Cancer fighters are well acquainted with loneliness, struggle and isolation.
When COVID-19 entered the scene, many of us were used to coping. The difficulty of day-to-day life increased quite a few notches, but we'd already been adapting to battle conditions. There was even a short-lived high while getting to share our tips with others in need. We've been there, folks, and for once, maybe we can help you!
As time went on, the country adjusted to a new normal without distractions. This brought out a few positives: a narrowed, consistent focus on tackling important issues like human rights and police brutality, and reminded us what's truly important. Materialism and superficial matters took a spot at the back of the line in terms of priorities.
Also, while starving for human contact, we relied on video chats and phone calls to maintain sanity. And soon enough, conversations all seemed to play out the same way: "So, what's new with you? Nothing? Me neither!" or "You're feeling bottled up and worn down? Story of my life!" No longer were cancer fighters on another planet. We were right there with you, commiserating through the hardships and sharing the latest entertainment finds to help pass the time.
Now as the country reopens (wear those masks, people!) - with holiday weekends approaching and everyone at their breaking point - I'm noticing that sense of camaraderie slip away. With trips and weekend getaways back on display over social media, and new invites thrown out left and right… people have clearly had enough and are ready to move on.
I suppose that's (hopefully) a sign of forward progress, which is a good thing. And by no means am I attempting to glamorize a world-wide pandemic, but for a short period of time - just a few months there - it sure felt great to be part of the gang again.
It's brought back warm memories of healthier days without the shackles, but more importantly, it's also served as motivation to keep my eyes on the prize and remember why I'm fighting.