February 8, 2021
We haven’t reached the one-year mark for CoViD lockdown yet, but it could be said that my own virus saga started last February. At the beginning of that month, I came down with one of the worst chest colds I’ve ever had. I lost my senses of smell and taste (as I do every time I get sick) as well as my voice and a good deal of my hearing. I spent the next few days staring straight ahead on the couch, waiting for the fever to break.
Was it the Dreaded Virus? I won’t know until I take the antibody test. But it was certainly an opening act for the strangeness that followed. Things have changed so fast since then that I’ve barely been able to catch my (figurative) breath. So I hope you’ll humor me when I say that it has officially been one year.
Not only that, it has been one crazy year. Disregarding the changes in my personal life, these last twelve months have completely shifted my baseline concept of normal. Seeing myself in a mask feels normal now. Sitting indoors with a large group listening to someone sing, something I did hundreds of times in the first 26 years of my life, does not. I’m not sure if “going back to normal” would even feel normal anymore.
I should note that a lot hasn’t changed. For example, I still don’t get outside as much as I should during the winter (the daily walks ground to a halt once the temperature became lower than my shoe size). I guarantee you that this time last year, I was the same way — illness or no illness. It seems that things can be both normal and not normal at once.
But the difference is this: last year, I thought I had a whole summer of attending concerts and working in tourism and volunteering ahead of me. I could spare a few nights indoors during the coldest part of the year; in fact, I relished the alone time. I can’t make the same prediction for this summer. It feels like I’ve just lived through a whole year of winter , and I’d gladly give up some of that alone time for time spent in my various communities.
I am waiting for spring.