Our Collective Losses During the COVID-19 Pandemic by Rayna Lo

Our Collective Losses During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Wait. I’m taking this moment in. I received my second vaccine dose for Covid-19! Feels surreal to finally be at this point after so much loss. And just to understand the magnitude of this milestone, I made a list of what our collective losses have been:

  • Loss of spontaneity
  • Loss of positive anticipation
  • Loss of boundaries
  • Loss of home being your refuge
  • Loss of space (living in a small space with your partner definitely introduced new challenges)
  • Loss of sanity
  • Loss of creativity
  • Loss of plans
  • Loss of trips
  • Loss of gigs
  • Loss of safety & trust in our leadership (during Trump)
  • Loss of social connection
  • Loss of actual people (also lost my mom during this time)
  • Loss of self
I’m sure there’s so much more but this is an overwhelming list already. And writing these out was so therapeutic. People have suggested making gratitude lists to stay positive. But I wanted to embrace the negatives and give them a space too. I felt like my anxiety, bad moods, grief, unproductivity, hard-to-identify feelings, were all validated when I made this list to visually see what we’re all going through. Our losses are big and they need to be acknowledged.

And knowing our losses makes the feeling of hope more meaningful, I believe. Getting the vaccine, to me, feels like a sign of hope. It feels like a chance at life. More possibilities. More experiences. More art. I have things to look forward to again. My drive to make art is slowing coming back. Also, I think that it is absolutely wild that just by living in the US, I was provided with choices as to which vaccine I wanted to take. What a rare luxury.
This obviously doesn’t take away from the fact that Covid-19 is still a threat. What’s ongoing in the world is real and dangerous. India is still in need of oxygen. Even Taiwan is experiencing an increase in cases. We’re experiencing more hostility and unpredictability all over. But as of now, some of us have choices and accessibility while the rest of the world is still waiting for that chance. Take a look at everything that we have lost so far. Let’s not take this shot for granted.

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