Apparently I began this post in May of 2020. Yes, over a year ago. It must have been right around the time that staying home because of Covid went from feeling like a brief moment of sacrifice we were going to make for the greater good to something larger and even scarier.
We left school for spring break in 2020 and never went back into our school buildings. In our district most students didn't return until late January of 2021. We've been back in school for the year since mid-August. Things are normal-ish, but of course nothing is really normal at all.
I've been thinking about the things we get used to. People are adaptable. Think of every time an app or online service you use has updated, slightly changing its look. The first couple of days are jarring, annoying every time you open that app, and then you stop noticing the change. I work in an old building and the blowers for the heat/air are relatively loud. There's almost always significant background noise from them, but I don't hear it any longer, it is simply a part of my auditory landscape. I only think about it when someone else mentions they're bothered by the sound.
Here are some other things, for better or worse, I've gotten used to in the last 18 months or so:
- wearing masks and seeing others with masks on
- daily news updates about the Covid numbers in our state
- near-daily emails home about the Covid cases in our school
- making plans and putting a mental asterisk next to them, just in case Covid changes things
- checking attendance requirements for places I want to go (masks? proof of vaccination?)
- random shortages/bare spots on store shelves
- guessing whether mail I send domestically will arrive somewhere in two days or two weeks
I'm hoping there's a day when most of these become unusual again, I have no idea how long it will take to get there.