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Four years later

by Jonathan van Bilsen

I looked at the calendar, last Monday, and realized it has been exactly four years since the world shut down for the Corona Virus pandemic. Of course, the first question which comes to mind for everyone is, where has the time gone?

Thinking back, I recall a trip to Korea I had to postpone, a lunch date, on that fateful March 16th, was cancelled, along with a dinner reservation which was also a no-go.

Watching the news with intense interest, I, along with everyone else, expected this to be something which would last two or three weeks. Well, it did not.

I remember panic setting in when we could not find masks, gloves or toilet paper. Shopping for groceries at 7 a.m. and getting takeout food from a distant, sidewalk location became the new norms.

New words, like Zoom and on-line shopping, became part of our everyday vocabulary, as did cures for the dreaded virus. I remember opinions like drinking warm water, rinses the COVID-19 virus from your throat and vitamins and minerals will prevent the infection. Some thought hot baths would stop the spread, and others began flushing their sinuses with saline solution.

Then of course, there was the rush for a vaccine and a major division in the court of popular opinion, about the potential effectiveness and the ethics of using it. Facebook became a virtual depository of conflicting perspectives, and the world would never be the same.

Here we are, four years later, and has the world ever changed. We no longer wear masks, except in some situations, and latex gloves are a thing of the past. Credit cards have become the norm for payment and prices have certainly increased.

We are once again able to travel, albeit with different rules, but most important to me personally is, my house has never been this clean.

Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube.

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