Back in March when we learned we were in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, most everyone I know panicked. We were stocking up on groceries, frantically searching for masks, ingesting tons of Vitamins C and D, and in general truly frightened about the unknown we were about to experience. My friends who are in my age group discussed how we isolate from our kids and grandkids to keep from getting the virus and those who have elderly parents were very frightened for them as well.
In the beginning we got a lot of conflicting messages- wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, the virus can live for days on hard surfaces so we were all disinfecting our canned goods, leaving our clothes in the garage when we got home and washing our hands until they were raw.
And watching the news on television to get the latest updates on closings, new cases, deaths and what color zone we were in.
We are seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic and what if anything have we learned? One, masks have become a political statement. If you wear one you must be a Democrat. If you savor your personal freedoms and choose not to wear a mask, you must be a conservative or a libertarian.
For me a mask is not a political sign, it just makes good sense.
Two. Life as we knew it has changed for good I suspect.
Education, sports, healthcare and your workplace may be forever changed. Colleges are almost all online now and other than having a place to socialize and hang out with friends, I am not sure traditional teaching in classrooms will survive the pandemic. Healthcare is changed for sure- how easy is it to call your Doc on Zoom and let her look down your throat or check out your rash. Big time sports now have 1/4 of the fans they had last year and you know, it’s pretty nice to watch it on a 65″ TV screen and not have to fight traffic and the crowds.
I am concerned for our economy bouncing back with the changes we are seeing with our working from home model. In New York City, I am told downtown Manhattan and Wall Street offices are empty and may not ever come back. Commercial realtors and contractors may suffer immensely if this trend continues. I was already working from home and so it hasn’t affected my bottom line but I do occasionally miss Market Square at lunch and hanging out with my associates and friends. Now we try to get together at a restaurant that has outdoor seating! Not sure what we will do now that colder weather is coming.
We are all hopeful that a vaccine that actually works will be on the market soon so we can regain some sense of normalcy. I long for a meal indoors at a good restaurant without a mask; I miss movies in a movie theater. On the other hand, I have discovered Netflix and Ozark, Outlander, the Crown and my favorite Schitt’s Creek. Yes that really is the title. Since I am an introvert-I really am- the last few months have given me time to clean my pantry, organize my photos, talk on the phone more and spend more time with my grandchildren. (Not always a good thing)! Let’s hope we come out of this pandemic smarter, stronger and appreciative of the blessings we had before March 14 but just didn’t know it.