Today is two years exactly since I took home my work laptop and prepared my spot at the dining room table as a “temporary” office. And prepared myself for Daniel to be home for “two weeks” as we were told.
Well, here we are. It’s 2022. Daniel is back in school physically, but I am still here at the dining room table in loungewear, Crocs and (hopefully) fun t-shirts. I’m shocked. Stunned. I never – like most of us – thought that something like COVID would happen in my lifetime despite devouring books and movies on pandemics and knowing it was simply a matter of time (theoretically).
And Daniel has not been immune – ha ha – from the experience. His concerns about cleanliness and germs have been heightened to an alarmingly and frankly annoying degree.
I used to mark each pandemic quarantine week on the wall calendar, but sometime last year, I stopped and never resumed. But I keep the paper calendars (from Biltmore, naturally) and they are a nice time capsule. I marked today as “two years exactly since quarantine.”
It’s…it’s been a rough two years as I’m sure most of us could say. There have been some highs but mainly a lot of lows. I wasn’t prepared for this. None of us were prepared for this. I have gotten through it via humor from YouTube, reading, memes, and well…interacting with as many of you as I could. And work. Work helped a lot.
I know I’ve had quite a bit of personal tragedy during the pandemic, but sometimes it becomes difficult to extract one from the other. Jimmy did not die from COVID, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to separate his death from the last two years. It’s all tangled up together and part of my pandemic experience and memory.
And as I acknowledge this milestone of two years exactly in being impacted by COVID, I’m also preparing to return to the office. No more time at my dining room table and my less-than-ergonomic dining room table chair. Starting 3/21, we will return to the office once a week, working up to more days in the following weeks.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about it. A lot has changed for me personally. And I love my loungewear and dining room table. But getting back to the office and seeing people – sans mask – could be very good. Also, I am craving the pho near my office. I’m not going to lie, though. I feel a bit like the people emerging from Plato’s allegory of the cave. And I also hope that COVID doesn’t continue to smack us in the face with “surprises” like the variants of the last year, but it has been a wily foe.
I did not have pandemics or spousal death or Russian invading Ukraine on my decade Bingo card. But here we are. It’s…a weird time. Weird.
But I might also be able to buy some new work clothes?!?! I haven’t bought new clothes in two years.
Still a weird time. I thought last year that maybe there would be return to normal. Now? No. We will return to…something. But it will not be the normal we have been used to. It will truly be a new normal, whatever that means. This pandemic has changed us. And I’m equally curious and trepidatious about what this new normal will be. I thought this article from The Week summed it up well.
Happy COVID-versary. What do you get someone for two years of a pandemic??