During my lifetime, there are so many events that have left an indelible imprint on my mind.
Among them are the attack on the World Trade Center, the day President Kennedy was assassinated, the end of the O.J. Simpson trial and sadly, the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. I know there are others but a new one that will never be forgotten is the year that we have lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you are a 25-year-old, losing a year robs you of many social happenings but with many years left to live, the loss of a year is no big deal. If you are in your 70s or older, losing a year out of your life is a big deal.
As a senior citizen, the loss of 12 months is a precious robbery of time that you can’t make up in any way. A year without close family, a missed vacation, travel restrictions, the loss of a loved one and a shutdown of the economy make this a sad chapter in our lives.
If you have been confined to your home with some close family at least you are having some social interaction. But the vast majority of the people quarantined at home have only one or two people in the house.
This type of situation creates tension and anxiety and makes the lost year seem even longer. The next question is when will the Covid lockdown end and what will our world be like after that?
Once we are free to come and go will we really be that free? By the end of this year, it is hoped that a sizable number of people will have been vaccinated.
Movie theaters, sports stadiums, restaurants and party venues will probably be open, but with some restrictions. Airlines will be operating once again at full capacity.
But wearing a mask will be a habit that will last for the next two or three years, until we are totally convinced that it is safe to mingle with strangers.
But with the restrictions lifted, will everything be the same again?
Many of those little local restaurants that you have patronized for years may not be there anymore. Those local stores that sell clothing, greeting cards, newspapers and other basic items, may have been forced to close due to the health restrictions and lack of federal subsidies.
I have spent the past 12 months working remotely from my office. I do talk to staff members and partners from time to time, but I miss those daily social moments when we could exchange some stories and just laugh a little bit more.
Every time we seem to be coming closer to opening up again, someone comes down with Covid-19 and the lockdown starts all over again. I am convinced that I am now working longer hours than ever before because there is no car trip to and from the office, but I am not positive that all those extra hours have been totally productive.
But will they ever fully return?
Last year our daughter Lindsey gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She was born before the virus hit us so we had the thrill of seeing her on the day of her birth and for a few months after that.
But once the pandemic hit, we grandparents were forced to keep at a far distance from the baby and most of the time we cannot see her in person.
We do see her from time to time on a cell phone, but it just isn’t the same as hugging her and watching the changes on a living room couch.
Because we have no assurance that another virus will pop up again, our hospital systems will never quite be the same.
To guard against any new infections, hospitals will have to stock extra supplies of masks, gowns, gloves, cotton swabs and other necessities.
During the past year, we have learned that any new pandemic will require massive expenses for all of these precious items and they will have to be immediately available for patients to get treatment.
This is not meant to be a doom and gloom column. I believe that we will get back to some degree of normalcy in the near future. Just being able to go to a local restaurant or take in a movie will be exciting.
Attending a baseball or hockey game will be a wonderful experience, even if we are socially distanced. Seeing new faces, with or without a mask, will mark the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.
We will have lost a year, but getting back to any type of normal living will be exciting. And if I am lucky, I will get to hold my granddaughter again.