This week, after nearly two years, the pandemic finally hit home. Amid disturbing news headlines about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I tested positive for the corona virus. It was quite odd at first to accept that after such a long time I had finally contracted this mystery illness that has been stalking the world (and our lives) for as long as our fleeting memory can recall.
Two years is not so long ago, yet it feels as if pre-pandemic ‘normal life’ was another lifetime ago. Or God forbid, even a bizarre figment of our imagination. Our lives have undeniably undergone an irreversible change. Even if all the restrictons were lifted tomorrow would we ever be able to truly go back to the way it was? Will we do things exactly as before? Is that even something we should aspire to? Sure it’s easy to take off our masks and put away our covid passes on our smartphones, but what about other changes in our behavior that have become subconsciously ingrained. Like keeping a distance from each other and minimizing physical interaction. Will that come back automatically or not?
I miss giving friends warm hugs and pecks on the cheek when I run into them in the street. Especially the hugs that lift you up on a bad day or remind you that physical contact with another body is fundametal to the human experience. It’s just like breathing air or eating nourishment. Being deprived of physical interaction for so long has been a form of mass emotional starvation. After famishment one cannot immediately return to a normal diet. It takes time to build back up one’s consumption level. Is it the same with physical contact? When we lean into hug and kiss each other will it be too much to handle? Or will we hold back just a little because we feel phisically and emotionally overwhelmed? Or perhaps we will recoil in fear – of disease or of the uknown? I wonder which will prevail in this tug-of-war of emotion. I suspect it will just take getting accustomed to it. We must crawl before we walk before we run, until it becomes second nature again. Will it ever be natural again? It has to right? I guess only time will tell.
By the way in case you were wondering, my experience of covid, was nothing exceptional. It started with a mild sore throat and a peculiar taste in my mouth which persisted for a day or two. Then it evolved into a dull, mind-numbing headache accompanied by muscle fatigue for a few more days. On the third night I had extreme difficulty sleeping due to pain in the muscles in my back and shoulders. I didn’t get a runny nose or experience sneezing fits nor excessive coughing. It was fairly mild all things considered. I hope if you ever do contract the virus it will also be similar. Stay well and healthy!
P.S. As always please feel free to leave a comment below, I am always happy to hear from you.