It is an anniversary that I doubt anyone wanted to celebrate, but it’s here. It is the anniversary of the first UK Lockdown. It has been a year since we found out how serious COVID-19 is and had to adapt to a whole new way of living, something that was unimaginable to all.
Life as we are living right now is a story to be told to the future generations with this entire last year going down in the history books.
If someone had told me a year ago; that the world would ever face a situation where we would be stuck in our homes, scared of getting ill or harming others just by the simple act of going out, I would have scoffed at the ridiculous notion.
Anniversaries are capable of being either the most joyous or the most sorrowful situations. They are, however almost always overwhelming. Some might deal with these by acknowledging how they feel, others might completely avoid them to stop from being overcome with emotions.
I myself am feeling grief and sadness for the lives we’ve lost, emotionally drained at the thought that we are still in this in spite of a year having passed and scaredly optimistic that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
For some people, this might be a time of realisation that several other anniversaries have gone by within the past year that they have learned to celebrate or grieve in a new way. It might be a year since they’ve been to the office, since they’ve seen their family, since they have been to a restaurant or since they have travelled.
However, you might choose to mark this occasion in your calendar, the last year has definitely been a year of reflection. All of us have had to hit pause and simultaneously keep going on with our lives.
The pandemic has forced us to confront our ourselves and learn some crucial life lessons. For instance, it taught us the importance of human interaction and family and friends. It forced us to advance in medicine and make ground-breaking research in record time.
It compelled us to acknowledge that we need to look after ourselves mentally as well as physically. It coerced us to be imaginative and come up with new ways of working that were unheard of before.
I could spend my entire day obsessing over the number 23 March but instead I choose to focus on the number 28 million. This number signifies the people who have received the first dose of the vaccine. And the number is ever growing as the UK makes strides every day by breaking records for vaccinating people.
This number signifies that despite it being a year, we are not facing the exact same circumstances. The year before, we did not even know what COVID was and today, even though we don’t have all the answers, we do know more.
So instead of focussing on the word anniversary today, I am choosing to focus on the word progress instead. With each adult getting vaccinated we are one step closer to going back to a state of normalcy.
We are making progress, slowly but surely.