Post-pandemic life will not be the same as life before the pandemic

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It can be hard to wrap our minds around the “new normal” that the COVID-19 pandemic has created. It can be even more difficult to imagine life after the pandemic.

One thing for sure, things will never be the same as they were before. Regardless of restaurants opening back up or returning to in-person classes. The pandemic has changed so many aspects of life for so many people.

Some individuals will be coming out of the pandemic without a family member in their lives, some have had to adapt to a new career because of unemployment and others will never be able to go into a crowded place again without fear of getting sick.

Whether the effects of the pandemic on one’s life have been emotional, physical or mental, life post-COVID-19 will not be the same as life pre-COVID-19. The effects of the pandemic and events experienced during this time will carry over into what we consider the “new normal” of life post-COVID-19.

As a way to reflect on the good that happened during the pandemic, I did a deep dive into articles about positive events during 2020. One of my favorite finds was from a Washington Post article written by the editorial board.

“We learned to appreciate the selfless dedication of nurses, orderlies, doctors and other health workers who risked their lives to save ours — and the selfless dedication of truck drivers, grocery stockers, farmworkers and so many more who risked their lives to keep the economy from collapsing.”

This is one great example of lessons learned that we can carry with us into 2021 to embrace the changes caused by the pandemic.

While we can work hard to create a “new normal” it will never mirror the society we once knew. However, I firmly believe that this is for the best. Outside of COVID-19, America has experienced some of its most earth-shaking, boundary-pushing, what-the-heck moments during the past year. 

We must take the lessons learned and carry them into post-pandemic life grateful to be here to experience it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught me many things but one of the main lessons I will be walking away with is the idea that life is so much more than the everyday life we are experiencing. At the start of the pandemic, it was easy to feel hopeless and lost trying to navigate all the changes happening. It felt like the end of the world when school was suddenly canceled and we had to pack up and go home. However, through this, I learned to appreciate life at home and the new quality time I was given with my family. The chaos produced happy memories and allowed me to enjoy some much needed time in my home town before graduating. 

When the fall semester came, I was at a crossroads of whether or not I should return to campus or stay home. Long story short, I decided to stay home and head into the unknown of college online. 

Reflecting back on that time, I am so grateful for the time I spent with my family during the lockdown. Being back on campus for the spring semester has been a great opportunity and solidified the idea that there is a season for everything.

Focusing on the positive aspects of the pandemic has changed my perspective of my time away from campus and allowed me to feel content with the season of life I am in. 

While I cannot wait for post-pandemic life to begin, I understand that life before the pandemic will not be the same as life after. Too much has happened, good and bad, that cannot be changed.

So, as we continue into this new year, I challenge you to reflect on life in the pandemic and ask yourself, “What will I carry with me into life post-COVID-19 and what will I leave behind?”

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