It’s hard to believe that one year has gone by since our lives were upended by the pandemic, but today marks one year since the first case was diagnosed in Forrest County.
One year ago, we couldn’t have imagined how dramatically this would impact all of our lives — and for how long. For a long time, we were talking about “when things get back to normal …”
But the truth is that things will never go back to how they were before. We’ve learned new ways to connect, to do business, to collaborate, to learn and to serve. We’ve learned that we are a very resilient and adaptive group of humans. While still in the midst of some massive changes, we learn new lessons every day. We feel anxious sometimes, but we are making the best of it. I hear of far more good than I would ever have imagined.
A lot has changed over the past year, and it likely won’t be going back to “normal” anytime soon. This time has taught us a lot, though. I think many of us are learning life lessons and resetting our priorities.
Quarantine and ongoing social distancing forced us to prioritize our relationships with family and friends. I’m sure some families were on each other’s last nerve. However, I think we should take a minute and appreciate what we were being given: a chance to reconnect and understand each other, an opportunity to work on our closest relationships, let go of past issues, forgive each other, make new memories and get creative with how we were spending our time together. Lesson learned: the people closest to me deserve my time and attention (and vice versa).
If, like me, you once took your health and your access to medications for granted, you now most likely realize how lucky we’re been so far. I also hope you agree with me that it is time, if you already aren’t, to take your health and wellness seriously. Until you are taking good care of yourself, you won’t be able to fight not just COVID-19, but any illness.
I’m not trying to become a bodybuilder, but I’m paying attention to my food and activity levels and working on developing healthy habits and building a healthy lifestyle.
Am I the only one completely overwhelmed and frustrated by social media? There’s only so much my brain can take. We’ve almost all had more time on our hands, and I’m sure much of it is spent online. But there’s a lot on social media that is exaggerated, falsified or taken out of context. I had to stop reading stories because of this. I hope everything you read on a social media site, you take with an extra-large grain of salt.
The final lesson I will take from this past year is that we are all equal. Illness and disaster are the great equalizers. Money, status, fame and attractiveness have no bearing on what happens to you nor do they protect you in any way. At the end of the day, we are all susceptible to the same human vices, illnesses and consequences. We are all human.
We are getting vaccinated, restrictions are easing, and we are feeling a great degree of hope for the future. Whatever the new normal is that awaits us, we need to hang on to these essential life lessons even as we start moving forward. If we can, we will be better as a whole because of this experience.
Christina Pierce is the publisher at Hattiesburg Publishing, which produces The Pine Belt News and Signature Magazine.