[225] Lessons From 2020

Roughly a year and a half ago, time seemed to stand still for everyone, as we were in the beginning stages of the pandemic. There were many uncertainties surrounding the virus, and many places were in the midst of shutdowns, lockdowns and quarantines. Masks became the norm and curfews were enacted on some. The world was in turmoil and people came to the realization that they needed to stop taking many things for granted.

As we press fast forward, we find that time seems to have resumed its dizzying pace. So much so that we have reached the middle of September of 2021. In just over 100 days, we will be ringing in the year 2022. Most people in the US have received their vaccines, and many activities that we were accustomed to, then denied in 2020, are resuming once again. Antsy humans with cabin fever are hitting the streets in droves, seemingly trying to make up for lost time. They are anxious to return to going to live concerts, spending a day at the lake or beach, going shopping without restrictions and being able to dine in at their favorite restaurants. Yes, people want to forget about the year 2020, but should they?

People, in general, have this desire to shun painful memories and relegate them to the deep recesses of the brain. Humans have an innate hedonistic desire—to live in happiness and pleasure. Painful memories hurt, so they repress them. However, you can’t learn from repressed memories. These folks want to forget the difficulties of last year. You couldn’t go to grocery shopping without noticing barren aisles. People panicked and were hoarding various items, some with no apparent reason. Hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies (such as bleach and disinfectant wipes), toilet paper, paper towels, sugar, flour, yeast, baby wipes, diapers, infant formula, bottled water, dry cereal and soups all had their turns being absent from the store, and thus rationed and purchases limited to one per household. I remember walking in the grocery aisles at Walmart and seeing many a bare shelf. When items were shipped, they quickly were snatched up by the crowds.

When people were locked down, except for “essential” business, they found out a new joy in simply taking a walk around the block, albeit wearing a face mask. They found that just being able to go outside and soak up the sunlight was something they’d taken for granted. People started enjoying being in nature a little more. For many, with their daily humdrum being interrupted, they found a new set of priorities, such as that stroll in nature and spending time with their immediate loved ones. Some couldn’t go see their elderly parents, so technology became their new ally, by way of phone calls and video chats like Skype and Zoom.

Now, life has resumed its usual course, for the most part. People can visit their loved ones and some have even returned to working at their office. We can hope and pray that the people who either refused to wear a mask and vaccinate don’t forget the lessons of the past year and cause the country to return to the bullshit restrictions we once faced. As a disclaimer, I have been vaccinated since March of this year, when vaccines were available for everyone. I didn’t blindly follow politicians’ spewing, but did it on my own volition after researching the issue.

“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Sir Winston Churchill

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