Staying Strong: A New Normal

By Mac Pomeroy

I have tried quite a few times to figure out how to start this article, but none felt genuine. Instead, I will take a quick pause from my usual storytelling intros to be human. I hope you all are doing well. I hope you and your friends and family are healthy and safe. I’m so glad to be back to doing what I love to do, which is writing these articles, to hopefully help, inspire or motivate some of you.

With everything going on with Covid-19, my life has been very different. Of course, I am fortunate enough that everyone in my family has stayed safe, and that I have not been separated from them during this time. However, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been difficult.

I’m not sure if I have discussed this in any prior articles, as it is a very difficult subject for me to even think about, but my father has a bad heart. Not as in he is not a great person, but as in his actual heart is weak. In my lifetime, he has had two open-heart surgeries. He is at-risk, which stresses me greatly. He is one of my best friends, so I have been extremely cautious about staying at home.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I did not leave my house for the first two months, save for going to my sister’s apartment to steal some Wi-Fi. After that, I attempted to adjust to the changes that lockdown and safety orders brought forth. While I still strictly follow the stay-at-home order, I did figure out some safe ways to get out a bit; I went to the drive-in theatre and the park.

At home, I did my best to remain occupied. Admittedly, I took part in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons craze. I worked more and more on my writing and artwork. I also spent a lot of time with my cats. While Charlie is not thrilled about so many people being home, Nancy loves all the attention and has not left me alone for a second. She is currently sleeping on my bed as I type beside her. 

Basically, that was all a way to say, despite the pressure, I have found a new normal in my life. It is strange to think about, considering everything seems so unsure. But it is for the best. This semester, all of my classes will be online, and I intend to remain home to stay safe.

You, too, will find some sense of normality. You will find yourself feeling less confused and more settled. Of course, it is completely normal and valid to feel afraid right now. Regardless of what I am saying, it is okay to feel uneasy during such a trying time. Some of you may have been living a much different life than I have been during this time.

Perhaps you are an essential worker and have not been able to follow the stay-at-home order. Perhaps you have had to help take care of a family member who is at-risk. Maybe you or a family member or close friend was infected with the virus, and your focus has been aimed towards recovery. It’s okay to feel worried about what is going on right now.

I cannot say the perfect thing. This is a very difficult time, and everyone’s experiences, while in the same situation, are also quite different. What I can say is that we will get through this together. We all need to play our part to stay safe, but we can get through this. It may take a while, and tragedy may strike time and time again, but we are strong and capable. We can and will persist. 

Stay strong, Penguins, and have a great semester.