When we will think back on 2020, we will remember how crazy a year it was. Not even in the good sense of the term. 2020 marked the entry in a new decade and was meant to be amazing. What history books will remember is a pandemic that we have no control over and that changed our way of living entirely.
Each country dealt and is still dealing with the pandemic in a different way. Some are very successful (i.e., New Zealand, Taiwan, Scandinavian countries), while others are doing terribly (i.e., the US, Brazil, the UK). Note that countries that have managed the pandemic extraordinarily well are lead by women… I do not want to point out the obvious here but still.
Contrary to most states in the US, New York did very well too. Sure, the governor could have acted earlier to prevent some more death. But he still did relatively well with a very strict lockdown starting in March 22nd. The state started to reopen on May 15th in phases. My job belongs to the personal care industry. Even though I am in an office job, which was phase 2 (and got back in the office then), we were not able to welcome patients prior to the beginning of phase 3, on on July 6th.
However in the end, New York has the pandemic under control. Sort of. Sure, reopening lead to new cases. That was unavoidable. But at least, the healthcare system is not overwhelmed and can now take care of everyone. So that is progress. The pandemic is far from over however.
Yet, as naive as I was some weeks ago, I thought the end of the lockdown would also mean the end of the pandemic. To be honest, back in March, I also thought I’d be under lockdown for two short weeks and life would be back to normal. I even listed all the things I want to do once the pandemic is over. Wishful thinking.
It may seem like a lot of things are back to normal. After all, restaurants have reopening, they set up outdoor sitting areas and New Yorkers are enjoying themselves quite a lot. Ironic, but it would have taken a pandemic to give New Yorker the European way of dining in summer: outdoors.
The pandemic is still there and still spreading. Masks do help to stop the spread, it has been proven many times. However, when a lot of people refuse to wear a mask, then it makes it even more unlikely that the pandemic will be over. It’s not that much of an effort. Wear a mask. And no, it will not prevent you from breathing. If that was the case, do you think surgeons would wear masks during surgery? Use common sense.
A lot of people do not wear a mask or do not wear it right. Not covering your nose is like not wearing a mask at all. This is one big reason we are stuck with this pandemic for quite some time. Because people are selfish and being dicks. Acting like everything is back to normal and ignoring facts will not help us.
A lot of people also thought that COVID would be like the flu. Annoying during winter but gone by summer. Well, look at Saudi Arabia and Australia which were in the midst of summer when most lockdown happens. The heat did not kill the virus. Melbourne is under a super strict lockdown at the moment for a reason.
So yes, this pandemic is not going anywhere any time soon. Especially in the US. While democrat states are quite strict in their measures against the virus, Republican states seem to still belief the pandemic is a hoax. And since we are not getting a Federal response to this catastrophe, then things won’t change any time soon.
People are starting to travel again. And while I get why, I still do not understand why. Planes are incubators. They recycle the same air in the cabin over and over again. It is taking unnecessary risks. And while it is important to do everything to save the tourism industries, being careless now will not help anyone. The faster we act, the faster we are rid of the virus, the faster things get back to normal.
If we carry on acting like everything is normal, we are just giving the pandemic more time to do more damage. I was meant to go to Europe in April for a wedding and to see my family. Then in August for another wedding and in October for yet another wedding. I have not seen my family in a year now. And I probably won’t see them in another year.
Which is quite heartbreaking. I have heard stories of people being separated during this pandemic. The husband is in the US, the wife in Europe. Or the other way round. They can be reunited because of quarantine laws, flying restrictions and the pandemic. In light of those super tricky situations, how can people think going on holiday is more important? How can they not wait a bit longer?
Because as long as we do not have a vaccine, I don’t think we will be rid off this pandemic. Even though a lot of pharmaceutical companies are making progress now, I do not see how we can produce en masse before Christmas. In the meantime, practice protective gestures: hand sanitizers, masks, face shields, gloves, six feet distance, etc. For now, it is the only way to protect ourselves.
The silver lining on this pile of shit that is 2020, is that now is the best time to enjoy New York City. It is empty, eerie, weird but well, much more enjoyable. Time Square is quiet, not crowded with tourists. The same goes for Soho, Sixth Avenue and all other major tourists attractions. If you take photos for Instagram, now is the time, no one is on the street!
At the end of the day, you do you. Travel if you wish. Do not wear a mask if you wish. However, the pandemic is not going anywhere any time soon and it is time that you accept it. And therefore take actions to protect yourselves and others. Because that is in the end what will help the most in stopping the spread of the virus for now.
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What is your take on this whole pandemic situation? Are you planning on traveling soon? Do you think life will be back to normal by Christmas? How did your country do at managing COVID?
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you liked this post.
See you soon,