The year 2020 is already infamous the world over and it's not even done with us. The hits keep coming as the pandemic drags on and we do not know when we can see our faraway loved ones again or when we can safely travel. Our lives are forever changed.
Time at home has meant introspection and nostalgia, questioning and prediction. We've been forced to forgo the usual parties; birthdays, weddings and funerals. We have missed out but made gains too – time at home, time with children, time to consider. We'll never have this time again (eight months and counting) to contemplate what we'll do when our borders open and ponder what we took for granted in those carefree pre-Covid days.
So from the relative safety of my desert bubble, here's what I've been missing:
– Family gatherings over Sunday roasts, followed by cake, bad TV and a lazy nap
– My father. He lives in Ireland and is about to celebrate his 90th birthday
– Christmas planning; is Christmas cancelled? Is Covid the Grinch?
– When second wave referred to the wave after the first wave, on the beach
– Hugs and shaking hands without fear or panic and a sticky tonne of hand sanitiser
– A normal school day where my son could play freely and share lunch with his friends
– Less uncertain and unpredictable times – not knowing what the future holds is stressful
– Adventure and flying and the excitement of travelling to the airport and taking off
– When face masks were just for Hallowe'en
– Normal opening times when playgrounds and parks weren't closed all morning.
Walks in the park and extended family dinners. Hugs. Did we ever think these simple pleasures would be taken away from us?
"Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot..."
So went Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi, but we know 'paradise' is not gone for good; it's on pause. We have the advantage of a 'second wave' perspective. Here's hoping we don't have to wait much longer to hug our loved ones and celebrate milestone birthdays in the same room and not on Zoom. Let's also hope and pray that the Grinch stays where he belongs – in the animated pages of an excellent Dr. Seuss book – and Christmas is not cancelled.