It’s just over 3 years since the impact of Covid-19 entered my world. I’ve been reflecting this week and one idea has me horrified beyond the direct impact of Covid-19 itself.

Three years. If you told me it was four I’d believe you. That feels more right. Tell me it’s five and I’d question you but only because I was convinced it was four years. Covid has screwed up my sense of time. The time before Covid seems a long way away and the time during Covid up until now is also elongated.

What scares me the most is how little I can remember, or are connected to those memories. We are often amazed at how past history doesn’t seem to teach us the obvious examples. Now I understand how. It’s hard to put into words as the nature of the issue is right at the edge of my comprehension. In some respects it is like Covid-19 didn’t exist. No conspiracy theories here. It obviously did, and still does, exist. Yet my emotional attachment is very distanced. I’m sure there are full and proper psychological terms for all this.

The initial horror has been tempered significantly by survival. My family were blessed. We never lost anyone to Covid, nobody got seriously sick, we had free and easy access to vaccines. Hey, my wife hasn’t even caught Covid yet (that we know of). We all kept our jobs and most of what we needed to live we had access to.

I live in a regional city outside one of the most locked down cities in the world (Melbourne, Australia with 262 days) and while their lockdown was severe, being regional we did have more comparative freedom of movement. However, the total number of lockdown days was up there. Again, the experience is so far removed now, even a year later, it seems nebulous.

Sure, there are moments that are very clear. We’ll all have them. Those are the moments that defined our journey. The ones we’ve spoken about the most to others and so strengthened the neural pathways.

  • Helping everyone at work get ready to work from home.
  • The first national news conference that halted weddings, funerals etc.
  • My daughter’s experience of being told her driving license test was being cancelled just 10 minutes before it was due to start.
  • Relief at getting the first vaccine.
  • Watching aghast at the toilet paper wars and shortages.
  • Later, being at the supermarket to legitimately buy toilet paper, only to get a message while I was there that we were going into a snap lockdown within 1.5 hours, so walking out of the supermarket with the toilet paper feeling guilty.
  • Hundreds of conversations about people’s inability to wear a mask properly (or at all)

Those things I can remember. The rest is like a dream. I have little confidence today that if Coronavirus or something else flared up we would even care.