Where were you when the world stood still? I’ve read a lot of articles lately discussing the one-year mark of the coronavirus pandemic, and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t waxed nostalgic for life before this more than once. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not though, it’s been a year since our first lockdown started, since everything we took for granted changed, and since life as we knew it changed forever. Bear with me, friends, because this is coronavirus, one year later.
Coronavirus: One Year Later
I remember when the first restrictions were put in place here at JBLM, and I remember receiving the first emails that daycare was closed to anyone but the children of essential employees. I remember that initial panic that set in. How do we work? How do we pull our children from any sense of normalcy and thrust them into a lifestyle that we’d never choose for ourselves. Instead of spending our days and weeks adventuring, the walls of our home and the streets of our neighborhood grew more familiar by the day.
I doubted myself, and I’d be willing to hazard a guess that Ryan did, too, at first. We took a walk down by the Sound before our first stay-home order was put in place, and I remember thinking about my mental health and how we’d cope with social distancing. Those last adventures at the shipwreck as a family? I didn’t know those would be our last for months, and I didn’t know that masks truly would be the new norm.
We’ve lost a lot through the coronavirus pandemic, as has everyone, I believe. We lost our normal. I lost my job of eight years. Spencer (like so many other children) lost the start of his first year of Kindergarten in person. We lost months of travel and adventure. We missed gatherings. We missed people.
We’ve also gained a lot though, and I think part of that begins with perspective. I learned that we, as a family unit, are strong enough to weather the most difficult of storms. We had the opportunity as family to celebrate Spencer’s milestone first bike ride on two wheels. Rather than an elaborate party, we celebrated Mieke’s first birthday together. We embraced the beauty of technology like never before, having Zoom and Google Meets to stay connected with family across the country and around the world. I learned to bake – something that was ever-elusive until 2020. Our children learned the true importance of hand-washing, and we learned the real meaning of family in times of crisis.
Above all else though, we learned to slow down. Suddenly, we had a collective goal; slow down. Stay home. Heal.
In a time of great crisis, I can honestly say that we learned we had a far greater strength within us than we might have otherwise known. I, personally, learned that just because we’ve always done something one way, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t change. We found joy, an importance of the great outdoors to our family, and we found reasons to hope. Together – and apart. We watched i5 traffic dissipate, pollution clear, and a slower, more meaningful lifestyle emerged – one I hope we manage to never forget.
While I may have a lot of feelings as we look at coronavirus one year later, I am grateful for the challenges, though I mourn the suffering of others. I am grateful for the need for change, though I mourn why it happened. I am hopeful for the future, though I mourn a year the changed so many.. Yes, this one is for the history books, but it’s also one that will forever be in my heart as the year time stood still.
Tell me – how are you feeling as we meet the one year mark?