In February 2020, the world was introduced to a new word – COVID. Most of us didn’t hear of this new word until a little later around April of 2020, but nevertheless, it took over our lives quite quickly. COVID, which for those who still do not entirely know is an abbreviation for Corona Virus Disease, brought to us by the World Health Organization (WHO). By mid-2020 we focused on very little else aside from when this Covid thing would go away and when we would get back to our normal lives. Things did get worse before they got better…Covid Daily Cases, Covid Protocols, Covid Tests. Covid was a new word in our vocabulary, and it looked like it would be part of our lives for a while at least.
Fast forward to 2021, Covid is here to stay we are told and this is our new normal which we just need to adapt to. PCR tests to travel, but atleast we were able to actually travel which was a refreshing change. Keeping our distance outside and inside. Vaccine one, Booster two, which vaccine you have was a point of social setting conversations. Let’s dance to DJ’s while we are seated and of course…Masks, masks, masks, pull up those masks! But we got on with our lives, still in hope that one day at least these masks would be a thing of the past.
Over the last ten months or so, we gradually saw many of the above things in relation to covid disappear. We could dance standing up as humans should, and we started hearing less about daily case counts, isolations, and travel restrictions. Where is Covid today? I know it still exists and you hear about it faintly, but where did this daily life takeover generally disappear to? Wasn’t it here to stay forever or did someone make a mistake with that statement?
No one actually wants to talk about it anymore, we are frankly over it. But isn’t it interesting that a subject that traumatized us so much, just seems to have disappeared? Did the vaccines really work? Or are we all doing a great job in just masking up this trauma and collectively acting like it never existed?
It’s been a number of months now since the easing of restrictions and we are all surely enjoying some normality after a challenging two years which impacted all corners of life. I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but Covid-19 has not gone away. In fact, in recent weeks there has apparently been a rise in cases globally with a shift in the dominant new strain from the Omicron BA 4 variant. It may not be a global emergency as it once was and I think it’s safe to say that we have all learned about the street smarts and following the guidance that has been drilled into us over the past two and a half years, for it not to get out of control again.
One thing is for sure, COVID isn’t going anywhere. The virus continues to spread around the world in one way or another and it has been said that eliminating it entirely is no longer possible. While the pandemic may not be over, the end of the emergency phase is in sight. The WHO launched an ambitious plan earlier this year to end the COVID-19 Emergency in every country in the world by the end of 2022 using available tools like vaccinations, antivirals and therapeutics to continue to prevent severe illness and death.
What does this all mean for our lives? Well, the C-Word will remain. It is not going away anytime soon or realistically ever. We will just need to live with COVID responsibly. Officials at the World Health Organization say that many nations now have a pretty good handle on what’s going on currently and how to adapt to further variant changes in the future. There will also probably be more developments on vaccines for us to take in the future and there have even been talks of nasal sprays that we will personally carry to help.
For us here in the UAE, almost all COVID-related restrictions have been eased. Abu Dhabi and Dubai remain two of the safest cities in the Middle East and Africa, with the way the country's vaccination drive was organized and handled. We really were fortunate to avoid further full-scale lockdowns after the initial trauma in April 2020.
Today, we find ourselves close to three full years of this pandemic. Most of us thought it would be over way before this and it surely has been a wild roller coaster of a ride. But as we move forward and as we continue to live with this C Word, I can vouch for the majority of parents when I say…
No more homeschooling ever, please
No more masks in schools
It is also nice to be able to breathe freely and see everyone’s faces as an adult.
We can use the C word and not be afraid to do so. But please do not use the word ‘LOCKDOWN’ ever again.