Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic I realized that there is much that I have taken for granted. This is just a brief step back contemplating all that I have taken for granted in life. In some ways I have been foolish.
If you go back a few hundred years, what we take for granted today would seem like magic – being able to talk to people over long distances, to transmit images, flying, accessing vast amounts of data like an oracle. These are all things that would have been considered magic a few hundred years ago.
There is an interesting YouTube channel that I discovered recently that I have paid attention. Its by a vlogger called Jon Barr, a resident of New York City that discusses life and culture and more. His Youtube channel is called Here Be Barr. He did a video about what he learned about being in lockdown for a month in New York City. The video got me thinking of what I have take for granted.
The COVID-19 pandemic is similar to September 11, 2001 in many ways. In both situations I took a lot of things for granted. Prior to 9-11 I took flying for granted. I was dismissive and assumed it would always be there in life, until it was not. COVID-19 has been similar. This post is just a reflection on what I took for granted after staying isolated for two months.
- I took many aspects of my health for granted. Yes I have asthma but I always assumed that it could be treated and managed. And form my youth I have taken that action. It was not until a new virus came along that there wasn’t a treatment for that showed me how someone like me with a respiratory disease is more vulnerable. I took my ability to manage my asthma for granted.
- I took walking outside for granted. The fresh air, the sunlight on my face. Watching the clouds in the sky. I assumed that would always be there. It wasn’t until sheltering in place made me crave that again. I go out for exercise every couple of days but its not like it was before. Its weird to see people with masks and people being nervous around each other.
- I took going to a retail establishment for granted. Going to the grocery store, hobby store, book store, hardware store, etc… I took all that for granted. Before I stayed at home I was nervous about being in a grocery store. But I can’t believe how much I took for granted. Meanwhile I have a deep amount of respect for those who work in those environments. I am worried for their health and that they stay free of the coronavirus.
- I took going to the gym for granted. I attended regularly and it was part of my routine until it was not. Lifting weights, being on a treadmill and swimming in the pool. I thought that would always be there until this entire COVID-19 pandemic occurred. I miss my gym but I want people to be safe. I have mixed feelings about the gym after all this infectious disease.
- There is nothing more than I want to do then head to a bar and grab a beer with a friend. That is another thing I took for granted in this shelter in place. Sorry Zoom happy hours are not the same thing. The social activity, the noise of the bar, and laughing or having engaging or fun discussions are not possible for the time being. I miss it but even if bars opened up again, I don’t see myself stepping into one.
- Sporting events like a baseball game or a concert I miss. Its hard to believe how much an infectious disease can upend life. The other day I was reading and learned that the breakouts of COVID-19 in Italy could be tied to a soccer game. Who could imagine that a friendly sport, football in Europe could be so dangerous and lead to a lot of death.
I took so much for granted. Traffic, travel, running errands and just living. I assumed it would always be there in life. Pandemics are a part of history. I recall sitting in western civilizations and reading and hearing about what pandemics did to Rome in contributing to its decline. As much as I adore history I thought to myself how foolish I was to think how that will never happen again. In the end the guy who studied history realized that there is much more to learn and grow. This is something that I wanted to get off my chest. This has been on my mind all day and its time to compose this post and come clean. I took so much for granted. I was a fool in how I thought sometimes but maybe that is how we learn. In another post I should spend some time considering what I am thankful for in life.