What does life after a pandemic look like? How do we go forward?
I’m not really sure this post will make sense but I feel like I need to figure these feelings out and writing is my outlet. Manitoba just recently announced that they’re no longer going to notify parents if their child is in close contact. And it made me start thinking.
Such a state of high, intense anxiety. Always worrying that we were going to have covid. Or, now, Omicron. And now all of a sudden, we go back to normal. We go back to life as it was. Before. And, we’ve never lived after a pandemic so it’s not like there is a rule book for it. We’ve gone through hell over the last few years just trying to survive. And now, life as normal.
I feel like I’m comfortable in my bubble.
I’ve grown to trust myself on my own. I’ve had to. And while I welcome the world gathering and celebrating, I’m just not sure that I’m ready. And, it’s weird, because it’s not even that I’m afraid of the virus. I’m not. I’m afraid of going out into the world. I’ve been sheltered for the last however long. And now…
I guess I have to grow comfortable again. Maybe six months from now I’ll reflect on this and celebrate growth. But right now, I feel terrified. And, I don’t even know of what. I’m not terrified of the virus. I’m terrified of the world. I’m terrified for what this has done. To everything. To people, to life, to the economy. What does the world look like that I’m going back into? Being a freelance writer, I work from home. Sometimes, it’s hard to find a reason to leave the house. Especially the way everything has been. It’s been easy to let myself build a wall. It’s been easy to shut the world out.
And now, I stand here, about to open the door, and I’m unsure if I’m welcoming it or running away frightened. I guess this is life after a pandemic.
I can feel my heart racing. My sense of safety has been shaken. I’m not sure who I can trust. I’m not sure of what life looks like now. How do we come back after the unimaginable happened? I never in my life thought the schools could shut down. I never thought I wouldn’t be allowed to go to a store or visit family. These thoughts didn’t occur to me. Which is weird, I know, because I have such intense anxiety. But these things were rock solid.
And now… they’re not. Now we know the world can shut down at any time. Well, maybe you knew that already, but I swear to God I didn’t. The last two years have been a sequence of events I never thought possible. And I repeat, it’s not the virus that frightens me. It’s the impact.
And if you’re one of the people who just didn’t fear it ever then that is awesome. I truly don’t judge anyone and I think everyone needs to do what’s best for them. So when I say we, I just mean like … well… I guess me. I’ve been living in constant fear. Manitoba changes the rules every three seconds and by the time I figure them out then they fucking change again. (Sorry for the language but it’s infuriating.)
It’s felt for the last two years that I just can’t figure it out. I don’t know how to do this, and now this is done and I”m left to move on? I can’t even begin to explain the sheer terror that I feel while I stand at this door. Afraid to open it. Scared to move. Is it safe? Can I go out?
So what does life after a pandemic look like?
We’ve been told for ages now, stay home. Limit your close contacts. Do your part.
It’s hard to adjust to change. Especially when I’m lost and confused. So.. what have we learned? What has the world learned? Have we evolved? Are we better people? Am I a better person?
A few ways I’ve changed since the pandemic began
I gained weight. What once was the scariest idea in the world to me, became a much smaller deal. I’ve worked so hard to separate myself from the number I weigh.
I’ve put in a lot of work to know that my body is the least interesting thing about me. (That goes for you too btw.)
I got to know my kids better.
I learned that there are things that are completely out of my control and I have to just breathe through them.
We’ve changed. I’d bet every one of us has. And now we stand at this door… maybe some of us are afraid to open it and others are ecstatic. Some are ready for this. Some probably have been ready this entire time.
I think it has to be okay that I’m not quite ready. I’m not sure what life after a pandemic looks like. I feel like I’m learning who this version of me is.
Have you changed during the pandemic? Are you also wondering about life after a pandemic?