We Can’t Go Back To 2019 ⁠— What We’ve Learned From Living With COVID

covid-19-life

In the last year and a half, we struggled to keep calm as the COVID-19 pandemic spread and everything changed around us. The world came to a screeching halt, and then we decided it was time to rebuild it. 

We sat with ourselves and learned what we need to function fully and comfortably. It turns out that we can do a lot from home! We learned new art forms, recipes, and workouts. We kept family traditions and passion projects going and supported small businesses (and Amazon). 

Most importantly, we learned how powerful our voices are. There are more of them fighting for important causes than we once thought. These voices are celebrating pride, lifting black voices, and prioritizing mental health

While it makes sense to want to party like it’s 2019, should we really want to go back to the same old ways post-COVID?

I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong ⁠— I totally miss people breathing down my neck in line at the store and going to work when they’re sick. 

We just worked so hard to change things for the better. Going back to 2019 would be going back to a mess in so many ways because we didn’t learn much from history until now. We didn’t know how to put ourselves first and demand better working conditions. 

We still went out and did things when we were sick just because. I went to a party where the host didn’t tell us their children were sick until everyone was already there. Thankfully, I don’t see that happening again as we go through the Greek alphabet of COVID-19.

So what do we do now?

It would be nice for strangers to stay at least six feet away at all times. I also think it would be nice to let people wear masks if they feel they need to. We’ve done so much good this past year with the constant bad news, so we deserve something good in return. 

I’m not sure I believe in karma, but I do believe that we’ve been through enough. 

People before us didn’t see this level of social and technological change in a century, let alone a year. Juneteenth finally became a federally recognized holiday. Scientists developed a vaccine for COVID-19 less than a year after it was discovered. More people are demanding better working conditions than ever. 

It just doesn’t make sense to go back to how we were if we spent all this time planning a new future.

Feature Image by Xingyue HUANG on Unsplash

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