A New World.

The world as we know it has changed. It will never be the same. We are changed. Society is being changed. History will tell the stories of this change for years to come. When we began 2020 we likely had high hopes for the year ahead.

We had dreams.

We had ambition.

We found whatever we wanted in stores.

We didn’t wear mask.

We planned travel.

We had jobs.

We were embarking on a new decade never really paying attention to what was happening across the world in China. We continued to live and never looked back. We likely took for granted many things that today we wish we could be doing.

Lockdowns. Stores Closed. People dying. People sick. Hospitals overflowing with patients. Schools closed. No professional sports. No church. Deserted downtown’s across the country. We are seeing an unprecedented time and for many, like me, are not sure what to expect tomorrow.

Our lives have been forever changed. We have become vulnerable. We have become scared and fearful of life. Our workscape has changed. Zoom has become the new way we communicate. Necessities like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and even food are scare.

People are utilizing shipping for items they need. Restaurants are using pick up, drop off, delivery. Students are learning online. Lives are disrupted and for how long? No one really knows.

It hasn’t been since 2001 that I have witnessed society make such a change. We wear gloves, we wipe down everything, we distanced ourselves from our families, friends, and our daily life because of the fear we have inside.

We are learning new things like, “Social Distancing,” working from home, adapting to be alone, limited on what we buy, limited on what is available for us to do whenever we want to do it. Plans cancelled for millions, death by the thousands, and first responders putting themselves even closer to death than before.

COVID-19.

COVID-19 began and we, like millions others didn’t pay much attention to it until the first, the second, the 100th, the 1000th, and more began to impact the area where we live and our normal routines became no more. Loved ones feeling fine one day and dead the next. The reality is that we have no idea what tomorrow or the future will look like.

Will businesses re-open, will we ever really be close to people again. Will we sit close to one another in a church, or shop close to someone in a store, or will we attend a concert, go to amusement parks, fly in a plane, travel the world? Will we be forever scared?

These are questions that I think about a lot.

COVID-19 has changed my life. While I have been lucky to escape the virus, I know people who haven’t. I live in fear. My doctors tell me, “NO OUTSIDE CONTACT,” and I know that I am a high risk. I know I could die if I got it.

It has impacted me mentally. It has separated me from my friends, my co-workers, my routine, my life. I don’t even know what to think about a new day. A new day of staying locked up in my house. No true social interaction. For someone like me and probably millions of others who suffer from depression, anxiety, high risk diseases and extroverts are struggling to cope.

I have become so depressed. My anxiety is so high. I try to distance myself from the news. I try not to focus on the numbers of cases and deaths. I try to play my games on my phone, but in reality I, like many others, including perhaps, you are feeling similar that you don’t know when you will be able to return to some form of normal, and what will the new normal look like? How will it impact us and our future? What will be new and what will hold strongly planted in society?

Unanswered questions and a truly uncertain world ahead for each of us.

How do we cope? I look out the window, I play piano, I write, I work, I feel like I eat all the time, I have no energy, I have no real agenda and I can’t see the people who have been an active part of my life.

COVID-19 has impacted us all. It will continue to change us. It will continue to evolve. How long, what will be the lasting impact? No one knows. Where is faith amidst all this sadness, depression, anxiety, uncertainty, and death?

It’s a struggle to have faith at this time. Especially when we have no way of knowing what the future will hold. The longing question that exists on everyone’s one is, “When, not if, will I get the virus?” This is scary. This is real.

For the people who think this is a joke, I am not sure what plane you are living, but this is real–this is not a test. We have been tested for years and we ignored them, now this is the real thing and we are crippled. We are overwhelmed. We are scared. We are vulnerable. No one is excluded, no one.

Whatever the slate looks like in the horizon of tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, five years, or even 30 years from now remains deeply uncertain in a world of fear.

COVID-19 will leave a mark on the world. It will redefine us. It has already changed us. What will the “New World” look like?

I say to each of you–stay strong, practice the social distancing. Maintain hope. Find the faith. Value your time. We are in this together.

That’s Black and White.

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