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The Bar Bulletin
Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jan. 6, 202205:00 AM EST

Commentary: Scanning the horizon for post-pandemic life

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We will find a way to look back on the past two years with learning lenses.

By Iana Benjamin • Bar Bulletin Editor-in-Chief

Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote to you about there being no end in sight as we adjusted to living with COVID-19. Back then, we were newly adjusted to the coronavirus, more than nine months into the pandemic.

We endured lockdowns and isolation, quarantining and social distancing. We got used to videoconferences for work and school. We got used to the prohibition of travel, domestic and international.   

Now a year later, and more than 20 months into the pandemic, we have vaccines - the great hope toward life as we knew it before COVID-19 took its grip.

I hope that in January 2023, I am not writing to you about us still living with the pandemic. I am scanning the horizon for our post-COVID-19 life.  

To date, more than 40% of the world’s population is fully vaccinated. It appears we are still severely under the number to achieve herd immunity. Health experts have said that even with high vaccination numbers, we still may be unable to eradicate this virus altogether.

We have vaccine passports to facilitate travel and dining out and the occasional in-person shopping run. We have had our fair share of rapid tests.  

Our vocabulary has changed. The word of the year of the year in 2020 was “lockdown” according to Collins English Dictionary. Merriam-Webster reported that the word of year was “pandemic.”

I wrote this line to you in 2020: “We have been permanently changed by this pandemic.” It is amazing that the same held true for the year 2021 and now 2022 as well. Frankly, this possibly holds true in the years to come. 
The past year seems to have been more tiring than 2020 because for the entire year, the cloud of COVID-19 has been over us. 

Seventy percent of respondents in a survey by consulting firm Korn Ferry in September 2021 said they were anxious or stressed about work and 81% said they were more burnt out than at the start of the pandemic.  

Our post-COVID-19 life will be fashioned in whatever ways we deem fit. The new year will be the time to recapture all the losses in the years prior and continue to combat this virus using all the tools that our health care experts provide.

Through it all, we are adaptable. Though we are weary of COVID-19 and pandemic living, we will find ways to muster through and look back on the past two years with learning lenses.  

 

Iana Benjamin is a litigation attorney with Cordell Law LLP.  

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