In all seriousness, it has not been a great year. Living through 2020 has been a never-ending rollercoaster, in my opinion. Everyone's lives have changed as a result of COVID-19 in someway. As a society, we have had to adapt to ensure and protect the health of others. If you were to go back to October 2019, our new "normal" today would seem crazy. Personally, it is hard to even remember my daily life before the pandemic hit. In case you're like me, here is a reminder of what used to be a part of normal life.
1. There was nothing weird about holding concerts, football games, or any form of a large gathering.
These fun events are just a sad memory now. It is hard even to picture thousands of people clustered together in one place during the social-distancing era.
2. When the word "face masks" meant a skincare product used for self-care purposes.
I only associated personal protection facemasks with surgeons. As a society, the only time we saw facemasks worn was in an episode of Grey's Anatomy. Now, it's off-putting to see someone out in public without one.
3. Going to class meant sitting inside a classroom.
Unless you attended Cyber School or were homeschooled, education was not delivered through a screen at home. To children, the word "Zoom" meant "going fast" before the pandemic. Now, it's a word that translates to "my classroom." When I was a child, I thought homeschooling would be better than going to school every day. It turns out I was very wrong, and I undervalued having the ability to sit in a classroom.
4. Celebrations could be shared with loved ones.
The one thing I loathe the most is not seeing my grandmother in person because of the virus. I know this rings true for millions of people as well. I cannot even imagine the heartbreak that comes from missing a wedding, the birth of a baby, graduation, anniversary, or a birthday. These were typical life milestones that were celebrated with family and friends. Now, they take place over FaceTime or Zoom; but, we all know it's not the same.
5. No one thought twice about shaking hands or blowing out birthday candles.
These things seem terrifying today, given how easily the virus spreads. It's weird to think we used to shake hands instead of awkwardly waving to one another. However, the practice of eating cake after someone blew out the candles seems horrifying now. You can't trust that you nor the people you love aren't asymptomatic carriers.
6. It was not a concern to stay six feet apart from each other.
Crowds used to be an annoying but a relatively safe nuance. However, in terms of public health, groups are both frustrating and dangerous in today's world. Now, you have to be six feet away from everyone.
All we can do is hope that one day, our everyday life will return.