Newfound Appreciation in the Corona Era
photo credit: New York Post
Lying in bed late at night watching episode after episode, we are starting to envy the actors for eating at restaurants, hanging out with friends, and even walking down a crowded street—simple activities we never thought we would have to reminisce about. All of the little things we took for granted before quarantine are suddenly receiving a lot more appreciation.
Now that our daily routines have vanished and life as we know it has been altered, ordinarily mundane aspects of our lives have taken on new meaning. Small acts that we might not have even noticed as a meaningful part of our schedule now feel more significant.
As city people, we are used to rush hour and walking through seemingly endless crowds of unfamiliar faces. Apple Lydon (‘21) points out that it’s the small things, like starting the day off with some tunes on the morning subway ride to school, tucked away between strangers, that we now miss. Before this, we never would have thought we would live in a time in which we couldn’t ride the subway. The so-called city that never sleeps sure appears to be napping right about now.
Being in an enclosed space with 400 other people sounds alien to us right now, but a month ago, we didn’t question being in chapel. As Dr. Weyburn announced that spring break would start a day early, students cheered for the day off but probably didn’t realize how much would change.
Instead of leaving a classroom with a smile as we greet other students flooding into the halls, faces now disappear as Zoom meetings come to an end and we are left staring at our computers.
Small talk as we walk to our next class or taps on the shoulder in passing through the halls seem like gestures of the past, and while they didn’t hold such high value then, it seems we would give almost anything for one more dap.
Matt Kodsi (‘22) reflects that “being locked inside makes [him] regretful for never taking the steps to connect with certain people.” Before the pandemic he felt that the “opportunity to pursue those connections when [he] felt ready” was a given.
Now that every conversation has to be planned, we miss out on those small moments and quick chats with more distant friends. Some of the people we have grown up with and are used to seeing every single day are suddenly not part of our daily schedule.
While we are lucky to have the technology necessary to continue seeing and talking to teachers, classmates, and friends, conversing on an everyday basis includes more than just the senses of sight and sound. Physical connection makes a conversation more personal. Humans tend to use body language to gauge interest levels and use reactions to decide how to continue that story we have been dying to tell or that rant about a grade we just got back. With those key components missing, it’s easy to feel isolated even when someone’s face is blown up on a screen.
Looking back on all the then-trite daily occurrences, or scrolling through a camera roll filled with smiles and socialization, our appreciation for these special moments grows immensely. Hopefully when this is all over, we take that appreciation and continue to recognize our lives with a heightened sense of significance.