I remember March, and being absolutely sure that by the summer I’d be able to travel and visit my relatives in the United States.
And then I remember June, with borders still closed and case numbers closely watched, thinking that by the fall schools would open as usual.
And then October, attending classes from a Microsoft Teams call in my living room hoping that I’d be able to see my classmates in January.
Now it’s January and, well, you tell me how close my prediction was.
Of course, I was wrong every single time. Widespread access to a vaccine is on the horizon, yes, but the situation seems more dire every time you check the news. Daily cases are higher than ever, and the province has entered its second, or third depending on how you count it, wave of lockdown. The virus has been reported in multiple schools and seniors facilities. Outside of New Brunswick and the Maritimes, as well, cases, ICU admissions, and deaths are staggering.
What seemed at first to be a nightmare lasting a few months has evolved into an oddly ordinary reality almost a year later. What many chalked up to a bad year, saying “2020 is the worst,” has proven to have significant staying power.
2020 was the year of abandoning assumptions, expectations, and predictions. It was a year that asked the world to stand still in many ways, while fighting for its life in many others. The celebration around the world as the clock struck midnight in whatever time zone you were in and saw 2020 fade into the rearview was astounding. But pandemics, political unrest, economic and social crises do not abide by the Gregorian calendar.
It’s really easy to conflate the ills of the last 12 months with 2020, but as our lovely reporter Andrew will discuss in a few pages, that can’t be further from the truth. January 2021 brings a fresh new start, but also carries the same realities as December 2020.
Allow this to serve as a reminder I know we’re all tired of hearing and reading: the pandemic is not over because you want it to be, or because the New Year passed. It is just as important today as it was two months ago to wear a mask, avoid travel, isolate if instructed, and generally act responsibly.
The idea of facing another few months of the pandemic and all the implications that come with it – academic, social, economic, mental and physical health, and others – is discouraging to say the least. It’s frustrating to be in the large majority of those following guidelines to see those who aren’t doing so without much consequence while cooped up in your apartment. Even though it can be disheartening, it’s important to remember that what you feel you are giving up benefits so many in the long run.
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