scene from George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead”

The pandemic years have left us numb

Lynne Thompson

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These last two years have been so strange and difficult. Some of us lost our jobs. Others got ill and recovered, but have long-term Covid symptoms. Still others lost loved ones. I myself lost a friend I had had for my whole adult life and was not allowed to attend his funeral. Even worse, I hadn’t been notified of his death (I used to keep in touch with his sister, who would have told me, but she herself had passed away a few years ago). After 40 years of friendship, it was a kick in the teeth. It has been a strange, sad year of isolation and fear.

It has been especially hard on extroverted people. They were suddenly cut off from human contact, forced to be content with Facetime or Zoom. Now they are out and overcompensating! They can’t do enough or see enough people.

There is no rule book for how to act or feel after a pandemic. The last time we had one was the Spanish flu in 1918. There is hardly anyone alive who remembers that time.

There are some things to realize, though.

  1. We all feel “off” and going out again — to stores, to parties, to the movies, can feel strange and uncomfortable. Several friends have shared with me that they felt really weird flying again. We almost have forgotten how to do these things. Acknowledge the loss, the oddness. Give yourself some time.

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Lynne Thompson

I always wrote (first poem at 6 years old). Tech writer by trade. I have a podcast The Storied Human: see my linktree — https://linktr.ee/StoriedHuman