Today is my pandemicversary. This hashtag recently caught my attention on Twitter, where I read about people’s plans to mark one year of life in the time of COVID-19. Although this anniversary is not exactly cause for celebration, there’s a lot to be said for surviving this past year. And if Twitter is any gauge, alcohol and desserts will be key to the festivities, such as they are.
I’m not sure when I began making lifestyle changes in accordance with COVID protocols, but a year ago today was the last time I ate at a restaurant and the last time I hugged a friend. This dinner date came about after two postponements, so I’m especially glad my friend and I were able to get it in before everything changed.
With more than 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States over the past year, it’s clear that other people have suffered much greater losses than I. Some of my friends and family members have had coronavirus, but all of them have recovered. And some have begun getting vaccinated. While we’re not past this crisis, at least there are signs of hope.
As a three-time cancer survivor with additional health concerns, I’ve been diligent about following COVID protocols. Unfortunately, neither my age nor my health issues have made me eligible for vaccination yet, so I’ll be maintaining the status quo for the foreseeable future. It’s been relatively easy to stay safe. I live with two cats but no other humans, so there’s been no risk at home. I also work from home and limit my exposure to other people.
I miss seeing my friends and family like I used to, but (fingers crossed) we’ll get together again when this crisis is behind us. Still, it’s hard for me to imagine resuming normal activities. I read the other day that Progressive Field can have 30% fan capacity when Cleveland Indians 2021 home games begin in April. Attending baseball games is one of my favorite activities, but I’m not ready to return to the ballpark yet. I’m sure Major League Baseball will have safety protocols in place, but eating and drinking are part of the game experience and you can’t do either with a mask on. And the RTA rapid trains heading to and from downtown haven’t been sites of social distancing on game days in the past.
Meanwhile, how will I mark my pandemicversary? I’m not sure, but I will celebrate because I’m grateful to be here. An adult beverage and/or a treat might be part of the plan. Maybe I’ll cook or order something special for dinner. One thing’s for sure, though: I’ll be celebrating at home.
Molly Callahan is a freelance writer and editor from Rocky River.