The Pandemic

27 Jun 2021

I don’t write many blog posts or make many public reflections, but the coronavirus pandemic of 2020-2021 seems to merit a quick writeup.

I had just returned from a wonderful ski trip with friends in Colorado, where COVID cases were reported at other resorts, but not at ours. I had flown from DEN to EWR and then I commuted via NJ Transit into NYC in the days leading to lockdown. I remember stepping over people who were coughing in the last crowded train to leave NYC on the last possible day. Few people wore masks or took such precautions at the time. It was intense. We started playing online games with friends – and over a year later we’re still playing the same games.

There were many low points: realizing how fragile our food infrastructure was, the passing of my grandmother from natural causes in Canada, and the community-required isolation and quarantine that kept us all in our own boxes. Screen time numbers went through the roof and no one seemed to mind.

The silver lining for me was the three changes I made for the better. The first is that I cobbled together a small gym at home, from old stuff that had piled up over the years, and was able to consistently work out. It was a super rewarding feeling to not miss a workout for many weeks. The second is I changed how I completed routine tasks. I moved to that thing everyone says you should do – just a little bit of time and effort at some repeated interval, against some goal that you have. I have made progress against small goals, like updating this blog, progress that I’ve wanted for years! Finally, I began to take the time to meditate and really focus on connecting with the world around me.

Looking back on the year, it’s amazing how rapidly we’ve found a new normal and the time spent in lockdown just seems like a lost dream.

If you’re reading this and you haven’t taken a COVID vaccine yet, now’s your chance. It’s widely available, go for it!