Our Long-Awaited Post-COVID Life Is Coming. Why Am I So Nervous?

Everyone's excited to get back to “normal’ but I'm worried that I don't know how.

4/7/2021 10:52:00 PM

'I remind myself that the change will be gradual; for many of us, life won’t go from zero to 100, even after we’ve been inoculated. Maybe, though I can’t visualize it now, there will be room for a middle, somewhere between our old lives and this new one.'

Everyone's excited to get back to “normal’ but I'm worried that I don't know how.

Ellen Cushing wrote about a friend who confessed that his previous morning routine—“wake up before 7, shower, dress, get on the subway”—now felt “unimaginable on a literal level.” Cushing wrote: “…in the cold, dark, featureless middle of our pandemic winter, we can neither remember what life was like before nor imagine what it’ll be like after.”

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And so I worry. How will my new self fit into our impending new-new normal? Of course these concerns are also rooted in incredible privilege; the choice to stay safe and separate this past year is a luxury that’s been afforded to far too few. But there’s this sense that people are waiting for a resounding “Go!” and then suddenly every postponed wedding, birthday, and party will dot our calendars—the pressure to do so much, now that we “can.” All without our well-worn excuse of COVID to say no. In some ways, I also can’t wait—the idea of leaving my home without fear still feels too good to be true—but at my worst, I feel lazy and apathetic, incredulous that my endurance could ever be what it once was.

I remind myself that the change will be gradual; for many of us, life won’t go from zero to 100, even after we’ve been inoculated. Maybe, though I can’t visualize it now, there will be room for a middle, somewhere between our old lives and this new one. Chris Segrin, a professor of communication at the University of Arizona, recently told headtopics.com

The Cutthat social skills can atrophy from disuse. One can only assume they can also become strong again.Though I can't imagine a world in which I’m not constantly moving away from people—clocking whether they have their mask pulled over their nose or wearing one at all—I know my March 2020 self couldn’t have dreamed up this current world order. I was able to (mostly) adjust to this version of my life, so why can’t I do it in reverse? I’m nervous, yes. But I’m also thankful for the chance to try.

Madison FellerMadison is a staff writer at ELLE.com, covering news, politics, and culture.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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