Today I got curious about what seemed like the last “normal” day for me. When did it become clear that we were entering a new time in history? I went through my photo archive. I started looking in March, because in my mind that’s when it was well and truly different. I remember on March 15th I went out on a scavenger hunt. There was no question that things were already different then. There were hardly any people out on the streets and there was an air of surreality about the city. But I figured that sometime in early March I’d have had some normal times but even in the early part of the month I saw photos of empty shelves in the grocery stores. On March 11th I have this photo of a pizza vending machine I saw in Yorkville (which I took because it seemed really bizarre):
But I only saw that after volunteering at the Avenue Road food bank on the day they stopped allowing people inside but rather just gave them pre-selected food packets.
I had to go all the way back to February 26th when I took this photo volunteering at the Avenue Road Food Bank for a Hindi blog entry.
I recall that day – going to work felt normal as did my time at work. I remember seeing some people wearing masks and selfislhly thinking “Why are they doing that? That can’t possibly help them at all.” (How much I had to learn about masks and what they’re for!) COVID was still abstract – something people were dealing with in other countries but unlikely to come here – or if it did it wouldn’t stay long.
That was 697 days ago. And now, in a strange way, as weird as things became, they now feel normal. Putting on a mask to go outside is as normal as putting on a coat. Hugs are now for only the closest of family and going to the office is only for when it is absolutely necessary.
Will we see a shift on a similar scale in 2022?
How about you? At what point did you realize things were really different?