Three years after COVID lockdown, some questions to bridge the distance between then and now
You and I talk all the time but you know that I am all upside down. I am just starting to get my bearings again and starting to see the light.
I have a real sense of urgency to move on from so many things. There’s a lot of grief inside of me but I am ready to just let go of so many things. Lighten the load if you will.
But this post made me really reflect on how to end this chapter before I start anew. Thank you for that. I’m going to do what I always do, which is write about it. ❤️
I'm having a much more difficult time moving on from lost milestones than my kids are. My son was a junior in HS during 2020-21 and had to attend virtual that entire year (no other option in SoCal). Now my daughter is a junior and I'm so happy she's getting all these experiences (a national choir trip, she'll be going to prom, being in the musical, etc), but her brother didn't get them. He's happily off at college, though, so why am I feeling any MORE sadness about it?? I think like all grief, it's complicated and will continue to pop up for many of us for the rest of our lives. Solidarity.
One of the strangest things about ending up in Australia 3 years ago is that our experience was so different from my American friends/cohort. It's so hard to fathom. Once we got here (exactly 3 years ago next Monday), we had to quarantine for 2 weeks, and then we had on and off lockdowns as Australia got to grips with what was happening. Each state was different, and our state (Queensland) was locked up tight, so we didn't actually experience any COVID illness, or even risk of illness, for almost 2 years. But there was so much fear. One one level, life was "normal." Kids went to school, most of the time, and would shut down for a few days or a week, if there were cases in the community, but cases were quickly quarantined, and life went on again. We couldn't leave the state, many activities were cancelled, and restaurants closed, but day to day life was pretty "normal". By the time COVID was more than a few cases in the community in Queensland, 94% of adults had been vaccinated. My kid had to adapt to a new school system, but he didn't lose a year of his life to lockdowns. We were locked in our state, but not in our homes. I couldn't see my parents in Texas for 3 years, and I felt so far away. But they're healthy and have a good community and never got sick. My life changed dramatically, but it was a move. I feel a bit of survivor's guilt, actually. I really can't imagine what you all have suffered.
This is beautiful, Asha -- and so are you.
We marked the third anniversary of the pandemic by actually getting Covid for the first time a couple weeks ago! My 13-year old son had had it twice already (Fall 2021 pre-vaccination and Spring 2022 post-vaccination) but the rest of us didn't get it those times. This time, he was the only one who didn't get sick! Thankfully, we all seem to have gotten through it okay. My 9-year old was almost totally asymptomatic and my husband, myself, and my 16-year old were pretty miserable for a few days and then have largely just been coming out of the fatigue. I am grateful for vaccines and that we had good head start on dealing with this virus. So...the pandemic still feels pretty real around here at the moment although our schedule has been back to "normal" for a while with all our kids doing various activities and being in school in person for two years now. I am pretty worn out from how Covid still seems to interrupt and cancel plans. Along with some travel plans we had for Spring 2020 that were a huge disappointment to cancel, we have had many trips over the last three years that we've had to cancel or adjust because someone had Covid, or was exposed, etc. I was telling a friend last week that one skill my kids have learned from the last three years is how to pivot and re-adjust plans on the fly!
“ How might you honor your losses? What might that look like for you?”
is so good and really hit.
My life before COVID and now is drastically different for totally unrelated-to-covid reasons. But there has been one big (for me) loss. And it’s so stupid and so privileged and I’m sure would be totally insignificant to almost any other person, and only recently have I realised I *am* grieving it. It’s that the coffee shop I used to go and work in every single day never opened back up. It still sells coffee out of a window but you can’t sit there. The only one I’ve found that I like even slightly as much is about a 10 minute bike ride away, so I often can’t make it there between clients.
Again, it sounds like such a tiny and stupid thing! But I realised just last month that I *am* grieving it. I’d been working there almost every day for almost a decade. I also realised I am in a sort of stasis state of wishing it would change (it almost certainly won’t, they’ve decided hole in the wall works for them).
Your “How might you honor your losses?” is one I’m going to spend some time on
Thank you! xxM