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Fall and Covid-19

The fall season has just begun, and the future is still uncertain. Many stores and businesses are reopening, and events are finally being held. However, with rising cases in some areas, people are hesitant to believe that businesses will be able to stay open. The future is turning to online shopping and virtual outings, but it seems to have ironically increased longing for in-person meetings and face-to-face contact, albeit socially distanced, of course.

I can say that I, too, am wondering when we'll all be able to achieve some sort of normalcy again, but every day seems like it is redefining "normal". Right now, we seem to have created a "new normal". The question is, will the world be in the same state a year from now? Will we all still be wearing masks? Will we all be armed with hand sanitizer next fall? Will this be what "normal" looks like for a long time?

I can remember being in elementary school and lining up to use hand sanitizer before eating lunch every day. Then, it was just something we did in our daily routine as a class. The reason I remember it so well is because lunch would sometimes taste strange, as everything we picked up to eat came into contact with our sanitized hands.

Now, hand sanitizer feels like something necessary. I even find myself questioning whether the soaps I've used are strong enough to kill all the germs I encounter.

Life isn't quite the same as it used to be, and I realize today how much I have taken for granted. I'm sure that when the virus was first heard of, people didn't believe it would affect our lives to this extent. We should always appreciate what we have right in front of us, since Covid-19 has taught us that much of what we value in our daily lives can disappear when you least expect it.

At the moment, I am learning to be thankful for walks outdoors, good health, and changing seasons. A year ago, I might have looked forward to moving forward in my college classes or big fall events, but now I am more excited to pick out some pumpkins, watch the leaves change color outside, and spend some more time safely catching up with family.

I'm learning to appreciate the smaller things that usually get overlooked in the hustle and bustle. Due to the virus, I suppose it's easier to see the parts of life that easily become forgotten.

Here's to hoping that this fall season will be memorable for other reasons than the coronavirus.

Zoë Phillips

Cambridge, MD

September 2020

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