A personal perspective on the pandemic | Letter

Have we survived? Are we the same individuals we were in January 2020? Have our habits changed? Have we changed?: Do we use one room more than before? How about breakfast time, time on the phone, e-mailing friends, walking outside, watching TV, cooking, baking, going off-island, paying more attention to our dreams and the understanding of them, spending too much time on the computer with Zoom in classes; or in ‘summits’ where, if you want to remember anything, you have to pay the 50% discounted price of $250? Do we love and value our family and friends more, or less?

When we see people we know in the Market, though masked do we feel that quick heart connection of pleasure (if we can recognize them), and chat with them more than usual? Now that Spring is in full bloom, do we breathe in its sweet air perfume, with a satisfying exhale more than before?

I have changed. One change is that I’m 15 months older and now feel the effects of that aging more each day. I do not feel I’ve been “on hold” with my life, though I do feel I’ve had to work hard to adjust to the “regulations” of mask-wearing; of understanding people through their muffling masks, and staying away and not hugging

I’ve had to realize the fear of infection many still have is due to not following the scientific research and the emerging understanding of this new enemy, an enemy that has found ways to conquer us with its superb armor and numbers. Ironically, with our bodies’ resistance to the virus, this enemy has created new, more effective armor and weapons.

However, as with most warriors, it has an Achilles heel, which is the virus’s fatty exterior layer. We have learned to dissolve or wash this layer away, and thus kill it. And now, using the virus’s weapons to develop vaccines, we are lessening their numbers and their ability to increase, and reaching herd immunity.

We have not won, nor will we ever totally win against this new illness. And there will be others. I do feel, however, that I have gained a better understanding of both my inner and outer self. How about you?

Margot Shaw

Deer Harbor