At long last 2020 is over, but the pandemic continues. I can’t decide if it feels better or worse to be in another lockdown. The third one, by my count. It’s not as shocking as the first time. This time around I know how to plan for it and get groceries. I have strategies to deal with the loneliness and lack of physical interaction. But at the same time, we’re still dealing with it.

This past year has reinforced the need to accept how things are. The lockdowns, restrictions, and constant need to socially distance have served as reminders for what I can and can’t control. It helps that everybody is dealing with the same thing. It’s a collective experience.

When the pandemic first started, I steeled myself for the long term. I set my expectations that it would go on for more than a year. The thought wasn’t based on anything more than reading about past pandemics. Typically there are multiple waves.

Back in March, when I started preparing myself mentally for the long term, I figured if the pandemic was shorter than I was planning for, I would be pleasantly surprised. If not, then I would have my contingency plans in place.

Even though I had my contingency plan, what has really helped is to remind myself to go along with the movement. At this time, the only thing I can really do is try to stay safe. Listen to the recommended guidelines like mask wearing, hand washing, restricted movement. Beyond that, I can’t control what other people do or how long this blasted thing will last.

I will be very glad when I no longer hear “stop the spread” and “in these unprecedented times.” Hopefully these horrible phrases can be left in 2020.

Running stream at Wulaia Bay.

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