Jacqueline Flores/Contributing Writer
Classes are back in session as people are leaving Zoom to return in person. Restaurants, theaters and even concerts reopen their doors to welcome back hundreds of people into their venues. Things are back to normal, or are they really?
A sense of “something’s wrong” hangs in the air still. The essential workers that society praised as heroes are back to earning minimum wage. While affected minority and impoverished communities have been forgotten about. Of course, people are allowed to be happy and make lunch plans with their friends. The pandemic felt like it was on the news 24/7 for months, but after a year of coverage, it has died down.
Yet, every so often when we scroll social media, we might come across a post talking about the overcrowded hospitals again, the new covid strains, people with vaccines still getting infected. We give it a quick read or keep scrolling, not wanting to pay attention to a pandemic that should have passed already so we can go eat lunch with our friends without anxiety.
The Covid-19 Pandemic is still here, and we need to acknowledge that we are living life every day in this new normal. Rachel Gordon, a junior of Fine Arts in Digital Art said, “To me, things don’t feel entirely normal. There’s always this tension that someone can get sick at any time, or that someone without their mask will step too close to you.” We can go to class feeling fine until an email from our professor says someone was tested positive for COVID-19 in class and it becomes reality again all too easily.
For some of us, however, we want to welcome this new normal. The pandemic during its height in 2020 caused a lot of fear and anxiety, especially for those with medical conditions. “I was extremely depressed and scared,” says FIU student Jordan who is a freshman this year. “It didn’t help that both of my parents got COVID and my dad was feeling really sick. My uncle became overworked because he works in UPS,” says FIU student Jordan who is a freshman this year. If anything, Jordan is excited to see people again and attend events while vaccinated. He says that despite the loneliness, “It’s given me a new perspective on life. With things somewhat getting back to normal, I hope I can become more active.”
Regardless, I know a majority of students feel welcomed to be back on campus with the option to zoom for class and do online work still. Yet, this sense of something lingering in the air becomes more and more normal every day to the point that it fades out in the background. It is easy to forget that the Covid-19 Pandemic is technically ongoing when campus events, the Wellness Center, and the Library are booming with 100% operations.
The Miami nightlife itself is booming as well, and no one is remembering to keep their masks on in hot cramped areas. As much as we want to put the events behind us and keep them in the year 2020, we need to acknowledge this is still ongoing and affecting the lives of many. Let’s continue our lives with the awareness that Covid-19 is still here, and continue to take precautions, then to continue life completely carefree to the point of ignorance.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community
Photo by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash