March 11, 2021 marked the one year anniversary of COVID-19. On this day the ugly reality of a virus attack was declared a global pandemic by WHO and the world came to a sudden, grinding halt. Something unimagined hit us hard and stopped us in our tracks, and, like ice sculptures, we froze, unable to move and fathom the full force of what hit us.
Fast forward to 2021. An entire year, 12 months have vanished. March 11, 2021 came and rolled past. We live, we breathe, we are surviving. Anxiety, apprehension and fear of the unknown is giving rise to mental instability. We have witnessed tragedy, economic crisis, personal loss, all due to a health pandemic, the likes of which our generation had only read about in history books.
Many of us are still largely functioning from home, living in self created bubbles, going out only when necessary, at times totally avoiding meeting people.
The freedom of making plans on the spur of the moment has been taken away from us or is temporarily suspended. The fear of the unknown looms large. Often, the guilt of not doing the right thing and how our actions may affect our immediate household prevents us from leading a life which was conventional. A routine dinner plan now involves masks, gloves, social distancing, multiple rounds of hand sanitizing and making sure our phones are sufficiently charged (how else will we read the QR code and order a meal), even before we think of who to make this plan with. The hardest hit are the school children. Yes, they are studying and getting an education. But the social interaction and camaraderie that is part of growing up is missing. In short, we all now have Covid fatigue, with no cure in sight.
Often, I wonder if life will go back to normal or we will remain in this suspended state forever? Globally, media is still reporting a steady number of infections, but are we now ready to take tiny, calculated risks? I think somehow, somewhere we have to draw the line. We need to shake ourselves out of this stupor, slowly limp back to normal, while continuing to follow all safety guidelines.
The last few months brought along some good news also. Vaccines were researched at record speed, approved and released for mass usage. Getting a vaccination appointment is a ray of sunshine, a glimmer of hope, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. It almost seems that all will be well soon and we will lead a normal life without continuing to match our outfits to our masks, forever. (I think I now have more masks than clothes in my closet).
How are you combating Covid fatigue? How are you keeping yourselves sane? How do you plan to ease yourself back into society? We all have to find the right balance between safety and sanity. The complete cure and eradication of the virus may still be a long way ahead, full of roadblocks of mutations and variants. We have to continue to strengthen our minds and fortify our health. I’m dreaming of the day when I can throw my mask, high up in the air, like a graduation cap, and instead of waiting to collect it on its downward journey, run the best race of my life, away from it, forever.