Towne Center 2021
Acceptance and Awareness, COVID-19 Series

Concentrating On COVID: Trying to Normalize

We are getting closer to the two year mark of when the world here shut down. Case numbers have decreased some and while we cannot put the thought of COVID away just yet, we must continue to be vigilant, however we must now live in a world with COVID instead of a world scared of COVID.

This past weekend when scrolling TikTok, I came across an account of a news outlet that was highlighting New Zealand and the changes being made transitioning from a world without COVID to a world with COVID. They are accepting the fact, as I am too determined that COIVD is going to be around. Hopefully the cases will continue to decrease to a manageable amount and we will not see the virus as fear mongered as it was in the beginning. However, we are learning more and more about it as time evolves. Whether or not you believe that masks and vaccines work, I will leave that decision to you to make and do the research on your own.

Nonetheless, as time progresses we, myself included, must learn to live with COVID, instead of fear of it. This means that while I am vigilant of what I need to do to ensure that I do not become exposed to the virus, it also doesn’t mean that I have to continue to live in fear. Just as I have developed other skills and comforts in the course of COVID as I have picked up the pieces over the past two years, I must fight the fears that are often preached to us through the media and instead go by factual valid information and make my decision based off of that rather than everything that I hear.

Some things that I have done for example, such as wearing a mask when physical distance can be maintained instead of making an excuse for it (unless it is a regulation to keep it on) can be exercised when it is safe to do so more freely. I have been around enough environments in the past 15 months in my new home to know what is safe versus what is not. I am fully vaccinated and boosted (my decision, no one else’s) and I have to learn that I cannot continue to live in fear as my physical and mental health will continue to decline if I am to continue to live in fear.

Part of that is realizing that COVID is still abundant and that I must continue to take precautions and be vigilant when necessary so that I do not become exposed. It does not mean that I do not want to wear my mask, it is just practicing common sense when I need to do so. For example, in a store such as Walmart where you do not always have that guarantee that distance can be ensured, then you should wear a mask. In places where you know that the employees are shielded and distanced and you are distanced from other shoppers, or particularly the only one there,then likely it is safe to be unmasked, providing that all the safety guidelines can be followed. ‘

You as an individual have to know when to make the right call, and sometimes you may need to seek the guidance of others to ensure that you are making the right decision. You have to make the final call. If something doesn’t seem right, then you will likely know. Don’t let anyone bully you into making the wrong decision unless you are unsure. Be vigilant of what to do to keep yourself safe from others but you deserve to live too because the regulations are there for a reason and they may seem confusing, but they are hopefully used in the right way and as long as you are doing what you are doing to be safe, then you can normalize your life.

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