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For all Those Who Won’t “Return to Normal” any Time Soon…

Original Digital Painting by Heather Thompson Blue Phoenix Art.

COVID has taken the lives of millions since it was discovered a year ago. Those on the front lines have endured and witnessed unimaginable suffering, while high risk families have isolated to prevent catching the virus as it has surged time and again.

Humanity will never be the same, yet the collective notion of a “return to normal” is so pervasive that people are anxiously expecting it’s arrival any day now.

A return to normal….I think about this idea often. It’s painful to make the shift away from what was and accept what is, while looking ahead to what will be.

It would seem that many are not emotionally in tune with the reality that there are huge numbers of people whose lives are still on hold or forever changed as a result of the pandemic.

It seems that as people attempt to resume “normalcy,” there’s continued marginalization of those who cannot receive the vaccine, those living with the grief of lost loved ones, or those suffering with long term covid symptoms.

Though not specifically about COVID, the article below speaks to the very real pain caused by social ignorance of people with invisible disabilities.

“When you don’t have the language to communicate what you’re going through, for any kind of problem, that sense of confusion, of hopelessness, crystallizes into shame. Every time I watch somebody drive or dance or effortlessly glide across a room, I feel ashamed. It doesn’t make sense, because it’s not my fault, but I’m not thinking about that. I’m only thinking: I can’t do that. Look at them do it.”

This feels especially relevant now, as the neurotypical and able-bodied world discusses the “return to normal” with plans to “never use zoom ever again.”

I find myself pondering how amazing it would be to be blessed with such a privileged outlook. Instead, I have no idea when it will be safe for me to get the vaccine given my unique blend of rare conditions. I’m just one among millions struggling with uncertainty.

How long will it be? No one knows….I suppose I should be grateful that I am now accustomed to the long walk into the unknown. That said, it never gets any easier, especially when “everyone” is getting back to regular life.


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