I have been wondering what the “end” of the Covid-19 pandemic will look like. It will likely be different for each individual. The first vision that came to mind for me was the iconic photo of the sailor embracing a nurse in the streets of New York City on V-Day. One celebratory day in history.
I also could not help but think of the lives lost during the pandemic. The overwhelming feeling of tragic and unnecessary loss. If only the remedy, the vaccine, could have been here in time for them. For those impacted with tragic loss, would the end be a quiet solemn remembrance and reflection?
I think of those who have felt confined and isolated in the prison of their homes. Quarantined and not interacting with humans, and the huggers who have had to stop in their tracks from embracing. The image here for the end is that of Woodstock and the “love thy neighbor” attitude – whoever they may be.
Or perhaps the vision will be that of a sunset, so gradual a change that the horror of the pandemic will fade slowly from our days as we gradually remember what life was like. Will there be days with continued mask wearing, not really confident that all is safe? Perhaps mask wearing will continue to keep us protected from other illness, just as hand sanitizer became a common product to safeguard against the flu and colds.
For me it will be a combination of all. I work in an industry highly impacted by the pandemic with closings and capacity restrictions. I can vividly recall staff and customers silently standing and looking up at the lobby television, watching the Governor announce the closings that were to take place on St. Patrick’s Day. At that time, we did not know what to expect, what would be on the horizon. The day that comes removing all restrictions will be that one moment of jubilation and celebration for me.
I have experienced the loss of loved ones during the year of the pandemic. A day does not go by that I do not remember them and ache for the grief and sadness being suffered by all who knew them. I will surely spend time feeling a sense of being cheated on their behalf. It will be something done quietly and with reverence.
I have never considered myself a “hugger” as I am somewhat introverted. However, now when I see people, even from a distance, it makes me feel closer to them than pre-pandemic. It is, as they say, a great equalizer, and barriers be them physical or emotional tend to soften. I will greet people more exuberantly for sure and perhaps even become a warm hugger.
When it does end, I will never forget the time in history. This like many other worldly events will be cemented in my memory. I expect that there will be residual effects such as the mask wearing, or at least keeping them handy. I pray I am here to witness what will be the “End of COVID-19” as well as all who I love. I hope you will see it as well.
Please be diligent to keep the cases down. Move a kindness, not a virus. God Bless.