Covid-19, we will miss you


Extra we-time: Families were put to the togetherness test by Covid-19, maybe like never before. -- dpa

IT’S been 11 months and counting.

Don’t leave your house. Can’t see your family or visit your friends. Don’t travel. Can’t go to restaurants.

Months and months of “can’ts” and “don’ts” have partnered up with an endless supply of “nos” and “better nots.” The coronavirus pandemic has sure made us miserable, right? Now, with a vaccine on the way, we can soon say goodbye to Covid-19 and its carnage and move on with our lives. Goodbye and good riddance, yes?

Not so fast.

What comes next is not intended to be insensitive or in any way demeaning to the many families who lost loved ones or the countless businesses that were crippled and often crushed under the weight of Covid-19-related rules, regulations and closings.

That said, this family is going to miss this pandemic. Not the losses of life and economic brutality that it has wrought. Not the buckets of hand sanitiser and the missed birthday parties, graduations, births or weddings. Not the time lost with family and friends that can never be reclaimed. None of that.

What we will miss, though, is us. We.

This pandemic sent a clear message to anyone who was listening. Slow down, appreciate your life, put your arms around your loved ones. Talk, laugh, stream shows and play games. Get to know each other. Don’t just do what you have to do. Do what you need to do. Read and play with your kids. Build forts and Lego towers. Rub your pet’s bellies. Open up a book. Get some rest. Catch up.

All of this good happened – it really did – despite the turmoil and exponentially rising stress meters caused by unsettling financial pressures and the raging divisiveness of the US presidential election cycle. Remote learning, virtual meetings, physical distancing and lockdowns all became a part of our daily conversation. But there was a blessing in there for those of us who looked and thought and worked for it. Small things, everyday things became bigger. More meaningful.

Families were put to the togetherness test, maybe like never before. Siblings whose lives long ago went down different paths were now back home, in their old rooms, watching TV and looking across the table at each other like they did when they were young. Ageing and maturity brought a bloom to those very same relationships that were long ago dampened by childhood competitions and jealousies. While some parents grumbled at their refilled nests, others relished this unexpected gift of togetherness.

Many parents learned. They came to find that a child couldn’t pay attention in class or had a fight with a best friend. Sons and daughters who were on what looked like successful paths to adulthood shared their losses, insecurities and anxieties. Parents listened and hoped.

Couples whose relationships were strained during Covid-19 often found themselves inside the old Martha and the Vandellas song: “Nowhere to run to baby, nowhere to hide.”

Many of us, though, found a way to tighten our bindings, appreciate and enjoy each other. We worked together and examined our finances. “Look how much we spend on coffee each month! On take out!”

We cleaned our houses and painted rooms. The daily rush of “too busy” was quietly slowed. We took our time because, of course, there was almost nowhere to go and not much to do. We cooked breakfast and played cards. We adopted pets. We laughed and loved.

There is an adage that “all good things must come to an end”. No one will ever say that Covid-19 was a good thing but it most certainly will come to an end.

What about all that we learned and did and gained from all of this time we had with our families and loved ones? The extra “we” time? The smiles on our faces when we think of when it was just “us”? Will that too come to an end?

We hope not. – The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service

Married for 34 years, Julie and David Bulitt are, respectively, a family therapist and divorce lawyer.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Covid-19 , relationships , family

   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

100% readers found this article insightful

Next In Focus

Working hard to stay afloat
Covid-19 unemployment risk for older workers
Hope for better job prospects
Moment of truth?
Whom does Facebook serve?
Only an infusion of fresh blood can save democracy
Is it safe to go back to school?
The right time for a rendezvous
The long, slow demise of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process
Spreading the right message

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers