If 2020 was the year of the pandemic, 2021 was the year we learned to live with the pandemic.
As COVID-19 infections waxed and waned through the seasons, the rollout of vaccines and emergence of variants, we persevered.
Public health restrictions came, then eased, then started to return again. With them, so did our hopes for an imminent return to normal life.
Masks became the go-to accessory to pack whenever you left the house. They were joined by the vaccine passport. Simple acts like paying for groceries or entering a movie theatre became a juggling act of displaying cards, flashing cellphones and packing your own bags. And don’t you dare cough while doing any of those.
If nothing else, 2021 proved our resilience.
Despite the ongoing anxiety and uncertainty of our worlds turned upside down, people forged ahead. They chased their dreams. They started businesses. They celebrated achievements, albeit with a bit more restraint. Music and theatre returned. So did sports. And social gatherings. Maybe their absence made us embrace the richness they bring to our lives a little tighter.
The lessons we’ve learned through the past 21 months will be with us for generations.
Hopefully they’ll make us stronger, more ready to adapt when the next big crisis comes along.