The COVID-19 Pandemic: Beginnings vs. Now

Being just about a month past what many consider to be the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, you have to consider how the way we perceived, talked about and treated the pandemic has changed over these past 365 or so days.

  1. 1. Masks

    Be it young or old, healthy or unhealthy, vaccinated or unvaccinated, masks are everyone’s personal essential when out of the house. This is in large part caused by the many sanctions and rules laid out by the government and private institutions themselves that declare them a requirement—and to most, that’s not an issue. 

    What’s interesting to think about is how this time last year, we were advised against wearing surgical masks when we had to be out in public. The World Health Organization cited that healthy members of the population should not take up the supply for those who are infected or in close contact with someone infected. 

  2. 2. Entertainment

    In the beginning, the pandemic took a considerable toll on most if not all industries around the world, one of which was the television industry. Take Saturday Night Live at Home. For the last three episodes of the long-time show’s 2019-2020 season, sketches were pre-recorded by cast members in their own homes. Gimmicky as the stunt was, it reflected the common practice of the time, not only in TV production but in the height of lockdown.

    With the beginning of the 2020-2021 season last fall, production on SNL and other shows have returned almost entirely to normal. This return to standard did not come as a result of a decrease in cases (quite the opposite, actually) but a necessity to keep shows afloat. 

  3. 3. Politicalization

    Gloves and pamphlets on coronavirus

    At the beginning of the pandemic, we saw for a brief moment the incredibly partisan United States come together for a brief moment in order to protect the health of our community members. Slowly over time, however, some grew tired of quarantine and masking up more so than others—namely, Republican and right-leaning individuals. According to Pew Research Center, Republicans are far more likely to express distaste over following public health protocols and wearing masks in public.

    This demonstrates why, exactly, the issue of reopening businesses and lifting the strict COVID-19 protocols of last spring became such a politically charged issue in opposition to the moral one it ought to be.