Life after 2020

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Life as we know it evolved and changed in more ways than one, and that’s normal. The word “normal” is a word that people use to describe the usual occurrences of our world. It’s our daily routine. That’s being human. People tend to say that “the world keeps evolving,” and so far it has been evolving very quickly. With each passing day of 2021, people were supposed to be finding ways to recover for the chaotic year of 2020, where everyone suffered greatly in one way or another. This year we’ve been on a tipsy road covered in cracks.

At first it was just another year of masks, social distancing, and online learning for teachers and students. March marked one year. Some people thought 2021 might be the year where everything slowed down and all our worries disappeared. The truth is people’s daily worries don’t go away that easily. We are not cruising through 2021 like we thought we would. Which made me question whether or not the world itself will go back to normal.

People have probably heard that “2020 was such a tough year.” Well, that’s the past, the present is now. According to every news article, television, and social media network 2020 is happening again. Only this time students and teachers haven’t gone back online. The world has been divided like a great battle against one another and it’s been going on for a year and a half. I understand that this is and continues to be a part of our world, but when will we stop wearing masks?

Over the summer I went to New Mexico and the word normal popped into my head. I remembered the days where life was at least decent and you could see a smile on someone’s face. But when August came around it was like 2020 all over again, back to wearing masks. A mask covers everything, from smiles to frowns. Nowadays the only way we can tell someone’s expression is by taking our masks off or looking into each others’ eyes.

In the beginning of 2021 things remained practically the same, stores were closing, dine in restaurants weren’t available still and the continuation to keep our masks on once you’ve entered a place were still intact. So nothing new was really happening except what the news was showing us. But progress was happening, just not not big enough to see but small enough to notice. Still as the saying goes “we’re in the same boat” or “you are not alone” everyone had to face the same thing that was happening. It’s very cliche to hear since people have used that saying before, nevertheless it’s true since everyone went through something just as similar.

We probably all were “in the same boat” last year, but everyone’s method of coping is different. People don’t suddenly recover, it’s a step-by-step process that takes a while. That’s just how things are. Still, the question remains: Will life go back to normal? Will we be able to handle the new changes in the world?

First off; there is no such thing as normal, it is just a word used to describe something plain or to describe a person who dresses or acts like everybody else. I’m asking if life will go back to the way it used to be. There are possibilities to anything, about the way we think, might know, and what we’re searching for. So, we might not even know the whole truth to this question.

According to health experts say that for normalcy to return “. . .the country needs to reach herd immunity…The more people are vaccinated, the less likely the virus will spread.” ( What will the end of the COVID pandemic look like? – WHYY). So that could be our saving grace, if that ends up happening. But what if there are people who don’t want to get vaccinated? What will experts say then? People have their own beliefs and some will do what they think is right.

But other people say differently, that the “normal life” isn’t back yet, and it doesn’t appear “normal will be coming back fully this fall,” says writer Jim Geraghty (Is ‘Normal’ COVID-19 Life for Americans Going to Return by 2022?). Well, it depends on the people and where they stand.

I know that where I stand I have my own beliefs and opinions. I still have much to learn, however, I should at least have the capability of knowing right from wrong. That’s the meaning of existence, people think they know right from wrong based on what they believe in. As teenager’s we think we might know, but we’re still learning. Our parents may tell us what our beliefs are but we choose where we stand between certain beliefs. We also know that because we want freedom we can’t just do as we please.

In the real world, we have tons of responsibilities. If there are teens who are easily influenced, it’s going to be tough for them. Life itself is like taking a big test, it’s to see if young adults are capable of being independent, responsible, and capable of working well with others. From the article What will the end of the COVID pandemic look like? – WHYY, Gretchen Chapman, a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, thinks that “it’s the responsibility of health experts to guide people about which activities are safe and which aren’t as more and more people are vaccinated.” What exactly do people think that belief or theory will lead to? Why follow sheep when we can be the shepherd?

Throughout school, we were taught to “be a leader, not a follower.” But not everyone is perfect so how do we know? From our perspective of things, we can only tell by what our beliefs are and how strong they are. But health experts also say that “It’s not certain what percentage of the population needs to be vaccinated…But many medical experts estimate that it’s 70% to 80%.” ( What will the end of the COVID pandemic look like? – WHYY) It is uncertain that maybe by fall things should go smoothly if we follow what they think is true.

If things go upwards then by 2022 things “should be normal, or at least whatever qualifies as normal post-pandemic…The virus will still exist, but one possibility is that it will be less likely to make people severely ill and that it will [be] like the flu..but the virus wouldn’t rage out of control again,” Writer Joe Pinsker put in the articleThe Most Likely Timeline for Life to Return to Normal – The Atlantic

So as of next year, there is a hypothetical theory that “normalcy” to the world won’t be showing up until next year? And will the virus be contained this time? Well, this is just a simple theory. As I have said things change all around us, what if it’ll take multiple years to recover? How will we know if what they say isn’t true at all? There are so many unknown questions that everyone has and we don’t even have the answers to most of those questions.

Students at Canyon have their own beliefs about whether or not the world will go back to normal. Most students had the same answer but everyone I interviewed had a strong opinion on the question asked. Some students said, “look at the facts,” “Once everyone is [or gets] vaccinated things should be okay.” But my most favorite would be from a student who had pointed out that “Once you progress there is no going back.” In my honest opinion it is true, life keeps going forward, yesterday was the past, today is the present and tomorrow is the future.

Every student compared how the world was and what it could or could not turn out to be by relating it to history. It “repeats itself..things that have stopped for a while they always have a way to resume back to normal. Like when the black plague happened [or] when the Spanish flu [happened] never went away [but] it took so long for life to go back to normal.”

Particularly speaking, there is a possibility that it may take years or more for life to return to normal. Normalcy does take a while to recover, it may take more than just months and like people always say “life isn’t easy.” But those are students who referred life back to history and stated that it took years for them to handle the situation.

Students who said yes to the world returning to normal, most of them all replied the same. “People will get vaccinated,” “We should be vaccinated,” “the more people get vaccinated” or “Because we already have a vaccine.” They think that being vaccinated will turn things around, that’s what they hope for, they believe if people get the vaccine we should go back to normal. But you can’t force people to do what you think is right. That’s not how the world works, we are all entitled to our own opinion.

Keith Vaughn, a junior, had said “I think covid, being here won’t change anything even if people do get vaccinated.” That might be true some students said that covid will be around for a long time now and it’s not going to go away, not that easily. “We barely go back down and go back up.” If the roller coaster continues there’s no telling if what the students have said is true. It may take years to get back on track. Normalcy is just a word used to describe anything, but there is no such thing as normal, to begin with. I think that there is a fifty-fifty percent chance that there will be major changes in the future. There are a ton of possibilities to anything and everything.