The year is 2020. A global pandemic labeled COVID-19 has had control over whom we are able to spend our time with, the way we interact with others in public settings, and our ability to enjoy activities such as going to the movies and visiting our favorite restaurants. We can’t forget about our neighbors that have lost jobs and those who mourn family members no longer with us. It’s hard to believe that this has been the reality for so many of us over the last ten months. It has been a tough year for everyone in different ways and it’s hard to say what the future will have in store as we enter a new calendar year. One thing we CAN agree on is that we are all hopeful for growth beyond COVID-19. We look forward to visiting the places on our bucket lists that have been put on hold and, moving forward, we might show more appreciation for the little things that bring us joy each day.
Though many of us may feel mentally drained by the current events of 2020, its important to acknowledge the positive aspects we may have gained throughout this period. Many of us have had to simplify our way of living. For some this might look like more nights cooking new recipes in the kitchen instead of eating out. Or maybe you’ve learned a new skill like gardening, or picked up a hobby such as puzzles. We have had to make do with what we have on hand, adapt and overcome the obstacles we have been faced with such as virtual weddings and baby showers. We have had to learn that social distance doesn’t mean that we can’t still be connected with those we care about; we have just had to become more resourceful.
As we enter a new year and hopefully find a new sense of normalcy, we should consider the ideas and practices we want to bring with us moving forward. These might include more compassion for others as we understand that each individual has difficulties they experience each day. Although it may take time, we can’t forget that we need social interaction and physical touch from those closest to us. Be optimistic and remember that we will get back to a place of giving hugs and shaking hands with one another like we used to. But this will also take time to ensure everyone feels comfortable. We must not forget to thank the many medical staff that have, and continue, to work on the front lines as well as those who continue to serve our community during a difficult time. We will not forget what we have all experienced during this time, but together we can move forward and grow from a place of distance toward a direction of togetherness.