Unprecedented Times


Emi Sakamoto connecting with others during the pandemic

Emi Sakamoto, Staff Writer

Unprecedented. If there is any vocabulary word that we have all learned in the past few years, that would be it. This word has been integrated into every newspaper article, TV show, and conversation that it might as well be precedent, just like the world we are living in today. A world in which we have mastered the art of smiling with our eyes, learned how to take an at-home rapid test, and no longer grimace at the alert of a new variant.

First, it was Delta, now it is Omicron — I wasn’t aware that we were all joining a sorority group. All jokes aside, as we approach the two-year anniversary of March 2020, it feels as though the world will never be “normal” again. Many of us have lost a loved one, and in the midst of it, we have lost ourselves. Understandably, the person we were two years ago is barely recognizable. We look in the mirror and long for the time in which we didn’t know the difference between “Pfizer” or “Moderna”  and an N-94 or N-95 mask. Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that things will be normal again because it won’t. Nothing will ever be the same again, just like how we will never be the same again. 

There may come a day when we won’t have to wear a mask, but the remnants of the devastation in which the pandemic caused will inevitably pervade. Grasping and wishing for what once was will not only hinder our ability to move on, but it will not change the fact that we are enduring one of the worst pandemics in U.S. history. 

The important thing to remember is that we are not alone in what feels like everlasting isolation and devastation. We have all felt the weight of disbelief, regret, and remorse to varying degrees in the past couple of years. The times we are living in are no longer “normal,” but I implore you to ask yourself this. Was it ever? Or are we just grasping for some sense of elusive normalcy when life is inherently unpredictable? 

There comes a time when we must accept that these feelings are intrinsically woven into the euphoric and despairing dynamic that we call life. We must embrace the uncertainty no matter how uncomfortable it may feel. I’m not asking you to go out and buy a welcome mat for the front of your house, but I’m asking you to at least leave the door unlocked to these unprecedented times. The world is always transgressing and regressing for the better or worse, and we must learn to drift and sway with it. Only then will we learn to live again.