Some day in the distant future, an advanced humanity will look back at this time period and think of it the same way we think of the days of the Black Plague or other pandemics. They’ll wonder how it was that we didn’t have the technology to simply stop COVID without so much death. Like we do today with polio and other ailments of the past, they’ll take for granted all the work that has gone into creating the vaccines and surviving during this challenging time.
I often wonder what will they think we felt like during this period? What will people in the future think when they look back on the COVID era? From my perspective it can probably be broken down into several small periods.
I don’t believe them.
The first period was the disinterest period. You know, “this thing won’t affect us, they’ll sort it out before it spreads. They are just making a big deal out of nothing. Whatever.” Complete and total disinterest and of course distrust of the government. At this stage, some of us hadn’t fully understood the magnitude of this thing, we overestimated our ability to simply carry on.
Then came the first lockdown. During this period, I still kind of felt the same way. Okay, it’s dangerous, and this is just a precaution and a bit of a temporary inconvenience, but it’s still no big deal.
Then more and more people kept dying. So much so that they had to start using trucks to store the deceased. That’s when it really hit me, okay, this thing is really nasty and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. They said we were being shut down for two weeks, but I knew at this point that it was going to take much longer.
At that point we entered the next stage, and that’s kind of when the world started to feel like it was at a standstill. I decided to grow my hair longer and not cut it. I started to wear a mask, gloves, and get somewhat paranoid about touching anything outside. We began to spray and disinfect all of our groceries, lunch, deliveries, etc. God forbid anyone gets near you at this point!
At one point during the earlier portion of the pandemic, I developed vertigo. This disrupted my fitness training and opened the floodgates for all the weight gain that was to come. I had an online visit with a doctor and then I had to hit the Emergency room to make sure that I wasn’t having a stroke. This was followed by a few more doctor’s visits and some physical therapy sessions. All that while living in the height of the pandemic. Needless to say, that I was really anxious about being in the hospital and clinics at this time.
That was just a trippy time and dealing with the dizziness of vertigo during a pandemic made it all the more bizarre. I remember walking my dog in the solitary streets, trying my best to maintain my balance while simultaneously wearing a mask, caring for Peppa and trying to stay healthy.
On the rare occasion you’d take the subway, you’d see that the billboards were over 5 months old, and it would be nearly 1 1/2 years before they were updated again. The streets were quiet, no cars, few people if any, and just a feeling of an abandoned society.
People started to flee NYC. Our in-person fitness classes became online classes. Everyone was scrambling for some weights. Runners wore masks and avoided each other. Underground gyms and BJJ schools were allowing people to train with masks and boarded up store windows to avoid being seen. It was just a very weird time.
The New Norm
Then it started to become the norm. It was understood and expected, at least here in NYC, that you would wear a mask and keep 6 feet away from each other. I never believed that this did much to protect us as covid continued spreading like wildfire, but I went along with it as I am not a doctor. Though I wasn’t sure if masks help, I didn’t want to fight society and I realize that I don’t know a damn thing about virus transmission.
Honestly, I think they were winging it too, I mean look at how much conflicting information has been provided over time. Maybe it did help, maybe it didn’t, I don’t know. But I complied with societal standards and wore a mask whenever required.
Next up came the slow reopening of society. They experimented with outdoor dining, takeout only, outdoor fitness classes at the gyms. Don’t get me started on the experience of that disaster! Trying to teach Zumba under a tent during the dead of winter? That was just crazy and will have a post of its own! Then we shut it down again. But you could sense that we were starting to make some progress against covid as a society.
Finally, came the vaccine period. This one created as much division and conflict as you’d expect anything in our society to do. Conspiracy theories, big pharma (who I don’t trust) COVID deniers, anti vaxxers, pro vaxxers, it was just a mess. It still is really, check the news.
Then came the government regulations. If you are not vaxxed then you cannot go to the gym, you can’t dine indoors, and you were pretty much barred from participating in society. This caused a lot of conflict in society and like I said, it’s still kind of ongoing. Many people have lost their jobs due to refusing a vaccine. Healthcare workers who were touted as heroes, and had noise made for them every night, were now at risk of losing their employment if they refused the jab. The ones who kept us alive, were now the enemy? These were just weird times indeed.
I am 3 shots in myself, and some people are 4 shots in. Most people are surviving COVID nowadays. I presume it is a combination of the vaccine along with a strong immune system. COVID worked (is still working) itself through society and did (is doing) the damage it will do as a virus. Some of us were\are okay, some were\are not. Many of us lost friends and family to COVID. It was and continues to be a difficult time for humanity. Thankfully, it appears (knock on wood) that the worst may be behind us.
Just a life long New Yorker sharing the journey through my lens. Please take note of a post’s date. The views I express here are subject to change and evolving as I grow and learn.