Keys. Wallet. Phone. Mask. Could this be what our post-pandemic world looks like?
A post-pandemic world. It seems like the title of a horror film you would watch on Netflix and not our reality. A post-pandemic world will come, though it may seem unrealistic given the nature of how things seem today. There will come a time when we fly across the country and hug our family, walk down the streets with visible smiles to strangers, and eat at restaurants like it is no big deal.
However, our post-pandemic world is a big deal. We, collectively, are a different society because of everything 2020 has churned out. Everyone has an opinion on how COVID-19 is being handled by our government, how our neighbors are quarantining and social distancing, and how our kids are going to continue to learn without falling behind. These thoughts are something we have never considered before. “Who had this grocery cart before me?” is never something I asked myself, and now it is the only thing I think about when running into the store. A year ago when I was pregnant, it didn’t cross my mind that my daughter might spend her first year of life unable to see anyone’s smiles and expressions because they are covered in masks, or that we would be extremely limited in seeing family members.
The truth is no one knows what our post-pandemic world looks like. We are not there yet. Our country still needs to band together to take on this virus. Simply because people are tired of COVID-19 does not mean COVID-19 is tired of us. As with any pandemic, we must listen to the science and give grace to the experts when new research appears and changes the course of recommendations.
For me, whenever a post-pandemic world graces us with its presence, I will probably still continue to wipe down shopping carts and take hand sanitizer with me everywhere I go. It is my hope that in a post-pandemic world strangers will once more smile at one another passing by and we will be reunited with loved ones very soon.