Pandemic Processing

1 year ago is when the whole world stopped. I didn’t know it at the time, most people didn’t, but a year later, that is the best description of what happened. March 11, 2020, was the day CUNY schools were closed and Covid 19 was officially declared a pandemic. I remember so vividly speaking to my friend in the 6th-floor lounge area at City Tech, both of us so excited that classes were canceled. Honestly, it was a rough semester for me so I understand my reaction, but little did we know what was in store from there. I went to my last class for the day and ran home in excitement, finally some time to relax. The next day I woke up, what would I do with my new free time? Maybe I should get a gym membership? Maybe I should get a job? Wait I can’t do that, there’s a virus going around. I shrugged this will all be over in a month or two anyway, let me just relax. The cases just kept increasing, listening and reading about what Italy, in particular, was going through, it was devastating. It was all anyone could talk about. Any conversation that was had, was about the virus. This virus, that was supposed to be gone in a month or two. Everyone quickly realized that was not going to be the case. NYC cases drastically increased day by day week by week even though lockdown, NYC became a hotspot. It was surreal. I remember the heat from the spring brought issues. Everyone was filled with cabin fever.

 

 

 I specifically remember the first warm day of the spring seeing this picture on my timeline. How could people be so selfish? NYC was struggling terribly, thousands dying, and here people are congregating because of “cabin fever”. What really left a mark on me was the stories of medical workers. The horror they experienced, the exhaustion, I really couldn’t fathom this is what the world turned into. I remember hearing about a story of NYC funeral home that ran out of space and started stashing deceased bodies in a unrefrigerated U-Haul truck. I find it unbelievable how the pandemic lead to people doing unspeakable things. And to believe there was naysayers. I remember seeing on my social media comments such as “why is everyone taking this so serious” “ masks are so annoying and unnecessary” “this whole pandemic is fake”. As if the million of deaths meant nothing, and it was just a tale. So not only was the stresses and heartbreak of the pandemic impacting me, so was the stresses and heart break. Before the start of the Pandemic the killing of Ahmaud Arbery had already taken place, another black man who lost his life simply for his skin color. But the case of George Floyd added more fuel to the fire of injustice, enough was enough. Tons of protest, social media flooded with #BlackLivesMatter, it was all overwhelming, but necessary. In the midst of a pandemic, when the world couldn’t be more divided, Black people, and other allies, came together and said no more (while still wearing their masks). As I reflect a year later, I realize that’s exactly what this past year was. A reflection of the poor disease control standards that our country had, beyond that, the poor standards for multiple countries. This past year reflected both an impressive amount of compassion but also a disgusting amount of the lack of. The support and communities I seen come together on social media was beautiful, it reminded me that there was still hope in the world. But the hate that was spewed, the racism, the prejudiced, reminded me of how far us as a society had to go. This past year showed me a reflection of myself. What actually matter to me, once the life I always knew was taken away. I learned that I had a lot to learn. I knew nothing and the pandemic has taught me so much on so many topics. I like to think I came out of this pandemic a better person, but I won’t know until we’re out of it. I tried to reflect the best I could in this post but honestly even with all the hope from the vaccine, I’m really over talking about the pandemic. I’m burnt out from reflecting, from talking, I want to just do, I want to live life. But we’re not there yet and I understand that. Hopefully with so many having access to get the vaccine this is the beginning of the end.

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