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  • Damaris Chanza

COVID-19 Spreads Its Way Into Our Lives

Updated: May 27, 2022

For two years now, the COVID-19 pandemic has run rampant around the world, creating havoc against our sense of serenity. With numbers rising again, now, it feels more difficult than ever to be living through such history-making events.

When thinking of the pandemic, it's easy to see the macro of it all. 5,480,860 people have died so far from the COVID-19 outbreak. The supply chain shortage began, our economy is crazy, gas prices sky-rocketed, and there's a significant disparity between job availability and actual employment. There are endless avenues in which I could quantify how the COVID pandemic has affected our lives. We all feel the effects in different ways, from buying different things at the supermarket to making wise decisions about where to buy gas.

Yes, living through the pandemic is hard, and it's scary. But it was almost easier when our supposed two-week quarantine began. Sure, it was a lie. We thought we would have a two-week vacation and were ignorantly living in bliss. Then we removed our rose-colored glasses and learned the truth of our situation. We were alert and ready to research, learn, and follow instructions as much as possible. Some fought against the CDC, but overall we came together and did what needed to be done to keep ourselves and the people we love safe.

But now it's two years later. COVID is just a part of life now. It's something we can't even try to escape, but it's so commonplace that it's not necessarily at the forefront of people's minds.

I think this is why numbers keep fluctuating. I find it no surprise that numbers went up around the holidays. After spending so much time apart quarantining in 2020, nothing would keep families apart for Christmas in 2021. So much time has passed that we are rationalizing getting COVID exposure. Questions like 'how much would it affect me if I was diagnosed with COVID now' are asked.

This is how I felt around Christmas. Before explaining, I would like to point out my place of privilege regarding the pandemic. I have been lucky enough to keep working, have a place to live, and have not lost anyone. More importantly, I have never had COVID. My parents are healthcare workers, so the potential for exposure was always high, and we were always very aware of the risks.

With that said, when Christmas came around, I had just tested negative and was planning on spending the holiday with my boyfriend's family. They had a COVID scare and just managed to test negative in time for Christmas Eve. His sister had a slight cough, but I rationalized that we were all negative and a slight cough was not going to ruin my holiday. My holiday was fantastic. Then, I went home, where I have been sick for over a week. My sister is sick. My mom has COVID. My boyfriend's parents and brother each have COVID. His sister is sick and is yet to get tested. Despite being sick, I have tested negative again. Because it's winter, it's most likely that I have the flu, which is much better than having COVID. However, considering our families have been sick for over a week, it is likely that my trip to his house for Christmas somehow spread sickness within both our homes.

I imagine that something similar happened to many families around the holidays. We were so blinded by our Christmas spirit that a worldwide pandemic was just not nearly as important anymore. That's not to say that people aren't considering people's lives and the toll that COVID has taken in our lives. It's just that sometimes when COVID isn't directly affecting you, it can be easy to sideline. At this point, COVID feels like a minor inconvenience with major consequences. I know that statement may not be accurate for some people who have had no choice but to take COVID seriously because it could cost them their lives. Those people are right. We need to remember that it's not always about macro-based decisions but the micro ones. The ones we rationalize to ourselves so that we get what we want. We need to go back to when COVID-19 was at the forefront of our minds helping us make safe choices.

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