Let’s reflect on the time before Feb 2020……
What was life like back then?
One, we hadn’t seen anyone with a mask for months, if not years and now, they are everywhere. I am told China always had them for years but that’s for a different discussion.
Fridays meant happy hours at a nearby bar or restaurant with co-workers and/ or friends, weekends meant watching a movie at a theater, eating out, visiting friends or perhaps a park, and spending time in the backyard until the wee hours, catching up with friends and family.
While we were in the throes of the pandemic, we were all by ourselves, interluded perhaps by a random visit from a friend on the deck, sitting several feet apart and with masks, sanitizing our hands every few minutes.
Vacations and time off went on a holiday during the pandemic. The most we could do was to go for a long walk or walk around your now backyard.
As vaccinations started being given to millions, we thought that we are sure to return to our old way of life. Yet, here we are battling the ever-growing numbers of the new strain that puts a damper on reopening all over.
Things we took for granted during pre-pandemic times are so precious now. Even a visit to the local grocery store wearing masks is much welcome by the kids nowadays.
With more time at home, we have grown accustomed to being dressed for home, even when doing remote work.
When was the last time you wore formal clothes or put a suit on?
Who knows, with so much time at home and hardly any time out, you might have packed a few pounds and may find it hard to get into your formals now! Time to check them out, don’t you think?
I am sure that you don’t miss your daily commute, the hours spent navigating the traffic to and fro from work. Now, that’s time saved which you can invest elsewhere.
With a focus on the fight for life, everyone is more humane toward each other and that is a delight to watch. With news blaring about the ever-increasing economic gap, it’s a blessing to see friends and family reach out to each other and also, strangers to show support.
However, it would be amiss to say that socializing is not much missed by all.
Don’t you miss meeting friends, partying, sharing laughs over a few drinks, and good food?
Although we made some feeble attempts at it during the pandemic through online video apps and in some cases, socially distant backyard get-togethers, they were not the same.
All the extracurricular activities also took a backseat. With no going out, in-person activities turned into remote sessions. But, they were not the same. Imagine doing a dance or yoga class online versus with a room full of people. Imagine attending an engagement or wedding through the computer. Not the best, but we had to make do with them.
With theaters closed, OTT was the only way to get your fill of audio-visual content. Not the same, but you had to improvise your home theaters to the best. Concerts and games at stadiums were long gone. The fever and fervor of such occasions are best experienced in person.
Travel became almost nonexistent during the pandemic days. The little that you did was to go for a spin in your vehicle without really stopping anywhere or meeting anyone. Even if you checked into a hotel, you were unsure of getting infected. Of course, short-term rentals were seen as a better option for that once in a while outing.
With all of us together in this, we learned to cooperate, share and rely more on each other, to combat and come out of it.
That camaraderie is one thing I hope continues to evolve and make us better humans long after the pandemic.