Everything We Learned During a Year of Quarantine

At the same time, though, amid everything that was decisively bad (in whatever 2020-is-trash-and-wow-so-is-2021 way comes to mind), there were game-changing, uplifting moments: People all over the world opening their windows to cheer for frontline workers. Musicians toting their instruments outside for neighborhood concerts. Dancers, singers, actors, comedians, fitness instructors, et al. taking their talents to Zoom (which has become the Kleenex of video chat—there are other brands, but we call it all Zoom). Countless acts of kindness, because without them, we’d be nowhere.

We already sort of knew it but now we really know that heroes don’t wear capes. They wear scrubs and masks, and they take care of patients in hospitals and nursing homes. They keep us safe and put out fires. They stock and ring up our groceries, make and deliver our food. They teach, coach and otherwise keep our kids busy and protected. They do everything we generally take for granted that actually makes the world go round.

Meanwhile, all that time, the time that wasn’t spent congregating…it was spent doing a lot of other things. Working, cooking, reading, watching, exercising, online shopping, going through the motions, meditating, zoning out, giving a damn, not giving a damn, being brave, being scared, waiting, wondering, weeping, laughing, losing it, keeping it together.

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