Sometimes I find it hard to believe that we are amid a global pandemic, primarily because it has been a year and now this seems like the “new normal.” Last February, I was out celebrating Carnival season and Mardi Gras along with thousands of other people. Fast forward a few weeks and everything in New Orleans was shut down.
Whether you believe in the pandemic or not, or agree with the restrictions or not, we have all been profoundly impacted by this event. One year later, I have taken some time to look back and see how the pandemic has affected me personally. In reflecting on this, I have come to a point of accepting and understanding why I have reacted to these circumstances in certain ways – some of my reactions were good and some not so good. One thing that has drastically changed is the lens through which I view the world and through which I see other people in relation to their pandemic experience.
To clarify, I will give an example. I have two sisters who could not disagree more on the severity of the pandemic and how it has been handled. It has seriously and severely impacted each of them in different ways. One thing I have come to realize in listening to their experiences is that both situations are very real and true for them.
For me, the biggest way in which this pandemic has impacted me is my willingness to accept that people’s experience is their experience, and that it is valid. I may agree or disagree, or not understand, but I can listen. Yes, there are other effects as well, but for me, this is the most significant one. This helps me to make meaning out of all this and that gives me a bit of comfort in a situation I cannot control. How have you been impacted? Have you been able to make any meaning out of this craziness? I’m curious to know how y’all are doing. Stay safe and take care.