One Year Later...
One year ago today was the day I made the decision to collect my office equipment and work from home. There was so much uncertainty about how long we'd be forced to do this, but something in my gut told me it would be long enough to warrant packing up my monitors, docking station, and personal affects and setting up at my dining room table ahead of my company's announcement. I never dreamed it would be over a year at that time... but here we are. One year later.
Last year at this time, the US had just under 6,000 cases and 100 deaths. Now we are approaching 30 million American cases and over 535,000 deaths. It's really unfathomable what a difference a year makes. Reading back through my journal is remarkable. We were estimating a month in lockdown. There are so many things we could've done differently to be out of this, but we didn't and we've all had to figure this out along the way.
I wrote a few months into the pandemic about how I had adapted and ultimately improved my life during quarantine. I'm still on that path and continuing to focus on my mental and physical health. I've spent this time doing things that really bring me joy and make me a better person. I was able to protest last summer, read and listen more, and focus on the important things in life. I know who my people are and who I'll share my time with when we're able to be together again. I understand more what I value in life now having been stripped of all the distractions. I will never be able to fully express how grateful I am for work that is both fulfilling and able to be done remotely which allowed me all of these revelations.
So we're here a year later with the vaccine rolling out across the world. The end is in sight, but 'Covid Fatigue' is hitting large swaths of the population hard. Texas has completely lifted the mask mandate in one of the worst governmental decisions in recent memory. Something as simple as requiring people to wear masks that we know saves lives should be the bare minimum until we've reached a threshold of vaccinated people. One year ago, we were locking down the entire country at 500 cases a day. We're hitting 50,000 cases daily and people are acting as if this is over. It frustrating to see 100 million vaccines be administered and we're acting as if we're done. There's still a ways to go and if we could just stay masked a little longer, we can be back to our new normal. The fact that we still have people claiming if you're "scared" stay home or wear a mask is infuriating. I don't understand how we're this far in and people still don't understand masks aren't to protect yourself, they're to protect others. It only works when we all participate. Masks being dismissed as only for weak, scared people might be the single greatest cause of death the country has ever seen. It's tragic.
But there is a light. Many people are still adhering to the CDC recommendations on their own. More people are being vaccinated every single day. I've discovered a new strength in myself. For as much loss as we've seen in this year, we've also seen incredible growth. People have shown strength and perseverance beyond what they thought was possible. We've had to adapt to an entirely new way of life so quickly. I'm so relieved we have a new administration taking this seriously and passing legislation to get us back on our feet. I look forward to seeing my people again, going to a movie theater, and even hopping on a plane soon. We've come a long way... let's finish this and take all the lessons learned into a post-pandemic world.