Thoughts on COVID-19 in the New Year

MIA ARCINIEGAS – STAFF WRITER

With February approaching, I could not have imagined the world looking the way it does now, compared to when this all began early last year. I am left wondering what everything will be like a year from now; regardless, this pandemic has, and will continue to change the way in which we do things. It is a little odd, but when I see movies and TV shows, I forget that there was a time when people just did not wear masks. Even seeing videos of people standing too close to one another makes me shiver. Were we just doing things wrong? Were people just not aware of one another’s personal space?

As this new month begins, I am wondering what the rest of the year will be like. Taking into consideration how things have been going, it is likely we will be in a similar predicament for the rest of the year. I am even noticing posts online that poke fun at people who talk about things they want to do after “after COVID,” as if there is going to be a sudden end to the pandemic. As much as I wish this was the case, this whole situation has been a rollercoaster. While many people, organizations, and governments are actively working on combating COVID-19, it is safe to say that things will never be the same. We will inevitably have to adjust to a new reality, and reconsider many things we might have overlooked before.

I do not wish to focus on the grim aspects of this pandemic anymore, because I believe that the news focuses on enough negative storylines as it is. Social media and news outlets are littered with dark and upsetting stories, only leading to further mass disappointment and hopelessness. Focusing on the good is important, and this pandemic has taught us a lot of things ranging from: the space we take up in public, to hygienic procedures, and collective consideration for others’ well-being, etc. It is not wrong to tell people that things won’t go back to normal, and it is okay to acknowledge that we will never be the same. We should remain realistic about the current situation without further spreading pessimism or negativity.

While the virus began affecting other parts of the world earlier than ours, the anniversary of our first major lockdown, which happened last March, is approaching. This passage of time reflects how each country, and each person handled COVID differently. Some places appear to be functioning closer to what they were beforehand, and many are in states of semi-lockdowns with varying restrictions. Going forward, nothing is certain, and we must try our best to adapt to these dynamic changes taking place around us. We have to find at least one positive outcome in our lives or surroundings that inspire us, and run with it; ultimately, I think we have spent too long pondering over the worst of what society is capable of.

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