think that it is important for all of us to reflect on this past year. 


The Coronavirus has changed the way we look, live, and love. During the pandemic, many people decided to put their lives on hold, while others decided to make life altering decisions in light of the changes that we were experiencing. People began to take their hobbies more seriously and change them from hobbies to lifestyles, some moved to new locations, fell in love, started families, rescued pets, reconnected with friends, and many of us put our lives into perspective and grew into someone new. 


A year later as things are beginning to look up,we should take note of the things from quarantine life that are worth preserving. We took the time to slow down and enjoy the outdoors, making the Earth look a little greener. We witnessed a new form of patriotism first hand as doctors and nurses went to work everyday compounded everyday by an increased risk of contamination that they never saw coming. Unknowingly for some, we practiced our faith while looking for any hope that change was near. Workaholics who were forced to pause realized that the hyper competitive capitalism they were so engaged in is miniscule when looking at life's big picture; and people all ages realized that work is not what matters most in life. 


When life is paused, you see who really shows up for you, and who you are a priority to. For myself and many others that I know, the people that were there for me during that time are the people who I want to have in my forever circle. Many people began to feel isolated from the world and with all of the stress coming from uncertainty, I have found it increasingly important to tell those I love how I feel about them, because you never know when someone's last day could be. 


As we begin to have restrictions lifted, we should remember to keep listening to the birds, enjoy variety, hold on to our rebalanced excessive individualism that gave us a renewed sense that who we are is intimately connected by our relationships in life and how we treat each other. I hope we do not overestimate the power of change, and we embrace our lives going forward, because we only have one. We should be thankful that our standards for what constituted an interesting experience were radically lowered, and we began to appreciate each day for what it is worth. 


We will forever appreciate hugs, traffic, crowded restaurants, tailgates, smiling at people as they walk by, shaking hands, screaming Sweet Caroline at a Red Sox game, conversing with strangers, and having more faith in humanity.