When the coronavirus hit the US in early 2020, no one could have anticipated the world in which we all now live. We have spent the past couple of months trying to adapt to a new way of life that includes physical separation, wearing masks at all times, and forgoing activities that were once a part of our daily lives. I never thought I’d admit this, but I actually miss the act of daily commuting – it brought structure and routine to my day, and it provided a sense of purpose to each day. I recognize that I’m lucky enough to be able to work at full capacity from home and not everyone has that luxury, but adapting to no longer commuting was harder than I thought it would be.

I also feel like I’ve missed out on so much of the city that I love. Because I’m spending so much time in my apartment, I’ve missed out on the social gatherings, the park visits, and even neighborhood bopping on the weekends with my friends. The sense of adventure that the city always provided me is now missing. Luckily, New York City has seen tremendous success after the physical distancing efforts and the sheltering in place that we all did – which has led to us being allowed to interact with others again – but, of course, with limitations. For me, I’m happy with that – I’ll take anything I can get.

So that brings me to the next thought. What do we do now? How do we move forward? What does our future look like?

I, of course, can’t answer all of these questions. There are so many variables, and we don’t even know what next month will look like, much less next week. This has left me feeling uneasy at times, as I’m wondering when I’ll be able to see my family again. When will I be able to return to the office? When will we see “normal” again?

This is a conversation topic that I see happening all over the place. In our news articles, in social conversations, and even in social gatherings – when we’re all sitting together, wearing our masks, we can’t NOT talk about it. What does our new normal look like?

Here’s what I can offer:

1. Find connections – in any way that you can

If we’ve learned anything since the start of this pandemic, it’s that we can’t sacrifice caution. I don’t mean to find connection by mingling with a bunch of strangers – but take advantage of the tools you already have to connect with others. For the first time of our lives, connectively, this pandemic is the one thing that we ALL have in common. This means that we’re all struggling with this in one way or another, some more than others. Check in with each other, ask how your friends are doing, and see if there’s anything you can do to help.

I celebrated my birthday during the pandemic, and I swear, this was the year that I felt the most loved – and I realized it’s because people knew that I was spending the day differently than anticipated. With our delivery tools and technology, showing someone you care is easier than ever. Who knew that my best birthday yet would be the one in which our world is upside down?

2. Be open-minded

Note that I said “open-minded” and not “optimistic.” I’m not saying there’s nothing to look forward to, but we simply just don’t know what our immediate future is going to look like. In March, when New York City was essentially shut down, I don’t think anyone anticipated that we’d still be feeling its effects into this late in the year. We have to wait and see. Be prepared for the worst, but celebrate the good. Is there a way to make lemonade from a lemon? We might see a day of low cases, but we might find the next day with a spike. We must continue to do what we’re doing with good spirit.

3. Be safe

I know that we’re all fatigued with our situation. I know there are some days I’m feeling mentally and emotionally defeated, wishing that this is all just a bad dream. But it’s our reality, so I encourage you to continue practicing your physical distancing, always use your mask, and don’t forget to send your virtual love to friends near and far. It’s as important as ever.

Category : Stay in New York