First, it was my plans vs. 2020 followed by the toilet paper hoarding memes, and jokes about learning to live life via Zoom, confronting anti-maskers, vaxers, and whatnot, but the mess felt like escalating. Fast forward to today, and there’s a global birthday in town.
The pandemic has turned one. Like a restless baby, it’s been keeping us awake at night, pushing our sanity to the brink, making us question whether the world as we knew it before is even possible anymore. Except what's at stake is not your prenatal late nights fueled with pinot and carelessness, but our jobs, travels, and friendships.
But since we already have enough looming over our poor heads, let’s celebrate the pandemanniversary with what we know the best, the internet’s favorite memes and jokes that make the absurdity, stress, and sometimes sheer hell on earth somewhat more livable.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Within a week, millions of people around the world stayed home in place for what we all initially thought would only take a couple of weeks.
Days went by, they turned into weeks, and then months. The world stood still in what became the biggest health crisis in recent history with the coronavirus becoming the main cause of death in the United States. Now, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, around 2,000 people die from the disease every day on average, which is already down from the high of more than 3,000 average daily death count in mid-January.
While many battled for the lives of their own and their loved ones, those who were lucky enough not to fall ill had to adapt to the pandemic world they never knew before. Remote work and education became a new norm, social isolation replaced face-to-face communication, and our leisure activities, like shopping and having a drink on a bar terrace on a sunny Sunday morning, turned into a distant memory.
With 20 million Americans who are now unemployed due to the coronavirus crisis, the pandemic now holds a firm grip on the worldwide economy as nobody is really sure yet when the mess is going to end. And although the vaccinations have made us all hopeful, they have been partly overshadowed by new mutations popping up out of nowhere from various places around the world.
Our mental health has suffered too. The report “Stress in America™ 2020: A National Mental Health Crisis” issued by the American Psychological Association shows that “Americans have been profoundly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the external factors Americans have listed in previous years as significant sources of stress remain present and problematic.”
Thus the APA has announced an alarm situation: “We are facing a national mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come.”
According to the report, the pandemic has disrupted work, education, health care, the economy, our relationships, and some groups were impacted more than others.
The APA stated that the country’s youngest individuals, Generation Z, are the most susceptible to the potential long-term damage caused by the persistent stress and trauma. “Our 2020 survey shows that Gen Z teens (ages 13-17) and Gen Z adults (ages 18-23) are facing unprecedented uncertainty, are experiencing elevated stress, and are already reporting symptoms of depression.”