The Covid Pandemic: Three Years On
This week marks the 3rd anniversary of the initial nationwide shutdown response to the COVID pandemic. Remember the initial days were plagued with much uncertainty and worry, clinging to our news sources for the slightest update? Household necessities such as toilet paper disappeared from store shelves as soon as they appeared. States enacted curfews and quarantine regulations, and many worried they would be policed for leaving their home. Many began working from home for the first time. Suddenly everybody was using Zoom to stay in touch. Others looked to Tiktok for entertainment, finding dance trends to emulate and bread recipes to try.
Those early days felt long and endless, and for some, the newfound time brought about the opportunity for much self-reflection, both individually and as a nation. The changes in our socialization practices brought increased awareness of the mental health crises we were facing. The extended isolation from extended family, friends, and people in general brought on, for many, feelings of loneliness and depression.
Working from home made many realize the need to realign their work-life balance. The explosion of awareness of police brutality during the first summer of the pandemic made much notice–perhaps for the first time–the deep rot of racism that persists in our country.
The early days of the pandemic feel foreign now. For many, life seems to have returned to some semblance of normal. Social distancing and mask mandates are no longer in effect. The rollout of the vaccine has offered relief and hope to many to go about their lives. However, COVID is still on the move. The disease displays no sign of slowing down, with new mutations continually being discovered.
The reality is COVID is still dangerous and affecting many lives. However, we are now better equipped to handle it. The COVID vaccine was one of the swiftest rollouts in history. About 81% of our country has had at least one dose of the vaccine, and 69% reported being fully vaccinated. COVID rapid testing is now available to buy at your local drug store.
As we close on this anniversary, let us take a moment to remember all that has transpired. There is not a person who has not been affected by this pandemic in some measure. Though the world seems to have found a sense of normalcy again, we have not returned to a pre-2020 world. With all that has happened, how could we ever expect to? Let’s take what we have learned to build a better world than the one we have left.