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What We Have Learned from the Pandemic

It is hard to believe that our lives have been affected by COVID-19 for almost two years now. Two years! A lot has changed in that time. COVID-19 has taken family, friends, jobs, and so many other things, but it has also taught us so much. It has taught us to take safety precautions seriously, discover new ways to stay connected, figure out how to continue life from a distance, but especially, to cherish every moment.

I can’t be the only one that is tired of talking about the pandemic, but it has been the only thing on everyone’s minds. Recently, as life is returning to “normal,” I am realizing there are many aspects of the pandemic that I hope don’t change. I hope things that have kept us safe or things that have made life easier don’t just disappear. One of which is the ever so controversial masks. Even when our world has moved past this pandemic and we can relax some of the precautions we have been taking the past years, I think we should normalize wearing a mask when you aren’t feeling well. Imagine going into a grocery store and someone is coughing near the produce –– uh, no thanks! Illness would spread a lot slower if everyone took an extra step to protect themselves and others. Masks should especially still be worn in hospitals and health care centers, regardless. Yes, it is extra, but it will keep everyone so much healthier.

Another part of quarantine that I hope never changes is the online aspect of school and jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I do NOT want to attend Zoom university ever again. I absolutely love being back in an actual lecture hall with other students and my professor. But I also love the flexibility to rewatch lectures if I miss them or the ability to turn in all my assignments online. This makes college life so much easier. I am no longer stressed to rush to class or get notes from a friend. This switch to online is also so beneficial to those that need to miss class due to illness, which will again keep everyone healthier since students won’t feel pressured to attend while under the weather. I know those whose occupations have moved to half-online feel the same. Sometimes you just need a personal day, and you shouldn’t be punished for that.

I also love that even though most of us have had to spend the past two years at a distance, we have all managed to keep connected. Friends chat online and families even celebrate holidays on Zoom. For me, my sorority has even held fun bonding events over FaceTime, and I enjoyed every second of it. Maintaining relationships while maintaining space has never been so easy.

There are so many things to take away from COVID-19. Although we have all lost a lot over the pandemic, we have gained so much as well. Hopefully, we can take what we have learned and make the future a better place. 

Lauren Wharton is a third year UC Davis student majoring in Animal Sciences. In her free time, she enjoys weightlifting, CrossFit, eating copious amounts of Halo Top, and spending time with her family, friends, and Shiba Inu, Mable.
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