Whilst many of us feared that COVID-19 would never go away, the discovery of two vaccines in the UK has brought a new-found ounce of hope to the global pandemic. On hearing this news, many now can see the light at the end of the tunnel. They anticipate their loved ones receiving a vaccine, so they can finally hug without worry and without the potentially fatal risks. Going into 2021, we can finally begin to look forward to finding a new ‘normality’, as, for many, the pandemic has shifted what ‘normal’ means. It has changed people’s perspective of what is important, putting more emphasis on the extreme gratitude we should show to the NHS and key workers, who have saved and continue to save many lives.
The emergence of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines has come as a relief to many, after a year full of loss, hardship, and uncertainty. The COVID-19 death rate continues to rise and attached to each of these fatalities is a family, memories, and emotions. We hope that these vaccines will give the country the chance to heal and restore freedom, particularly to many elderly people who have been isolating for close to a year now.
Many volunteers and even medical students are being trained to administer these vaccines in order to speed up the process and ensure those in vulnerable positions are catered for. My grandfather has just received the Pfizer vaccine, and my family and I cannot wait to see him and my Nana this year. We have only been able to see them once in 2020. If you said that to me two years ago, I would have thought it impossible. These vaccines, although not magical potions that will eradicate the entire phenomena of COVID-19, have imbued in us a happiness and relief for those that we love.
Mental health and wellbeing issues still remain, and I hope that they receive the attention they deserve as 2021 progresses. With COVID-19 causing an increase in depression, anxiety, and suicide cases, we need to be more empathetic and supportive to those who are struggling.
We can only remember what the pre-COVID-19 world looked like, and I believe it will never fully return to what we considered a ‘normal’ way of life. Having spent every lockdown with my family, I have recognised how lucky I am; living in a house with a garden and surrounded by the people that I love.
Spending time with those who you love and reforming a sense of community that was potentially lost has been a key outcome of 2020. We have reinstalled the importance of human connection and given less focus to consumerism and material goods. I hope that these lessons do not fade as we all get back on our feet. Hopefully, when we make it to December 2021, the world will look a bit more like how we remembered it.
– Bella Judd
Feature Image Source: Pexels