I don’t think many people would have ever predicted that they would be living through a pandemic within their lifetime. I know for me personally, it was something that never crossed my mind and now it is a life experience that we can all agree is unforgettable and one that we will remember looking back on for years to come. When I reflect about where I was exactly two years ago on March 15th, 2020–it is a day that I can reflect upon quite vividly. I was on an airplane flying from Arizona back to New Jersey. No one was really wearing masks yet and I was not so concerned about catching the virus but was more nervous about whether I would be able to fly back safely without being in a situation where we would have to be quarantined. Covid-19 was labeled a global pandemic just a few days prior and everything was beginning to shut down. I remember thinking to myself on that plane ride that I cannot get back home to New Jersey fast enough. A few days before my flight, people were encouraging me to cancel my trip altogether but I knew then that it was now or never. I am glad that I followed my instincts because I have not been on an airplane since that date and things progressively had gotten worse as time went on.
In addition to my flight home, I also had a wake to attend later that same afternoon. Everything was normal at that time as a normal wake would be but if it had occurred even a week or two later, I do not know if there would have been a public wake service at all because there was a point where wake and funeral services had to be put on hold or just not occur at all.
Although I had arrived back home safely on March 15th, just two days later on March 17th was when everything had officially shut down in the USA which meant schools, gyms, restaurants, and so much more. It is crazy to think back at that time where everyone was asked to quarantine and stay at home for so many months. It felt like there was a pause button placed on our lives yet we were witnessing on the news day in and day out how many people were suffering throughout the entire world. It was a time of such uncertainty in our lives and impacted every single individual one way or another.
Fast forwarding a full two years to where we are now on March 15th, 2022, I would say that although the pandemic is not officially over, we are finally at a good place where cases are going down and it appears that the virus has become much milder since the initial variant. It is the first time in a really long time that I feel as though we are moving towards a more “normal” life again although it might take many years to ever live a life that was close to our pre-pandemic lives. While the pandemic brought upon us many challenges and misfortunes, I do believe with that comes many life lessons. It was also a time to appreciate some of the simplest joys and to embrace those moments of solitude which might have made people feel lonely at times (myself included). As the pandemic begins to fade away, I look forward to seeing the people that I haven’t seen in a long time and I cannot wait to travel again, even if that means domestically at the present moment. Little by little, things are bound to get better again and we just have to keep looking forward with a positive state of mind.