Sunday, January 16News That Matters

We’ve Lost Two Years to Covid. It’s Time to Grieve. | NYT Opinion

That’s right: We’re all two years older than when we first shut ourselves inside for lockdown. If we assumed the Covid pandemic would be brief, we were wrong. So if you feel like a withered old sloth these days wallowing around and yearning for your old life, that’s understandable. But there’s no use. It’s gone.

The stunning number of lives lost to Covid is its own appalling tragedy. But the video above is about a different kind of grief many of us are experiencing right now: the kind that comes with the gnawing realization that we really need to grieve the parts of our lives that have disappeared, even as they continue to slip away. As another year ends and Covid surges again, it’s clear nothing will change soon.

Forget resilience. Forget silver linings. Right now, it’s time to decide: How do we mourn everything we’ve lost? Once we do that, hopefully at some point, we can attempt something even harder: moving on.

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25 Comments

  • Emily Holzknecht

    Hi I’m Emily, a member of the Opinion Video team and one of the producers of this video. I’d love to know your thoughts on our video, and if you have any questions about how we made it leave them below and I’ll try to answer some!

  • Keep It Simple Sailor

    I just try to strap in and roll with it all. Covid is just another big life event and most probably there are bigger life events on the way. Strap in !

  • Kristell

    Covid was okay for me. I found out I was pregnant 3 days after lockdown and immediately was having severe nausea and vomiting. I was working from home and not really working because for 2 months we had a zoom meeting once every 2 weeks and we made a couple of phone calls a week and that was all I had to do. Later on, I went to the office once or twice a week and stayed there for 4 hours, and that was all. Now, fast forward to the end of 2021, and my daughter is 14 months old. I work from home going to the office 2 days a week. I got a raise, and most importantly, my partner and I get to see our daughter grow up, and we've been saving money. The downside is that since there aren't any covid vaccines for babies, we don't go to overcrowded places or go places indoors.

  • Peace Onearth

    Tomorrow I loose my job the only income I've had while sitting in a room in a 3rd world country on my own. Because my country won't let me back in unless you have 1000's of $. Had a major operation in a country I can't speak the language. I've missed both my 2 childrens weddings the birth of my only 2 grandchildren. So yes I grieve daily. Being a woman on your own is worse.

  • Leo Swath

    Let’s hold politicians accountable as they knew that Omicron is the weakest strain and yet they used it as fuel for Fear and implement extreme measures…

  • David Brailsford

    Jesus!!! Just grow up and move on. My old life is still here. Your is too. Change is the only constant in life. DEAL WITH IT.

  • Maple Man

    Although lockdown was hard since we were trapped inside our homes and all that. But I gotta say it was a gift for me. School was online which was amazing I got so much more work done and it was just so relaxing

  • CUMBICA1970

    Well most of the world are too poor, too busy to just to survive on a daily basis we don't have time to grieve. Best thing that happened this year is that it ended but I didn't that's it. Life doesn't have to be meaningful in whatever sense you put. Just live and let live. Cheers to everyone.

  • Tim Chuma

    There is not "just have to" anymore. I already had several years before this where I had to give up my old life and give away most of what I owned when I moved.

  • Anna

    I’ve had a horrible time . My sister bullies me emotionally. She abuses me . I live with her I can’t afford to move out . I had a breakdown during just when the pandemic hit l couldn’t go back to work I was to terrified. Still am . I feel lost I have so much anxiety I feel so alone I have hardly any friends . I battle 2 pandemics 1 with this virus and the other is the emotionally abuse my sister and her boyfriend treat me. I cry alone in my room sometimes crying from her behaviour… I could tell you stores there would make your head spin . I’m desperate to move out can anyone help me please . I’m so worn out

  • Chahn20

    COVID, while it has negatives, has allowed me (and others) to truly find ourselves, it's time we celebrate those Gains, than lay in the pity of loss.
    We've laid in that loss for too long, we need to be positive.

  • Alexandra Wolf

    For a lot of people in their early 20’s or 30’s, (especially women in their 30’s), it’s kind of scary to think about things that normally we wouldn’t worry about. In the last two years we have lost we have the years where our fertility rates start to decrease and change drastically. Are we currently dating the person we intent on making a life with or is it temporary, are we losing the time we would spend meeting someone else, starting a new career path or in a new field, making a family, making a home, moving, etc. As someone who started infusions to handle a health issue after the Johnson and Johnson vaccine I had to wait 8 months to see if I could get my second covid vaccine, one that is technically a first after getting J&J so long ago without a booster. Sure some things can be done by some during covid, but for people with compromised immune systems, people in transition, people whose plans were just starting when the pandemic did it is definitely an odd situation to navigate and you do wonder when you should move on and forge a new path or if waiting for our country to adjust is better. Timing can be everything and it’s certainly tricky right now.

  • Polluting Penguin

    We have lost billions of years worth of healthy lives to safe a few million years of lives of really old people. This has been such an absolute waste of healthy lives and resources. All because of mass hysteria and fear mongering. Imagine what we could have done with the resources we have wasted on all this. Complete insanity.

  • L Bridges

    I think this video would have been more useful maybe fall 2020 to winter 2021. I am a little curious as to how my life would be different had the pandemic not happened, but this is my life now. I accept what happened because I don’t want these circumstances to have a hold on my mental health/wellbeing any longer.

    I think that a little optimism goes a long way and I know that this pandemic WILL end some day. It will either die off completely or become endemic. Knowing that day will come is enough for me. I think we should all adjust to this “new normal” and stop fighting back. This is collectively our lives now- we are living through a pandemic. I’m just thankful we have the internet and we can talk through our feelings and express ourselves. Previous pandemics, people did not have that.

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