2021 is about adapting to our new lives and letting go of our pre-pandemic roles

Kat Parra, Assistant A&E Editor

It is difficult to believe that a year ago our lives changed. 

As the pandemic swept the world overnight, we were all sentenced to a life of isolation from our families, friends and society. Now, people are starting to return to some version of their old lives. 

Yet, how much have our previous lives changed to the life we are currently living?

It seems everywhere we go, masks are required. Not seeing someone with a face covering brings us anxiety and terror. Hand sanitizer is a must-have item. People went from being huggers to keeping their distance. Employment sprouted for remote workers and schools moved online. Events were canceled. Lives were lost. There was disruption and division in some, yet unity and solidarity in others. We all continue to be impacted by this virus.

Unfortunately, the life we knew before pre-pandemic won’t occur again. We can’t just pick up where we left off. There are shifts now. The effects of COVID-19 are going to last far beyond what we think. 

Our children will ask us about lives before 2020. What was it like being in a crowded room? What was the Disney annual pass like? How was The Walking Dead filmed?

We are writing our history. Years from now, these days will be marked in books and told through stories. 

People have become less social in person and more active through a screen. We’ve stepped into a 2-dimensional world. Our interactions are limited and our methods of socialization have become unique. 

Kat Parra

The pandemic has affected each of our lives in one way or another. It infected us all, either literally or through its effects. Now, there is no more normal. 

There are no longer standards or appearances that have to be met by people. We aren’t boasting our latest trips, rather sending condolences and prayers. People are learning to value life more – enjoying every moment. 

As a civilization, we have expanded on our creativity. Gyms will continue to be outside. Animations and graphics will leave us breathless. Movies will proceed to be more available to us than ever.

Many of us were allowed to rebuild or create relationships virtually. Others improved the relationships in their households. But our loss is greater than ever. We have experienced all different kinds of loss which is something we simply can’t ignore. 

2021 is the time to accept that there is no return. We aren’t the same people we were at the beginning of this pandemic. We’ve changed, willingly or not.

We will continue to see its effects as we go on. There will be more commercials and ads with masks. Even after, people will most likely continue to wear masks in fear of another upcoming pandemic. 

Our world will expand on technology. Events will continue to provide virtual performances. For the safety of the people, schools will continue with their hybrid or full online system. 

There will always be uncertainty of another pandemic returning. While we may not be able to do many of the things we used to do, things will continue to change. Perhaps soon we will be able to do our everyday things. However, the reality of them going back to normal is slim. 

Our new pandemic way of living requires us to become adaptable, understanding and sensible. Things will continue to change. The days will feel eternal before we can be reunited with others. Yet, people will find ways to bring back a modified version of old normality. 

I believe that it is now our choice for how we choose to live our new lives. In an odd way, we were given more time. We cannot return to a pre-pandemic way of living because we would no longer fit in our old roles. 

Instead, how can we make a difference now? It is about maintaining positivity and having faith that life will find its way. We will continue to evolve to our new lives. 

This pandemic came to us as a test. It shook us, tore us down, yet it is on us to get back up and face this life together.

Accept, adapt, live on. 

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos