Welcome back to the blog!
As the year 2020 comes to an end, it’s time to write a year end review blog for this year. Although, I think we can all agree that this year has been eventful and one that is full of surprises. But I will also say, on a personal level, the year started off really well for me, hitting some milestones. But, the majority of this year, with regards to the pandemic, it has been hard, and sad at times. And I think, we can also agree that, nobody’s ever saw this coming, or is ever able to prepare for this. But that’s OK, because humans are generally resilient. No matter how difficult or what surprises life throw at us, we’ll always learn to adapt.
So, let’s begin this year’s a year in review, 2020 edition:
In January: One important milestone I hit this year is that I turned 30 this year! (Yay!!!) You can read all about this in this blog– I wrote a blog reflecting on my 30 years of life. I don’t know about you, but I think this is a significant milestone. Although I acknowledge that for me, (as a disabled person), being 30 years old is a lot different from someone (let’s say, more able bodied and healthy) turning 30. I won’t lie, I feel much older physically from turning 30 this year, as if I didn’t just age one year, but I aged many years. Nonetheless, I still feel proud for turning 30, and I know, the road ahead won’t be easy, but I’m excited for life ahead of me.
Also in January: Other than the fact that I turned 30 this year, the other piece of good news that happened to me this year is that, after many years of searching for answers as to why I’ve been sick for the past 5+ years, I finally found answers. At the time of receiving my diagnosis, it’s just a week before my 30th birthday, I finally found doctors that are willing to believe and listen to my concerns, after so many years of being undiagnosed and misdiagnosed.
In March: Never in my lifetime, have I ever imagined, I’d be living through a global pandemic, a contagious virus raging through the globe, and it happened in March- A global pandemic declared by the World Health Organization known as COVID-19. Countries faced lockdowns, a shutdown of much of the economy, people asked to stay at home as much as possible, and to only go out when it’s absolutely essential. And the lockdown lasted nearly three months. So during this time, I stayed home most of the time, alone, in my tiny apartment.
Summer in a pandemic (June & July): After nearly 3 months of lockdown, and when COVID-19 got a bit more contained in the summer, the economy started back up a bit again, and of course, it’s nowhere near normal, the level of normal before March 2020. But, it’s a new normal. A normal with many precautions and public health recommendations in mind whenever going into public spaces, to protect oneself and others. During this time, I also started going out just a bit more, going on longer walks by myself, going to stores other than just the grocery store or the pharmacy. But, I always made sure to follow all public health rules.
August, September, October, November: Still in a pandemic, and COVID-19 got much contained since June. But, there’s still fears and we’re still not out of the woods yet, the fear’s that, with any previous pandemics in history, there’s always a second wave, and that second wave is known to hit harder than the first. So, both rule makers (politicians) and healthcare professionals are preparing for this. During this time for me, I continued to remain vigilant, and to follow public health rules. But, I also had several opportunities to safely meet with some of my family and friends. We always followed public health recommendations. I met with most people outside, safely and physically distanced, and of course, we wore masks, too. I only met with people I feel safe meeting with, and those that are as cautious as me, and taking the pandemic as serious as I do.
In December: The dreaded second wave came nonetheless. Since late Fall, COVID-19 cases started back up again, not just in the country but globally. But more importantly, even for places that were praised for the well containment of the virus during its first wave, like locally, in the city where I live, but it suddenly got pretty bad, pretty fast. For 9 months of the pandemic, I was able to take care of myself at the same time, going through the pandemic, I think I did a fairly good job, consider someone who is disabled and chronically ill. But, because we’re now going into winter months, a season that’s usually difficult for my health, I decided that it’s just not doable for me to take care of myself and weathering through the second wave of the pandemic all at the same time and all by myself. I need some help, both physically, and emotionally. So, just as when the second round of lockdown is being imposed in hope to stop the further spread of the virus, for the time being, I’ll be living in a different place, but don’t worry, I’m safe, and more importantly, I’m not alone.
2020 has been full of surprises. The year started off really positive for me, but despite all that we’ve all been through this year with the pandemic, I still think this year is ending on a positive note. At the very least, myself and all those around me, people like my family and friends, are all relatively healthy and safe. On a more serious and important note, I’m just glad and relieved that I found answers to my health concerns, even though it’s just answers, not solutions or cures, but that is enough. Because let’s be real, I wouldn’t know what to do, and would probably be more stressed, and terrified, without any answers, and without having a dedicated healthcare team supporting me, that would’ve been more unsettling during a global health crisis like the one we’re living through now. But I know, there’s been so much suffering and grief in this year of 2020, and it’ll likely be a very difficult beginning of 2021 for at least a couple of months. But, I also believe, this too shall pass. And in fact, we can see some light at the end of the tunnel, with the development of vaccines for COVID-19, a vaccine development that’s never been this speedy. And someday, we will be able to gather together again with family and friends, we will be able to hug each other, we will be able to go to large and crowded events once again. But in the mean time, let’s all do our part, stop the spread of the virus, so one day, in the very near future, our lives will be back to normal again, and it may even be better than the old normal.
By: The Invisible Vision Project