Yesterday I got my second Pfizer Covid 19 vaccine shot. So in either 2 weeks (via CDC guidelines) or 1 week (via Pfizer guidelines) I will be fully vaccinated. That is good news and I am thankful for that. But I can't decide what that really means for me. After a year of life being on hold, what activities will I actually resume? What degree of "normal" will I be comfortable with and how soon? I really don't know and I don't know how to know. That got me thinking about the past year and the future.
By chance, I happened to watch a video this afternoon that really just had an affect on me. It actually brought a little tear to my eye (full disclosure, if you know me, you know that's not especially hard to do). The video was of Hozier singing Bridge Over Troubled Water last June in a dark, empty stadium with a socially distanced orchestra playing. And while I still ultimately prefer the original Simon and Garfunkel version of the song, to me, this version just seemed to so embody this past year - the darkness, the emptiness, the distance, but also the message of the song, that you have someone there for you in the darkness. It was just very moving.
I can't help but wonder, when I look back on this time in my life, how will I remember it? If my grandchildren ask me what it was like to live through the Covid 19 pandemic (because they will likely all be too young to really remember it for themselves), what will I tell them? I would love to be able to show them that video, and maybe I will be able to. There has been a lot of darkness and uncertainty, with more yet to come, I'm sure. But there have also been points of light. While we lost my mother-in-law to Covid in January, we also found out we are going to have another grandchild this coming August. While we have lost a whole year of being able to visit with one granddaughter, and much fewer visits with our other granddaughter, my husband and I have grown even closer than we were before the pandemic started. In many ways we've been able to return to what our relationship was in the beginning, when we first met and fell in love, and that has been a wonderful blessing.
Also, one year ago yesterday, I wrote a post about putting the pandemic's death toll numbers in perspective with other causes of death. According to the New York Times, as of today the US death toll stands at 541,037, which puts it within the estimated range given a year ago, and stands at slightly less than the 2017 total for cancer deaths. Somewhat interesting to look back at, for whatever it's worth.