You know those moments you look forward to, have built up in your mind, and are not quite sure how you will feel when they actually occur? Will you experience elation? Trepidation? Or will it feel more like a letdown because the expectation or hype did not live up to the moment? This is sort of what I felt this past week following Governor Newsom removing almost all of the COVID restrictions.
There was so much hype about this and then it feels like it fell flat. It was not like I was expecting balloons and confetti falling from the sky, or fireworks and announcements over the loudspeaker. But I was still expecting to see and feel different in some way.
In fact, last Tuesday, when the mask mandate was no longer a thing, I walked into a store, without my mask, and saw many people, in fact, the majority of people still wearing a mask and it seemed odd. It was not that I was being judgmental, but it did make me think. Were these people unaware that they no longer needed to wear a mask if they were vaccinated? Wait… maybe they are not vaccinated so I am glad they are wearing one. But if they are not vaccinated, why? Do they have a health condition that prevents them from getting one? Do they not believe in them? Or, are they still nervous about getting a vaccine because they are worried about potential long-term health risks since the vaccine was developed so quickly that scientists were not able to truly determine or study it?
This entire week, these thoughts went through my head each time I saw people wearing a mask. Were they just being cautious or were they still not vaccinated? And if that was the case, why? While it was none of my business I was, and still am, curious.
I also had the opposite experience when I saw children who were clearly not old enough to get a vaccine walking around without wearing a mask. Why were their parents allowing that to happen? We are still in the middle of a pandemic and aren’t they concerned that their children could still be exposed?
It has been a lot to take in and comprehend for me, these past seven days since the restrictions have been lifted. I know it is going to take some time to get used to experiencing life the way it felt pre-COVID… knowing full well that the pandemic is still going on all around the world. We will continue to have questions and concerns, especially those first couple of times being in larger crowds.
This is going to take some time to get used to. I would encourage all of us to take some time to give some thought to these feelings and understand it is okay to feel the way you do… the nervousness, the excitement, the unease, and apprehension.
After all, none of us have ever lived through something as all-encompassing and all-consuming as these last 17-months have been.
Here’s to a great week ahead for all of us.