Depending on who you talk to (or who you believe), the pandemic is coming to a close … at some point in the not too distant future. Vaccinations will proliferate and so many people have antibodies from having COVID-19 that there will not be many more places for the virus to go.
Of course, I speak as a non-medical layman, but we’ve all become pandemic experts, haven’t we? I can’t speak for everyone, but I do think we are coming around the corner. Many of the experts I listen to said all along that it would be well into this year when we could breathe easy again and that seems to be coming to pass.
Something I’ve noticed about me, and some others as well, is that we have spent over a year doing our best to navigate all of the mandates and rules of the pandemic. We have decided which ones we are going to observe and which ones we are going to reject. Now that it’s time to feel a little more free, we’re not sure we can do that.
I liken that experience to landing the plane. It’s more complicated than it might seem. There are several different practical and emotional things going on at once here. We spent a year being diligent (many of us). We followed the mandates and advice of the highest level of agencies and scientists in our country. We kept up with soaring numbers of increases in deaths, hospitalizations, cases, and how many ICU beds were available in our state. Most heartbreaking of all we kept up with the people we knew who were suffering in ICU or worse, who died. I think often about my neighbor who I last saw in person after Hurricane Laura helping to rake up leaves and limbs in my yard. That was August. Then came COVID-19, and by November she was with the Lord. When it is just a remote list of numbers it is easy to dismiss. When it is close to home, you can’t forget.
But we’re not under restrictions forever. We have to land the plane. That might be done in stages, keeping an eye on all the instruments. Even though there is a lot of information, the descent has started. Stay aware, but also continue on the path forward…downward. It’s not sudden, nor is it without thoughtfulness. For us in North East Louisiana, all relevant numbers are downtrending. Vaccinations are increasing. For those of us who have been careful, attentive to our practices, and trying not to be carriers of the invisible enemy, we are starting to breathe a little easier. When the plane comes to a stop, we do need to get off. I think for a lot of people, landing the plane is going to be a challenge. You’ll get there, friends. Hope remains.