What Pandemic?

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Remember that time we had a global pandemic and then as soon as the mask mandate lifted, one country invaded another? WUT?!

I naively thought that once this isolation was over, we’d all stumble out of our homes blinking in the light and going, “Wow – other humans! People I’m not related to!” We’d open our arms to the nearest stranger and give them a bear hug. Nope. No such thing.

While some of us were trying our hand at baking sourdough bread, learning a new language, or just trying to stay sane throughout the monotony of staring at the same four walls for two years, others were busy plotting world domination.

Here’s another horrifyingly naive thought I’d had perhaps just six months ago. I was pondering the history of the world and how so many regions were shaped by ongoing invasions. I told myself, “Thank goodness that doesn’t happen anymore. In a social media-connected world where everyone exists under a microscope and everything bad makes the news, no way could a marauder get away with that behavior anymore.”

Between the plague and invasions, the years 2020-2022 are shaping up to be like the Middle Ages all over again, just with smart phones, selfies, and duck lips tossed into the mix.

How about sitting around a campfire and singing “Kumbaya” together? No? Then at the very least, let’s enforce isolation again until we’re all ready to be civil.

2020: The Year of Falls

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In addition to 2020 being the year of the pandemic – social distancing, working from home, supply chain shortages, and so many other peculiarities – it was also the year I had three big falls.

Fall #1: We moved from a high rise in the city to a house. Our first night in our new house, I was awakened at 4:00 AM by my toddler crying urgently. I leapt out of bed on autopilot, intending to go comfort her. Instead, I crashed down in the darkness, landing flat on my belly like an unreasonably heavy sack of potatoes. My right leg had evidently fallen asleep and wasn’t functioning. While it was numb from the calf to the foot, I felt it in High Definition as my knee smashed on the wooden floor. My husband sat up with a jolt, fearing I’d suffered a heart attack. The light of day revealed a large bruise on my skinned knee, and I had a limp to go with it.

Fall #2: Descending the stairs, my foot slipped, and I went sailing through the air, crash-landing three steps later. I earned an angry purple bruise on my thigh the size of a baseball, which was sore for weeks.

Fall #3: On those same stairs, I slipped again a few months later. The results weren’t as dramatic that time, but my ego was certainly bruised.

Had I forgotten how to use stairs after all those years of living in high rise buildings? Had elevators made me go soft? Was my house evil?

No, it was none of those things. The first fall was clearly the result of a numb appendage. The following two were due to the custom wool runner lining the stairs. It was far too slick, failing to provide exactly the stabilization it was designed to offer. Since replacing it with synthetic carpeting, I haven’t slipped again (knock on wood).

In a year of COVID oddities, inconveniences, and altered routines – where it was hard enough to secure basic creature comforts, like toilet paper – I had this additional phenomenon to contend with. As we moved into 2021, I recall reading all sorts of articles and quips online basically giving the finger to a commonly reviled year, wishing it good riddance. Then, 2021 turned out not to be so different.

Suffice to say, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that 2022 is better than the best parts of the past two years combined. I hope it is for you, too.