A Year of Pandemic Life

It's been a whole year. One that feels like a lifetime.

A year ago I left my office at work for the very last time. I expected to be back in a couple months, but those months dragged on. I got a pay cut, which spurred me to find a new job. And even if I hadn't changed jobs, I still would not have revisited my old desk to this day.

Worldwide tragedies have a way of shaking things up, and I'm sure others have felt the whiplash of well-laid plans being abandoned and replaced with activities that were incomprehensible a year ago.

I had no plans on leaving the company I worked at for 6 years last March. I had no plans on my pay being dramatically cut. I had no plans to go live with my parents to save some money. I had no plans to build a home office. I had no plans on adopting four plants. I had no plans on reading over 50 books in a single year. I had no plans to learn how to live in solitude.

But a year of a pandemic burning through the world will do strange things to plans.

Thankfully, humans are incredibly adaptable. Our current quarantine setup here in Seattle now gives me the same feelings of normality that I had a year ago. Our hedonistic treadmills largely keep us sane even when the world has gone to hell.

There's a light at the end of this year of darkness. Vaccines are being distributed in the US faster than I ever imagined. I fully expect to be vaccinated by the end of May! Then life will start to get back to the "new normal" that we'll have for the next few years. Until the world is vaccinated, we're going to be dealing with COVID restrictions both here and abroad for quite a while, unfortunately.

But getting together with friends and family won't be dangerous anymore. I won't need to allocate my time to see different friends in 2-week increments. I won't have to wear a mask when I sit on my friend's couch while we catch up with each other. I won't have to constantly cross the street while walking my dog to avoid other people on the sidewalk. So many things will change with the vaccine, and those changes are sorely welcome.

Even though we'll be wearing masks for months more and we'll all still have the pandemic on our minds, the small changes that vaccines enable will be more valuable than any international trip. I still desperately want to travel, especially after spending some of my health being on travel projects as a consultant where I built up plenty of airline miles. Those trips will come with time...

The world will be strange for quite a while longer, but drastic changes are coming with the vaccine.

I can't wait to get poked!

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