This might sound a little weird, but my son’s death four years ago helped prepare my family for this pandemic. Not literally, as in, catching this virus, but the whole quarantine aspect; the not knowing what’s coming next or when things will go back to normal.
The ability to accept that things will most definitely not go back to “normal.” That the definition of normal will change. Our lives will be forever altered by this pandemic, even if we do not actually catch the virus.
The hoarding of toilet paper. The stay-at-home orders. No hugs. No in-person happy hours. No social gatherings at all unless they are virtual. And who the hell would have thought they’d ever be excited over virtual happy hours?
The medical communities scrambling to try to keep up and eventually get ahead of this thing. The speed with which it has spread throughout the world. The speed with which the medical and laboratory communities are creating tests and vaccines to combat it.
Schools closed three months before they should be. Online learning – for everyone. Children and their parents are sitting across from each other at home, learning how to do their jobs remotely. The poor seniors graduating this year with no fanfare, no ceremony, no parties. (Well, hopefully there will still be parties once we get this under control. Hopefully those won’t be a victim of this evil thing once we’re on the other side, figuring out our new normal.)
That’s the thing: whatever the world looks like when we are finally clear of the chaos, it will not be the same as it was at the start of this year. This experience will, undoubtedly, change the way many companies do business. It will surely change the medical community, as they will probably feel the need to ramp up in preparation for the next pandemic (which, God willing, will not be in our lifetimes). It may even change the way we educate our children (although I am still a proponent of in-person learning, for the record).
Grocery store workers and restaurant employees are currently heroes; will that mindset stick around? Some people believe this insanity is proving we don’t need as many regulations as we currently have; will this be adjusted?
Car companies are making respirators. Med students are graduating early. Hospitals are begging nurses to come out of retirement. Taxes, mortgages, utilities; all of these services have been delayed and the US government is handing out money like there’s an unlimited supply. Not begrudging the bump, of course, but I can’t help wondering how it will be paid back.
On the positive side, good Lord I do love the lack of commute. And the fact that it takes me five minutes to get from the bed to logging onto the laptop in the morning. Eating dinner by six each evening. Not having to think about what to wear. Not spending all that time blowdrying, straightening, and styling my hair. The fact that so many houses in my neighborhood are doing cute things like putting teddy bears in windows and colored-paper rainbows on doors and drawing on their driveways with chalk to say hello to the walkers. I have more time to dedicate to yardwork. My dog loves the fact that she hasn’t been left alone since I can’t remember when. And the biggest positive of all: so much more writing time!
A great deal about the future is still unknown. Hell, we don’t even know what next week will bring. Six months ago, that would have been easy: Spring Break for a lot of schools, and Easter celebrations all across the world. Spring planting for the Northern hemisphere; preparing for fall in the Southern.
But right now, we just don’t know.
And that’s exactly how I felt when my son died. We had no idea what each day would bring. We had to learn how to live an entirely different life.
Just like we will when this pandemic is behind us.
But that’s the key, isn’t it? We will continue living. And we’re ready.
Bring on our post-pandemic life!
Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, dog lover, and proponent of wearing sweatpants as a corporate uniform.
That book right there is her next release, and it’s only 99c until May. Here’s the link: http://hotboxpublishing.com/dark-moon-falls-volume-2-preorder/