As I am sitting here writing this, COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high and have been on the rise for weeks. The situation surrounding the pandemic is appearing more and more dire as we head into the holiday season. It can be easy to become hopeless about the situation, especially when it feels like everyone else is living their lives as if the pandemic isn’t at its worst.
I’ll be honest, I was in denial that we were already in our second wave. Well, not necessarily in denial, but I didn’t want to accept it. The end of the fall semester felt a little bit too much like March, when everything came crashing down in one swift motion, and the realization that everything would not be the same for a long time set in. I didn’t want to feel like that again, the despair and uncertainty of what was happening. Although, this time is different. We know what’s happening. We know how to handle it. At least, we know how to handle it if we want to handle it.
I hate the idea of not being able to see my friends as much as the next person. I’m 21 years old. I should be going out with friends, meeting people, and living life in full force. But I can’t do any of that right now, and I’ve grown to accept that. It doesn’t mean I’ll never get to or that I’m missing out on my 20s. I’m still growing and learning as a person. I still have friends, a job, an education and a safe home. If I want to keep all of that, then I need to not be concerned with myself and my wants as a 21-year-old. Instead, I need to focus on what needs to be done in order to get through this pandemic safely and with the lowest number of lives lost as possible. I only wish others would understand this as well.
Typically, I use the time I have over winter break to catch up with friends and family. That isn’t the case this year. I realized this as I saw that case numbers were rising during the end of the semester. While I was — and still am — upset about this, I decided to take matters into my own hands and utilize my time over the break in a different way. This break is all about working on myself. I have resolved to exercise, rest, read, knit and overall just do things I enjoy and typically don’t have the time to do.
This semester was hard, and while I’m happy we were able to be in person, going to class, going to work, completing coursework and working on The Knight in the midst of a pandemic was exhausting. Instead of looking at this time during the second wave as a waste of what could otherwise be an enjoyable winter break, I’m looking at it as an opportunity to rest, work on myself and return in January ready to take on another face-to-face semester.
As we are in the middle of our second wave, it can feel like we’re never going to come out of this, especially because it’s the holiday season. But we will. It’s all a matter of time. Until then, we need to focus on the good. Use this time to rest. Do things you enjoy that you normally don’t have the time to do. Catch up with friends and family virtually. In all, enjoy the holidays with the loved ones you live with. We will come out of this, and we will be together again.