“Six Feet Apart” and “You’re on Mute”
This heading reflects the many new terms and phrases we had to learn in 2020. This past year will clearly go down as the year of sorrow, uncertainty and panic due to COVID-19. But it also will be the year remembered for caring, compassion and heroes.
Everyone of us endured a wide range of emotions throughout the year. March began with uncertainty about what a pandemic was and what we needed to do to adjust. Toilet paper became more valuable than currency and filling our freezers for the unknown days ahead became a daily occurrence.
Then, over the next few months we adjusted to a new vocabulary that included Social Distancing, Zooming, Heard Immunity, Asymptomatic, N95, CARES, PPE and PPP.
Our days were filled with sad stories of illness and loss of life. Many businesses shut down or laid off their employees. Vacation planning and even inviting someone over to your house were ripped away from us. There was a sense of impending doom and we did not know what was coming next.
However, as these feelings of loneliness, despair and uncertainty became our ﬁrst thoughts each morning, we also began to witness something altogether different. Hope and resiliency.
We began to focus on our brave ﬁrst responders, and it became abundantly clear that not all heroes wear capes. We watched as educators (and parents) tackled the herculean task of remote education. We witnessed restaurants ﬁnd new and innovative ways to provide their patrons with food and cheer. Something special was happening during one of the darkest times our communities had ever known.
Neighborhoods went back to the days of old, when everyone knew each other and watched out for each other. Taking a walk around the block became the new daily social event where we waved from afar and shouted words of encouragement to each other, of course from at least six feet away.
We saw resiliency take the place of despair. We smiled a little longer, we loved a little stronger and we found new ways to become better friends and stronger families.
To be clear, this pandemic is far from over and we will still have dark days ahead. But, for the ﬁrst time in many, many months there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is no longer an oncoming train.
Throughout the last year we have heard the term ‘new normal’. We just do not like the term. To us it infers somehow our future will not be normal. We think just the opposite. We believe the lessons we are learning, sometimes painful and other times hopeful, will serve us well going forward. Keep the faith, persevere, and embrace a new tomorrow. Better days truly are coming. Be safe, be well and most importantly, be hopeful.