At least here in New England, the end of the pandemic is in sight. Masks are no longer needed, and there’s a certain sense of relief that perhaps the worst is behind us.
Like many Americans, I feel like we’ve come to the end of our generation’s shared hardship experience. While not as traumatic or needing of self-sacrifice as other hardships in our country’s modern past, it nonetheless feels like we went through something difficult together.
The past year has been especially difficult on school-aged children and young adults. Attending my nephew’s high school graduation, the graduates seemed none the worse for wear. They were excited, felt prepared to meet the future, and were doing all the normal graduation activities and attending parties that teens do. Young adults and kids can be so resilient.
Teachers, healthcare workers, and of course psychologists have not had it easy, either. We’ve gone through a challenging time reworking everything we knew about how to work: how to see clients, how to do psychotherapy, how to feel present with others while not in the same room. It’s been a long, long year.
Now it’s time to start to get back to normal, whatever that looks like in a post-pandemic world. I’m sure it won’t be all smooth sailing, but with more outdoor activities during the summertime, increasing vaccination rates, and low transmission of the coronavirus outdoors, I have hope that the next few months will offer all of us a much-needed reprieve.
The pandemic has taught me to better appreciate the relationships and friendships I have in my life. It has also taught me the importance and value of in-person togetherness. It simply can’t be replaced by a telephone or Zoom call. I hope never to take these things for granted again.
Have a great, socially-closer summer!