When 2021 finally came, I was excited for the pandemic to be over.
After going through the toughest lockdowns, having both doses of the vaccine rolled out, seeing businesses start to open up and finally being able and to see people again made it feel like we were near the end!
I was excited to nicely tuck away the “pandemic part” of my life away and go back to “normal.”
But, unfortunately, with people choosing to not get the vaccine and new variants continuing to pop up, COVID-19 doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. The pandemic has become our new normal.
As bad as the pandemic is, I wouldn’t check off everything that has happened during the past year as completely terrible.
During the course of the pandemic, I’ve become less afraid to voice my concerns about my and my coworkers’ safety, rights and treatment at the workplace.
Pre-pandemic, I was afraid to speak up when I felt uncomfortable doing a task while at work, but now I can and will stand up for myself. Now, when a customer doesn’t treat me with respect, I use my right to refuse to serve them, because I know how I deserve to be treated.
Another positive that came out of this new normal is that I want to take better care of myself.
During the pandemic, I’ve started therapy, started eating better and started to take my physical health more seriously than ever before.
I used to never consider getting the flu shot, because I used to say to myself “I don’t have time” or “I never get sick, so what’s the point?” But now, I take the time to make the appointment with my doctor to ensure that my chances of getting sick are significantly reduced.
This year alone, I’ve felt closer to my physical and mental health goals than I ever have before.
And for my last positive note, I think many people have experienced a newfound appreciation for spending time with our loved ones.
The months I spent unable to see my friends and family have taught me to appreciate the time that I do get to spend with them. And instead of going out for the sake of going out, I go out with the intention to listen to them, join in conversations and make new memories, because I don’t know when I’ll see them again next.
Now that it’s 2022, I’ve made my new year’s resolution to take it slow. Everything is constantly changing in the fight against COVID-19, so it’s easy to get caught up in the stress and worry. By making it my goal to take it slow, I hope to at least lessen some of the stress caused by the ongoing pandemic and instead focus on the good that is happening around me.
Kim Uduman is finishing up her bachelor’s degree in rhetoric, writing and communications at the University of Winnipeg. In her downtime, she loves caring for her plants, cuddling her orange tabby cat and attempting latte art.
Published in Volume 76, Number 13 of The Uniter (January 13, 2022)