Let’s hope there’s never a repeat of the tragedies of 2020. For those of us who stayed healthy, there was still the backdrop of the pandemic restrictions and the lockdowns. Years from now, when someone notices the 2020 vintage on a bottle of wine or is looking at 2020 models of used cars, someone will say: “I remember 2020…” What will they say?
- International space station. You were literally in a bubble. Your world ended at those four walls if you lived in a one bedroom city apartment with no balcony or roof access. Like astronauts going for a space walk to adjust outside equipment, you got out very rarely and were taking a risk.
- House arrest. The most famous person I can think of is Aung San Suu Kyi who was under house arrest in Burma (Myanmar) for 15 years by the military government in power. I hope she had a large property with gardens. People who lived in the countryside during the lockdown had a far better time than those confined to city apartments. Excepting not being able to entertain, life wasn’t that disrupted.
- The gift of time. Hopefully many people took this optimistic view. If you couldn’t travel on vacation and were confined to the immediate area, you finally had the time to do all the projects you put off because you never had enough time.
- A time to reconnect. We might be stuck at home, but Zoom, e-mail, texting, social media and the phone still were available. It was an ideal opportunity to check in with family members. Make sure they were OK. If you aren’t going to reconnect during a global pandemic, what are you waiting for?
- Got those home repairs done. During the lockdown, restaurants were shut. Gyms too. Ditto movie theaters. Home improvement stores were open. Often nurseries too. This period of enforced isolation was the perfect time to repaint the house. Clean the basement. Get the garden looking good.
- Stalag 17. Friends in England came up with this example. I think they meant you were in a small, closed society. Your basic needs were met. Life went on as long as you followed the rules. Of course, you couldn’t leave the premises.
- The naughty corner. Ever notice how eight of the Ten Commandments carried a “Thou Shalt Not” message? The lockdown and subsequent pandemic rules afterwards focused on what we shouldn’t do. Don’t go outside without a mask. Don’t go to crowded places. Don’t get closer than six feet.
- The year to teach yourself. The year was perfect for online learning. If you wanted to earn an additional professional certification, complete CE credit requirements or learn a new language, this was it.
- The year to test the rules. We all knew people who followed the letter, but not the spirit of the law. If you could only leave the house for essentials like grocery shopping, on Monday it was Costco. Tuesday was the supermarket. Wednesday was the other supermarket. You get the idea.
- Desert island. This would be similar to the International Space Station example, but with more green space. It’s you along in paradise. You would walk around the house without pants if you chose. You could walk around the garden and get some fresh air.
- Solitary confinement. For the elderly, it was likely similar to being in solitary in a prison. Relatives who would normally visit on a regular basis were forbidden access. Retirement homes were considered at risk hotspots. The deaths of people you knew made it even worse.
- Hotel California. Everyone knows the icon song by the Eagles. “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
We worked from home. We made the best of the situation. We hope the arrival of a vaccine will being life back to normal.