I had to look back at the posts I wrote about last year when the pandemic hit. The first one and then the one where Michael lost his job due to covid. I don’t even know how to reflect on the past year. I honestly don’t. So much has happened. So.Much.
When stuff started to get real and we were all sent home, and then Oregon shut down for REAL, I honestly didn’t think it would last a year. My assumption would be that we’d start to go back to some kind of “normal” and then back to the office in the summer, and then when the fall came and cold/flu season started everything would shut down again. I was way off.
I remember the early days when I tried not to go to the store very often. When the whole process was filled with anxiety. When just leaving the house felt like we were in an episode of The Walking Dead and who knew who was sick and how we’d be exposed. I remember going to the store and getting weird looks for wearing a mask. That was before Oregon made masks mandatory. Of course, now it’s the norm.
Those early days were so weird and hard and stressful. Not only had Michael lost his job, but we pulled Logan out of preschool for almost 3 months. For safety, for financial reasons, for a lot of reasons. It was incredibly hard working from home, trying to keep him occupied and give Michael periodic breaks from trying to do “school”. We definitely feel fortunate that we have jobs that can be done 100% remote and that our daycare has been so safe re: covid. In 1 year there has only been 1 instance of positive covid cases and it didn’t spread beyond the one classroom where 2 kids had it. Everyone recovered and was ok, too.
The last year has been one of the hardest. I know it’s been hard for everyone. No one has come out unscathed. So many people have lost someone. I am grateful we haven’t. We know a handful of people who have had covid. Glad the cases were mild.
The stress. The anxiety. The fear. The financial worry. The politic unrest. The racist rhetoric. The protests. The Portland political climate. The election. It just feels like so so so much. In addition to our own stuff. Stevie getting sick and having major surgery. Maya getting sicker and trying figure out ways to prolong her quality of life. The wildfires that were literally just a few miles from our house and forced us to evacuate for a week because of the smoke. And then six months later having to leave our house because we lost power for three days in an ice storm! Just NUTS.
Michael and I haven’t had a break in a year. We’d love to have a weekend away. We’d love to go on vacation. Even a weekend at the beach would be nice. Anything. We miss seeing friends and family.
I don’t think we’ve addressed the trauma the world has been through. I know everyone is excited to get vaccines and they think it will be like a light switch turn on and everything is back to normal. “Normal” sounds a little scary after a year of not normal. I really hope employers and businesses and everyone just gives each other grace and patience as we all ease back into normal. I think it will take a long time to shake off this year.