I vividly remember ringing in the New Year on the streets of Arima in Trinidad, watching the distant fireworks over the Savannah and shouting Happy New Year. I went up to the attic to get a better view of the firework show, exuberant and full of life after 2019 was such a successful one for me. I graduated with my medical degree debt-free, had been working for six months by that point, was on leave since Christmas Eve and used it to take a trip to Trinidad. I’d had a lot of lovely experiences in 2019 too– moved out on my own, went ziplining, parasailing and stayed at an all-inclusive hotel for the first time, just to name a few, and I was eagerly looking forward to what lay in store for me in 2020.
Well, five months of the year are almost down and I can’t say I’ve done anything I’d planned for 2020. In fact, I can’t tell you what I’ve done with my life for the last two months in particular besides attend work daily, pull all-nighters when on call every two or three nights and look forward to a free weekend to do nothing but perhaps laundry, cook or visit my immediate family and boyfriend. I’m a homebody so staying at home for several days at a time isn’t a problem, but after two months I’ll be honest. I’m tired. I need a break from my routine. I try to be optimistic and cheerful, and I’ve been drinking new wines and experimenting in my kitchen since, but I’m tired of having to try. I want to get my groceries without anxiety, I want a night out with my friends and I want new adventures. So much for my goal of a new waterfall each month.
This post is a little rant if you haven’t already realized from the title. Here are five terms I don’t want to hear anymore, and certainly not after 2020.
- Quarantine–This word will likely go down as the most used word of 2020, and I’m not pleased about it.
- New Normal— New normal? NEW NORMAL? Really? ☹ I mean, I get it. We’re figuring this pandemic out as we go along because we’ve never experienced anything like this before. I can’t think of a single country which hasn’t been affected by this novel coronavirus, and the effects will be felt for years after the last infected patient recovers, both economically and otherwise. Doesn’t that give you some level of anxiety if you allow yourself to think about it? It’s as if life wasn’t already unpredictable enough. I hope better hygiene and sanitary practices are apart of this new normal though. That’s possibly one good thing which can come from this.
- Social Distancing— I’m tired of isolating myself from the people I love, and feeling guilty knowing that any time I interact with them I may potentially be exposing them to the virus, even though I take great care to wear my PPEs, pay better attention to hand hygiene, clean my commonly touched surfaces frequently and I’m not working on a ward with confirmed patients. I want to go to the beach and explore new waterfalls too without feeling like this unnecessary trip may bring me in contact with an infected person. I also didn’t realize I was a hugger until this recommendation to keep six feet apart from everyone. I also hate that I cringe on the inside when my babies (ehm.. paediatric patients) run up to me and give me hugs or sit in my lap at work, so for 2021, we’re not bringing this term forward.
- Flatten the Curve— Again, we’re just leaving this term right here in 2020 where it belongs because in 2021, there won’t be a curve to flatten, right?
- De-Escalate— Well, this one doesn’t annoy me as much because it means we’re lightening the curfews and restrictions which have been imposed on us for our safety, and it expresses the level of panic we’ve been living through. It’s like we’ve been holding our breaths for several months and are finally exhaling.
Thanks for reading my little rant. The curve is flattening somewhat in my side of the world now, so hopefully that means new adventures are on the horizon. I’m also reassessing my goals for 2020. There’s no way I’m going to let this year end without accomplishing any personal goals, and at least another 2 things from this list.
‘Til next time, ✌🏽. Stay safe guys.