As we slowly emerge from our cocoons and restrictions, it is hard to believe 2 years has passed since COVID-19 started a planetary health crisis that took over our lives. 2 years ago today, I wrote my first covid related post. While at my local coffee shop, I overheard too many conversations discussing the cancellation of sports games being ‘drastic and fear-mongering, since more people die of the seasonal flu’ and ‘only sick people over 80 are dying’. As a health care professional, I felt I needed to publish the facts.
At that time, no one could have imagined we would still be here 2 years later-even though the Spanish flu lasted at least as long. At times, it seemed things were improving, then another crisis would strike and we took a step backwards. There was little time for recovery.
Covid-19 has affected life for everyone. The loss of life, paralysis of the world economy, and mental health effects of this pandemic have been devastating. The stress, isolation and anxiety of quarantine, the fear, confusion, uncertainty and frustration with constantly changing recommendations and regulations have taken their toll and it will take time to recover.
Along this covid journey, differing opinions have also caused stress. It is good to see Facebook is no longer full of self-professed medical experts. Now they have become combat strategy experts. In North America, there have been protests for ‘freedom’ and infringement of rights. My colleagues and I risked our own health to administer covid vaccines, so I have absolutely no tolerance for covidiots. If I was in charge, they would all be given a one-way ticket to the Ukraine to witness firsthand what REALLY losing your rights and freedoms looks like. It is reported that 6 million people lost their lives to Covid-19, although the real number is probably higher. To put it in a grim perspective, this is the same number lost during the Holocaust. Yet there are still conspiracy theorists who believe this is fake news.
Where I live, masks are no longer required, although in some places they are recommended. Next month, we will no longer require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants and public events. 90% of the population is vaccinated, and enough people have had mild cases to build up immunity. Are we mentally ready to return to normal, or to get used to a ‘new normal’ though?
Everyone will come out of restrictions on their own time. We are all facing challenges that may not be visible. Do not assume to know what others are going through. For some, wearing masks, avoiding crowds and other precautions will be a safety net to cling to for a while longer. Extra helpings of patience and kindness will be required.
There are not many positive things to come out of a global pandemic. Even so, I have felt humbled by the outpouring of kindness, humanity, cooperation and creativity that has come out of this terrible situation to emphasize the resilience of the human spirit. This has also been a time for many of us to reflect on what is important. This will be my final Covid-19 related post. Continue to be patient and kind, hug your loved ones, have that extra sfogliatella, and stay safe. Ciao, Cristina