An ode to the lost years

IMG_20211231_225823_233

Allow me to take a break from the tech stuff to talk about what a roller-coaster ride these last 2 years has been. February 2020 was great. I started working on the My ChildLine app, I was working on some other stuff and had a few plans for the rest of the year.

By March of 2020, things started to take a dump. Word started making the rounds about this new virus sweeping the globe and not too long after, we were all living in our own television series starring Covid-19. I (maybe I was being too optimistic) felt like meh.. by July, we’d all be laughing about this whole thing but with a twist, borders everywhere were closed, lockdowns began and the rush to find a vaccine was made a priority after the countless number of deaths gave us all a reason to be a little fearful.

We all started living life day by day as the situation seemed to evolve daily. We coined terms like “Social Distancing”, “Digital Poverty”, started seeing each other through Zoom and Teams and working from home because it was better for everyone if we were all apart from each other.

Then came the great divide. Some of us started believing that it was all a conspiracy and that the pandemic was no coincidence. People like Bill Gates were responsible and the pandemic was a way for governments to cull their population. I even started hearing some of these wild theories from friends and family which baffled me as I thought they would be immune to some of those “out there” stories. What can I say? In a world of fake news and memes, shouldn’t we all have seen this coming?

While we were in isolation, we started to realize just how connected we are. We missed our family and friends and some of our workmates. One of the many tragedies of the pandemic though? We lost the last few years.

We lost out on graduations, weddings, vacationing with our partners, being there for the birth of family and being there for our families to mourn the loss of the dead. I’ve lost many family members at home and couldn’t even make it to the funeral because apart from the borders being closed, when funerals were allowed, there were also limits to the number of persons that could attend. I missed out on the opportunity to be there for the birth of my sister’s first and second babies and had to settle for videos and photos sent occasionally.

A lot of these things are one-time-only events. While we can attend more graduations or graduate at other levels in the future, we can’t experience the loss and birth of our loved ones twice. That opportunity has long gone.

We lost our jobs, our businesses, money and some of us lost our sanity. I for instance sought counselling to deal with all the feelings that I kept locked up inside as well as working on becoming a better version of myself.

It’s now year 3 in the pandemic and though we have lost so much, we have a better chance of moving on. We have vaccines that can help us fight back and though it seems like every other day a new variant comes out (looking at you Delta and Omicron) we are better off now than we were then. Why? Because we know what the enemy is and can do. We know that if we wash our hands, be cautious and wear masks and get vaccinated if we can, we can help bring this thing to an end.

I often hear people say that we’ve crossed a new checkpoint and that things will never be the way they were up to 2019 BC (Before Covid). I refuse to believe that because we are resilient creatures of habit. We’ve faced challenges before and amongst the growing cost of living, and amounting loss, we’ll find our way forward together. We’ve learnt to leave with many diseases like the common cold that we don’t have a cure for. We take our seasonal vaccines and move on with our lives. I believe pretty soon hopefully from late 2022 AC (After Covid), we will be able to start living with the enemy. We can go about our lives with some level of normalcy. We can meet friends and family, be there for our partners and ones we love and more importantly live…