I almost didn’t write this blog post.
I imagine I wasn’t the only one who got tired of seeing another COVID-19 article pop up on Facebook, or receiving one more email from a company updating us on their new COVID-19 policies.
Without even reading them all, I got tired of hearing anything more about the virus. COVID this, COVID that… yes, I know, wash my hands again.
At first it felt almost surreal. Surreal that this was happening. Surreal that people were dying. Surreal that I was living during a pandemic.
Then, one day, it felt pretty much normal – seeing masks on everyone and hand sanitizer wherever you looked. At some point I accepted that this is how it will be.
But, two MONTHS later, I craved a moment when I could forget there was a pandemic taking place. I was able to mentally escape while working out or watching a movie or TV – that is, until it went to a commercial break with one more company showing masked figures on screen.
You may be like me; I’ve been through the whole gamut of emotions. At the beginning of quarantine I was sad, scared, and worried. In the middle I was unsure what to think. And by the end I’ve had to work through feelings of anger, resentment, loss, and uncertainty.
Will my loved ones be okay? When will life go back to normal?
What will the new normal even look like?
So far I have lost one family friend. Though probably not directly due to COVID-19, I have still experienced loss on a personal level. This event brings up many thoughts in my head…
How would I have interacted with this person had I known it was the last time I would see him? Would I have said anything different? Given him a compliment – maybe two? Or simply appreciated his presence in my life a bit more?
It’s hard to ask myself those questions. I hate considering that anytime I interact with someone it could be the last.
But I am convinced that analyzing this possibility has changed me for the better.
I now strive to leave every interaction in the best way. If – Heaven forbid – this is the last time I see this person, how do I want to leave things with him or her? What do I want to tell them or say to them that I would later regret not telling them in this moment? What could I do or say to encourage them, uplift them, or possibly make their day?
The COVID-19 Pandemic has been terrible for plenty of reasons; I won’t take the time to hash them all out.
But I DO believe we can come out of this stronger, more joyful, and more loving than ever.
I love how much we have banded together during this time. Obviously not physically: but emotionally, energetically, and spiritually.
I love that this pandemic forced us to examine our own health and make it a priority.
I love that I got a break from my busy life – though not imposed by myself, it was good down time.
I love that because of this outbreak we can take a moment to remember all the reasons we are alike instead of focusing on our differences.
In closing, I want to remember COVID-19 as much for what is has given me as for what it has taken away. This experience has helped prompt me to act as my best self in every moment. It has brought me emotionally closer to friends and family. It has left me with a deeper appreciation and love for my family, friends, and freedoms.
And for that I am tremendously grateful.