It’s been a year of living life in the COVID-19 lane.
One year ago, I wrote that there were 27,000 confirmed cases in the United States. That number is now 29.4 million. That means that approximately 11 percent of the population has tested positive for the virus.
I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s hard to remember what life was like before all of this. The only thing that is normal is that nothing is normal.
I read a story this weekend about how the pandemic has changed our physical bodies, including ‘dead butt syndrome’ and grinding teeth. I’m guilty of grinding my teeth at night and now wear a mouthguard.
I have noticed heightened anxiety and OCD the past year. I’ve struggled to find balance. I worry about things – tiny things – that didn’t bother me before COVID. The mental stress has been subtle, almost undetectable. But, over time, it’s evident to see the accumulated changes.
My mother has experienced what we believe to be early dementia. She refuses to leave the house for fear of potentially being exposed to the virus. She forgets things she said a day ago and she’s become obsessed with less than fruitful projects (like flushing a hand towel down the toilet). We’ve been on lock-down for the majority of the past year, which has taken a mental toll on all of us. We are social creatures, by nature, and despite the connections we make via technology… it’s just not the same.
Compared to most, I have suffered little from the pandemic. But, it’s certainly impacted my life – even if minimally. The way it’s impacted our world has been anything but subtle. That leads me to believe that we’ve all been changed by the pandemic. Some worse than others, but forever changed in some way. We will come out stronger and more resilient. As I reflect on this past year, I can only say that I am grateful.