Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life.
Mine is coming up fast. Right after the big day, my partner and I had planned to go on a non-fancy honeymoon to The Great Barrier Reef. We assumed that we would be vaccinated by then and out of lockdown. We compromised already by ensuring the location for our honeymoon is in Australia where we live. It seemed likely we could make it happen, despite the pandemic.
What we didn’t expect was “Delta.”
Australia has had a minimal supply of vaccines, so the variant in the virus has spread rapidly and caused havoc. In year two of the pandemic we are in the 6th phase of lockdowns. The borders between states of Australia have shut again.
We found out yesterday that our wedding at the government registration office could be in jeopardy too. There’s simply no certainty anymore. I feel like you can’t make plans and expect them to stick.
What do you do when your plans continuously get ruined by a pandemic?
Adopt this mindset
A few close friends and family have succumbed to the wrath of the pandemic. They’ve given up. They’ve turned on the government. Some have even made the stupid decision not to get vaccinated. They say “well, what’s the point? The variant is going to require ongoing vaccinations anyway. May as well wait until the updated version of the vaccine.”
Giving up doesn’t solve the pandemic. Being selfish definitely doesn’t solve the pandemic.
In fact, you could argue that selfishness is what brought us to this point in the first place. All those knobs who refused to wear a mask when the science was clear. I still don’t get why the N95 mask isn’t held up like the holy grail. It’s so much better than a normal mask and isn’t hard to source. Heck, I’ve got boxes of them at home if anybody needs one.
But here we are. There’s no changing 2020.
All we can do is learn from the destruction. Future pandemics should be bliss, I hope. With a bit of luck my future children will have a father who is trained in pandemics and ready to fight the invisible enemy with N95 masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing, stay-at-home orders ( for early on), and thick books on the science of pandemics and how to overcome them.
Sometimes I feel like the pandemic has been an intelligence test.
And, unfortunately, masses of people around the world have failed. They think we can simply wish all of this to pass and go back to chugging beer, yelling in traffic from oversized SUVs, and showing up to some open plan office nightmare. The pandemic inserted multiple back-to-back gap years into our lives. My honeymoon is over. It may not happen for years.
The mindset I use to fight the war in my head is this: People have it worse than us. The problems of others make your own disasters smaller.
Daily uncertainty is a habit to be learned
Certainty isn’t returning to a town near you anytime soon.
The pandemic forced us into lives filled with uncertainty. There are many paths from here. Maybe things slow down with the vaccine. Maybe more variants of the virus emerge. The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 actually got deadlier as it progressed — when people complain about the current pandemic, I like to remind them of this fact.
It’s bad … but it could be way worse. Expecting things to go back to normal is a reflection of our need for certainty. Certainty feels safe and so we expect it. There’s no certainty for the rest of the year though.
What’s helped me is to make uncertainty a habit. I’ve had to train my brain to adapt to the varied scenarios on a daily basis. For example, I’ve been in and out of lockdowns for the past few months. In between each lockdown has been a few weeks of freedom.
During those weeks my partner and I have filled them up with activities. We make the most of freedom, safely, while it lasts. This has given us a whole new perspective on what freedom really is. Previously, we took a nice meal in a restaurant or a hike to the mountains for granted. It’s almost like we expected these things. That’s the ugliness of privilege that can quietly slip into your life without you realizing it.
Tomorrow is unknown. How can you make the best of today?
Choose to be happy with whatever happens
Our honeymoon is destroyed. Our wedding day is up in the air. What’s odd is that getting married doesn’t change anything, according to my friends who are already hitched.
We already live together. We’ve endured the pandemic together without murdering each other. We’ve worked side by side from home and have not lost any major customers. We’ve supported each other through some of the most difficult times in history. Some would say we’ve already practiced the art of marriage successfully. Does a marriage certificate change any of that? Nope.
Once we do finally get married, a honeymoon in The Great Barrier Reef is unlikely. So we’re going to celebrate anyway. We’re going to do a local honeymoon about an hour from where we live. The location of a honeymoon doesn’t make us happy.
Being banished from interstate or overseas travel doesn’t place a limiter on life. No. Having our honeymoon canceled left me with one big idea.
It’s the people we’ve endured the pandemic with that count.