A Year of Uncertainty

It’s been a really weird time for all of us. In some ways, a lot has changed, and in others, it hasn’t changed enough. It’s now March 2021, exactly one year after this whole mess started. I’m sure a lot of people expected it to be over by now, but even with the promising news for what’s to come in the months ahead, we are still very much stuck in this strange and scary situation. I doubt we’ll ever fully move on from the impact of this anytime soon, but there’s still hope.

Right now, I face an uncertain situation made even more uncertain by things outside of my control. In a few short months, I’ll graduate high school. It’s a weird feeling. I suppose I remember a few things from before I started school 12 years ago but for the most part, this has been my entire life. There’s always been that structure, but soon it’s about to change. Not everything, of course, but it’ll definitely be different. I’m going to college, for starters. I’ll still have at least 4 more years of the somewhat normal feeling of having a school to go to for most of the year. Although, I’m moving out this summer. This will be the first time living on my own ever in my life. 

The thing is, the pandemic really has me completely clueless as to what to expect. I’d venture a guess that everyone who graduates has had that feeling to some extent, but for my graduating class and the previous, things are cranked up to eleven. Some of the freedoms of teenage life gave me a glimpse into what it was like to live as an adult in the “normal world” but is it ever going to be like that again? Maybe it’s just a mix of fear and uncertainty clouding my judgment, but it really feels like things have changed. 

There are probably going to be things like large gatherings that are going to take a while to go back to even after the vaccine. At least for me, there’s been a change in mindset. I suppose there are some positives. This might be wishful thinking, but I’m hopeful that the pandemic will force people to take safety and health in public a little more seriously. For example, I wouldn’t be surprised if people wear masks in public when they get a cold to protect other people. At least for those who are courteous, it feels like a new standard has been set. Another thing is the saying “stay safe” the pandemic’s substitute for “have a nice day.” I wonder if that will stick around. To me, it feels a little more genuine and I wouldn’t mind it remaining in people’s vocabulary for a while.

Hopefully, for the most part, we can brush this aside as a distant memory in a few years, but you never know. In any case, I hope we carry on some of the lessons learned this last year moving forward. You never know when something like this could happen again. Ultimately, I don’t know what comes next, but maybe this new chance at something normal will give us all a fresh start.