I’m sorry I haven’t written to you in a while.
Life is finally starting to get back to normal. Or, at least, to a way of living that one could consider to be “normal” during a pandemic. Or maybe I’ve just gotten used to wearing a face mask, disinfecting my hands, keeping my distance, queuing outside supermarkets, taking online lectures and so on and so forth. I sometimes even catch myself questioning certain behaviors and etiquettes on TV. Well, I guess COVID 19 really has changed our life.
However, sometimes there are also moments when you are aware of COVID 19 – and all those precautions that come with it – but it might still feel surreal. About two weeks ago, I visited my dentist for a regular dental checkup. As you might already know, patients are asked to bring their own face mask to wear (but, of course, there are (still!) some reckless and selfish people who refuse to do so). Anyway, after being seated on one of the few chairs that are currently available in your dentist’s waiting room, you are asked to “contactlessly” proceed to one of your treatment rooms. While everybody in the waiting room is still wearing a mask, you are finally told to take it off. And it does feel strange. Not only because you might get nervous about the treatment but also because it kind of feels as if you were about to commit a minor crime.
And then there are moment when COVID 19 makes you feel angry, sad and as if you don’t give a damn. I know that this might sound crazy, wrong and stupid. But, unfortunately, emotions can be quite irrational. And one of the most emotional moments during the pandemic has been my grandfather’s funeral. Even though standing in front of a grave with black face masks might be a “funny” image to some people, there is nothing more sad than losing a friend or family member during a pandemic. It. Really. Sucks. Trust me. While members from other funeral ceremonies seemed to leave their masks on, the five of us (there would have been more people under normal circumstances) took them off. And I am really happy about that. Firstly, I didn’t think tears and a face mask make a good combination. Secondly, I didn’t want to hide behind a mask when saying goodbye to my grandpa’s ashes. I guess I didn’t give a damn, did I?
Speaking of emotions, do you know that feeling when you’d finally managed to push certain emotions and feelings out of you mind? I mean you’d probably do it unconsciously but you might still feel relieved… at first. Well, I guess this has happened to me after I booked a flight to Arizona in January; hoping to finally go back and see my American family this summer. Yes, there are high death tolls and worldwide suffering is by far more worthy of respect than my wish for a family reunion. However, talking to loved ones would bring back those feelings that you had experienced after delightedly holding your flight’s booking confirmation. I do hope that this pandemic will be over soon, but I’m afraid that it is nothing more than wishful thinking for now.
Then again, two friends of mine asked me if I wanted to go on a bike tour this weekend and, similar to when I was taking my face mask of after entering my dentist’s treatment room, I started to think about what was said. Is it worth slumping when I don’t have to? Can I protect others from losing a loved one during this pandemic? Or am I just stuck in “quarantine mode” while everybody else has gone on with life?
My dear friend, stay safe!