By Trevann Hamilton
Everyone declared 2020 their year. My vision board is still hoisted in my room with all my plans staring at me mockingly. I probably won’t be able to complete any of the things I set out to at the beginning of the year and that’s okay.
I doubt there are people who went on completely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m well aware that what I’m about to list is simply incomparable to the pain and loss that so many people faced losing loved ones to the virus. This list is just how COVID-19 has affected me personally.
Here Are Five Things COVID-19 Ruined For Me:
- Dining Out
One of my favorite things to do before the pandemic is to dine out. More often than not, I’d go out by myself, sit down, and just enjoy my meal. The last time I dined out was my birthday in March. I didn’t know it was going to be the last time I would sit down and have a meal in public. I know some restaurants are opening up for dining out but I’m absolutely not going to be doing that during a pandemic.
- Taking Public Transportation
I usually left the house a couple of times a month to run errands and I’d always take public transportation. I’ve always hated being crammed in a taxi but now my hatred for sitting in taxis has worsened. I haven’t been in a taxi in so long because I think I would be rubbing shoulders with someone with the virus. I miss the days when the only concern was actually sitting comfortably and hoping to sit beside someone who showered that day.
For the past couple of months, I only went out once or twice a month when someone could give me a ride. However, my list of errands are piling up and they have to be done on days when I can’t hitch a ride. I took public transport for the first time in months last weekend and I opted for the bus because people have to wear a mask to enter. However, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that if the bus was full. I don’t know when I’m ever going to feel comfortable taking any form of public transportation again which is awful because it’s my primary mode of transport.
- Going to Concerts
I was so hyped to go see one of my favorite artistes perform in April. I had my outfit all planned out. I knew how I was getting home and who I was going with. Naturally, the concert didn’t happen. However, I’m not sure I’ll ever feel safe at the concert if it happens at all. The thought of being somewhere with thousands of people not social distancing is anxiety-inducing. If the pandemic is declared over and people stop testing, it’s going to make me even more concerned because people could be in the crowd infected and freely spreading it. I’ll have to watch the concert from home and I hate that.
This one hurt me the most. Sports was my whole life. 2020 was supposed to be the year of Olympics, The UEFA European Football Championship, Copa America, and the Boys and Girls Championship (in Jamaica). I was looking forward to each and every one of those competitions and now I have to keep waiting. In addition to that, league football and Champions League was brought to a screeching halt for months. My weekends were bland and it might sound silly but not being able to watch my teams play every weekend was taking a toll on my mental health.
League football for some European leagues have resumed and my mood has improved drastically. Unfortunately, there are no spectators just the computer-generated crowd noise which only serves to remind me of a time before COVID when people could go and watch their team. I’m glad people are not there because it’s dangerous but I miss the look on their faces when their team is losing or an exceptionally beautiful goal was scored.
- Learning to Drive
2020 was the year I finally decided I was going to learn how to drive. I got my learner’s in December and started in February. I only have a couple of lessons left and had to abruptly stop because of the virus. I’m sure there are others continuing their lessons but I just can’t bring myself to resume. Even though I would be wearing my mask, I’m thinking about all the people who touched the steering wheel. I don’t know when I’ll feel safe doing that again either.
The truth is, there will be a new normal, people won’t forget about the pandemic easily. It’s going to take a while for some of us to operate like we did pre-COVID 19.