This week marks one year since most of our lives were turned upside-down by the pandemic.
For me, the days before COVID shut things down in New York have become one of those “remember where you were” times.
On Tuesday, March 10, we had dinner with a cousin and her husband in Manhattan.
On Thursday, March 12, I was in Manhattan all day for business meetings, including lunch with a client (we bumped elbows when we arrived and when we parted, as had quickly become the replacement for handshakes in those early days of pandemic awareness). After lunch, I hopped on the subway to head back to my office.
Those were the last times I ate in a restaurant, took the subway, and went to my office, which closed for the duration the next day, Friday, March 13.
I am a bit uncomfortable writing about the way my life was turned upside-down because I have been quite lucky in all these ways:
- I was able to transition pretty easily to work from home.
- My wife already worked from a home office.
- Two of my three (adult) children were able to work from their homes.
- The third (who cannot work from home because she is a health care worker doing home visits) was furloughed, meaning her job was waiting for her after a few months away, and she was able to collect unemployment during that time.
- One of my children got a mild case of COVID very early on. The rest of my extended family did not get COVID. My parents have now gotten the vaccine.
I’m looking forward to when we no longer have to wear masks. I don’t enjoy wearing them, but I have not considered for a moment the idea of going without one when in supermarkets or other indoor, public places. I also wear a mask most of the time when I am outdoors in public. It’s a small price to pay to stay healthy.
I’m looking forward to hugging my family and friends.
I’m looking forward to eating in restaurants, but I am also looking forward to ordering takeout (rather than eating in a restaurant) far more often than I did before the pandemic. Eating in our backyard, weather permitting, was very enjoyable last summer and fall.
I’m looking forward to working somewhere other than my home, but I am also looking forward to continuing to enjoy the convenience of working from home on days when it makes sense to do so.
I’m looking forward to attending in-person yoga classes, but also to continuing the exercise habits I have adopted during this past year, especially the almost-daily walks.
I’m looking forward to staying in contact with family and friends via Zoom, maybe not as often as we did during the past year, but far more often than we would connect on FaceTime before the pandemic.
I’m looking forward to traveling.
I’m looking forward to live music.
I’m looking forward to weddings and other celebrations for family and friends, some of which were postponed this year.
I’m looking forward to continuing my pandemic-era food shopping habit: well-planned trips to stores, and occasional on-line purchases.
Last, I’m looking forward to continuing to appreciate all that life has to offer, being grateful, and not taking for granted all the above and more – and I wish the same for you.