Is returning to normal.
It might be slowly, but it definitely is surely.
And as survivors of the 2020 pandemic (doesn’t that sound dramatic), we can definitely say that we made it through all of the 5 stages of grief at one point or another:
The grief over the loss of life as we knew it. The loss of life-before-COVID. The loss of our taken-for granted freedoms and happiness and pretty much everything that came with our era of advancement.
They were all there. For me at least. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. And now, now that the world is at the precipice of opening…and the corona-era hopefully at a close: hope!
But still. Those 5 stages?
They were all definitely there.
Denial – when we first tried to reason away the ‘just-a-flu’ disease gripping us. Or, if you’re one of the anti-vaxxing crowd…still in that phase.
Anger – when we reared up against the doctors, the government, the rules and limitations and the general unfairness of our lives suddenly changing. Not to mention the working hours. Sudden changes. Deaths all around. All hell breaking loose. Really good time to get really really mad, right?
Bargaining – when we tried to find our way around rules. Looking for excuses why they wouldn’t apply. Why we felt ok taking the unnecessary risks. Why it was acceptable to break covid-regulations to keep our social lives intact. When we tried to explain thingsto our advantage. Bending and shaping rules so they might fit. Even though they never did. There sure was a lot of bargaining.
Depression – when, at some point, we all realised we’d have to buckle down. Actually grit our teeth. Take in the burden of obedience to make our way back to whatever this new normal will turn out to be. Forced into our houses. Our zoom environments. Our isolation and our own devices. When loneliness and hopelessness really got a hold and the light at the end of the disease-numbers-tunnel seemed impossibly far away.
Acceptance – When the vaccines where approved. When regulations were in place long enough for the most of the rowdy crowd to give in instead of fight. When we got used to living regulated and boxed in. And more importantly: When the invitations were sent. Limits lifted. Numbers went down. Quick.
Now my first vaccination will be jabbed into my arm on the 25th. The second one a month later. Now my country is opening its doors and borders again. Now all of the harsh rules and regulations are being lifted next week. Now I get to shop without a mask again. Play sports without a watchful eye on law enforcers showing up. Invite friends over without the curtains closed and return to life like it wasn’t derailed for over a year.
And now that final stage is here.
Hope – when we see the darkness winding down and the shimmers of light pointing us towards another round of taking-normal-life for granted. And though I hope we’ll be back to normal soon, with COVID as a bleak and distant chapter and memory of life…
I also hope we remember. Cause in the end. We’ll be the ones in the history books making it through all of those stages of grief. And thriving in spite of them.