ONE YEAR: Since everything changed.

March 13, 2020. I remember that day so distinctly.

Prior to that day, I had seen what COVID did to everyone else in the world with: temperature checks, panic buying, lockdowns and quarantines.

And that day…. was the day, when it came to my part of the world.

We had a teacher development day on that particular Friday. The virus was in the back of everyone’s minds as we were doing ice-breakers, having meetings and working in our classrooms.

You could tell in everyone’s faces that they were worried.

During lunch, we found out that all the school districts in our area were going to be closed. I vividly remember that lunch, that quiet lunch. Everyone was on their phones, and we all gave each other looks when we saw the news.

But, we still didn’t know what was going to happen to us. We aren’t part of a school district and we weren’t sure if we were part of that closure. The school didn’t know too.

I remember leaving work and calling my mom, asking her what she wanted for dinner since I was off early. She said to pick up something fast and easy to cook from the grocery store.

Little did I know that a trip to get one thing at the grocery store, would lead to me realize that this pandemic is f*cking real.

That was my first experience with seeing panic buying. I saw first-hand the empty shelves and refrigerators and I started to panic. Prior to that shopping trip, I had only seen panic buying on social media. I don’t remember what I got, I think I just got one of the few items that was left. Funny enough, while walking around the store just to find ANYTHING, I hear on the speakers “it’s the end of the world as we know it”. R.E.M.’s song “It’s the end of the world” was playing and it felt like something out of the movies. As I was seeing the empty shelves and as that song was playing, I felt like I was going to have a panic attack in the middle of the store.

That’s when I knew that things were going to change and this virus was something much more bigger, than I thought it was going to be.

That day was the beginning of everything that changed.

Our lives changed after that day.

And it’s crazy to know that a year later, we are still in that pandemic. It’s not as intense as last year, but COVID is still around.

And unfortunately, a year later…COVID is affecting my aunt and uncle. And my uncle is in the hospital because of COVID.

I say it so many times.

It’s been a rough year. And it sucks that it continues to be rough.

Additionally, I have been teaching in a pandemic for a year.

On top of that….I’ve been teaching BY MYSELF IN A PANDEMIC FOR A YEAR.

On Thursday March 12, 2020: I had a full class of 24 students.

Then on the following Monday, March 16, 2020: I had 4 students. I had 20 LESS students.

Additionally, little did I know that my co-teacher (at that time) would work for a week and ditch me. He didn’t come to work and 3 months later, he finally put in his 2 weeks.

During that time, I was talking to a guy on a dating app. And little did I know that we would be talking for months, meet up for a couple of times. And then I first began to understand what the term “GHOSTING” means, because he was the first one to ghost me. And that wouldn’t be the only time in the time of being in a pandemic. Because it would appear that dating in a pandemic just means guys want a “casual” relationship, but then you ghost you weeks later.

ONE YEAR LATER:

I went to a couple of stores today, wearing a mask and consistently putting on hand sanitizer. I was keeping my distance and stepping on the signs to keep a distance from others. The shelves were shocked and no one was panic buying. I was standing in a line to get inside one store. AND IT WASN’T WEIRD…it was normal.

We actually had a Staff Development Day yesterday. Some of the teachers including myself, had a CPR/First Aid class. No worries, just taking a regular class at a distance from others and wearing masks.

I have a new co-teacher. However, we aren’t co-teaching together. We have a split classroom with our own classes.

After my most recent “ghosting” situation that put me in a deep depression (because I really liked him). I am taking a long break from dating apps, which I probably explained in a recent post. And I think it’s best to not go on them for the rest of the year because it just completely diminished my self-esteem.

Life has changed so much within a year.

I don’t know if it changed for the better or the worst.
But it definitely impacted my life (and everyone else’s).

One year of living in a pandemic.

CRAZY.

-MEL

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