We are coming up on two years since the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic. In that time, life has changed for most of us. I had no idea how much I’d miss pre-pandemic life. I miss little and big things.
Before the pandemic, I was becoming more social and enjoyed going out. I liked going out to restaurants and the movie theater with my friends and family. Now, I communicate with my family and friends online and through text messages most of the time rather than seeing them in person. While I am grateful that technology allows me to keep in touch with family, it doesn’t replace seeing them in person. Two of my cousins gave birth in 2020, and I haven’t had the chance to meet either of their sons yet. I’ve seen many pictures and videos but haven’t met them in person.
I have been looking for a job since before the pandemic and haven’t been successful in my pursuit. The pandemic has only made this more complicated. I have limited access to in-person job services and can’t seem to contact my vocational rehabilitation counselor. This is frustrating and makes me question whether or not I am worthy of paid employment.
Prior to the pandemic, I attended Westfield State University and was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communication. The shift to online learning didn’t work well for me. I missed eating lunch in the dining hall and staying after school to work on the college newspaper or in the library. It was also harder to get my disability accommodations because I couldn’t see my advisors in person. I was also unable to get help registering for classes. At the beginning of the month, I realized that I had never been registered for all of my courses despite sending numerous emails and meeting via Zoom. Now, I’m on a journey to find out what other paths might be available to me, such as community college courses or employment.
One of the things I miss most is the mundane errands of everyday life. Grocery shopping used to be one of my favorite chores. Nowadays, I go to the grocery store and leave as quickly as possible. I no longer wander the aisles looking at new juice flavors or trying to decide if I want to try a new kind of cereal. The local Big Y always seems to be running low on juice boxes. Christmas shopping also used to be an all-day affair at the local mall. For the past two years, it’s been done almost entirely online. Adding stuff to my Amazon cart isn’t as fun as looking around different stores trying to find gifts for everyone in my life.
The pandemic has changed my life and life for most of us. However, the pandemic has taught me one thing. It’s important to cherish the time you have to see your friends and family in person.
Source: Staff, AJMC. “A Timeline of COVID-19 Developments in 2020.” AJMC, The American Journal of Managed Care , 1 Jan. 2021, https://www.ajmc.com/view/a-timeline-of-covid19-developments-in-2020.