A Year With COVID
Editor’s Note: For the past year, Melissa Marietta, Fly Creek, SUNY Oneonta director of career development, has chronicled her family’s year with COVID-19. This was posted on Facebook March 15, the anniversary of Otsego County’s state of emergency.
The sun shines! The temp rises above freezing! I’m here to check in.
It’s the anniversary of The Last Friday. We knew something weird and possibly dangerous was coming. With no real understanding of the situation, we all assumed it could be days, if not weeks, before we’d return to life as usual.
If we only knew. If only we’d gone to one last movie, one last dinner out, one last coffee with friends, or one last concert. If only we’d hugged one another one last time.
Twice this week, someone told me they wished they could hug me and I couldn’t find the words to tell them I want nothing more than to hug them right back. I miss so many things we took for granted.
For the past year, I documented each week of the pandemic through a Friday check-in on Facebook. In my first one, I snapped a selfie sitting on my couch, my dog curled up next to me, my hair disheveled, small pieces of leftover chips on the front of my sweatshirt. The accompanying caption read: “My hair: never wash. My shirt: also a napkin.”
Our pandemic year proceeded through four stages. Spring was “All Bets Are Off.” Our lives turned upside down. We moved from years of screen-free weekdays to devices all day. We ate junk food and wore sweatpants.
Summer was: “Time Stands Still.” Our usually bustling tourist town was empty. I walked around my neighborhood for miles, without rushing to the destination.
By September we knew: “Winter Was Coming.” Race riots and election tensions exacerbated concerns that a return to normal was not on the horizon.
We took photos of my kids’ back-to-school day: They dressed up, stood at the end of the driveway and smiled before returning to our house to open their Chromebooks. We were anxious, overwhelmed and tired.
Each week, I rode an emotional rollercoaster: anger, anxiety and fear mixed with gratitude for my health and time with my husband and children.
Technology was both a blessing and a curse. I realized how integral school is to my children’s well-being and my own.
My biggest takeaway from the year is that my family missed our old traditions. On Oct. 30, I wrote that we were “ready to adventure out to what will hopefully be a safe but enjoyable Trunk or Treat event. Another day marked by a memory of something we took for granted.” We celebrated the holidays in isolation, with a quarantine and COVID tests.
Now we have made it to the stage of hope. The snow continues to blow, but buds are forcing their way through the soil and the days grow longer. We are wounded and in mourning. Yet we are stronger and more resilient than we ever knew we could be.
In December, I wrote, “I am surrounded by people who care, not just about me, but their families, work, community and the world. The s***storm that is 2020 will never take away their good work, resilience, and kind hearts.”
We are ready to hit this anniversary and it will be hard. Then, we will move forward.