In Focus

I can’t believe it’s been a year since the pandemic started. While there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s not over yet.

We are all tired of COVID-19 and the many restrictions that have gone along with it. It’s been a whole year since I started working from home. Originally, it was something we thought we would only do for a few weeks. I still enjoy working from home. It’s so much more relaxing. But I do miss seeing my co-workers regularly. The cats can only do so much to fill the communication void.

Work, in general, hasn’t been easy with events getting canceled and having to conduct interviews over the phone or online. I’ve made it work, but I prefer to be in person when possible.

I feel for the kids and parents that had to deal with distance learning and having to deal with the back and forth and ups and downs of hybrid learning. I feel for the staff doing their best to educate students and operating the school in a safe manner. The schools were dismissed last spring and seeing teachers cry as they waved goodbye to their students was one of the most heartbreaking scenes I’ve ever seen.

I feel for the elderly who couldn’t see their family and friends in person. Holidays were depressing for some with no in-person visits and when they missed family gatherings.

My heart goes out to people like the nursing home staff working tirelessly, taking on more shifts to cover for those who were sick and dealing with the outbreaks in their facility.

So much has changed. Who ever thought a face mask would become the new fashion accessory? In the beginning, I didn’t invest much into purchasing masks, but as time went on I figured if I have to wear it, it might as well be something I like. Our key rack has been taken over by masks. And there is a basket of various travel-sized hand sanitizers ready to grab on the go.

Who ever thought stores would run out of toilet paper? That one still gets me. I remember getting the “stink eye” for buying two packages because I needed one and so did the office. And they weren’t huge packs either.

And we can’t forget the record unemployment rates and how debilitating this has been for many families. Food shelves are seeing record numbers of families in need.

Nobody would have ever imagined words like pandemic, quarantine, social distancing, mask mandates, and COVID-19 would be regularly used in conversations.

The world has changed, and we had to follow suit. While we know someday we will get back to some sense of normalcy, nothing will ever be the same again and that’s the sad truth.

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