You can take us out of a pandemic, but it will be hard to take the pandemic out of us. Here’s what I mean.
It’s true; the pandemic is almost over. With the vaccines and their delivery scaling, we can be confident that the pandemic will end shortly.
The problem is that its scars are still with us. And I think they will stay with us afterward. I don’t mean people wearing masks or working from home or washing their hands more frequently, or whatever.
No, I’m talking about the fear we’ve lived with.
Many of us will carry around deep fears that haunt us. We’re afraid that our loved ones will die or that we will get stricken by a virus. We’re used to living vigilantly, trying to survive, and worrying about our loved ones.
Unlearning that will be one of the hardest things for us. In many ways, we’ve forgotten how to enjoy the day without wondering if we’ll be ambushed by some microscopic enemy delivered by friends and strangers.
But unlearn, we must. For we mustn’t confuse a season with a lifetime, war with peace, a pandemic with normalcy.
I’m not saying that that time is now. It’s not, but it’s coming. It’s soon.
And when it does, I hope you can enjoy it freely, devoid of fear, and filled with joy. I hope you can hug others without worry and hesitation, invite others over to your table without trepidation, and travel with adventure in your eyes.
I hope you heal those scars and regain what was lost, no longer existing out of this pandemic, but breathing in the world that has been freed from it. I hope you hope.
And, I hope you live.