March Resolutions After a Year With COVID-19/by Kyle Hamrick

One year ago this month, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. With vaccines rolling out at varying speeds across the country, and a reasonable hope that this pandemic is on its way out of our lives, I propose some resolutions for the “new year” ahead. 

Most people make plans for improvement when the clock chimes midnight on January 1, but I propose we do the same for the month of March. When I consider all that I experienced, all that my friends experienced, and what people across the world experienced because of the virus, I conclude that March should be a season of reflection, as winter turns to spring.

My generation and others adapted to the challenges COVID-19 posed, and this anniversary should not solely be one of loss. More than half a million people lost their lives from this virus; others lost friends, family, college or job experiences, and much more. Who would’ve thought 2020 would turn out the way it did? No one knows what tomorrow will bring; no one knew what March 2020 would bring.

A year later, we should remember, reflect, and resolve to live life to the fullest. I believe that the end of this pandemic is in sight, if we all remain vigilant and do our part. In anticipation of that great day when all this is behind us, here are some resolutions for your consideration.

Enjoy every moment with richness and extravagance, for you never know when the next life-changing event may happen. 

If you read a lot during quarantine, keep that up. If you watched Netflix a lot during quarantine, it’s time to move on to books.

Keep a mask on your person, even if we don’t need them, as a courtesy to your fellow humans.

Buy good toilet paper and lots of it, for you never know when such a common necessity could become a luxury item, like Dutch tulip bulbs or an air fryer.

Go out and buy some good pairs of pants, for when your next meeting is moved back into an office. 

Reevaluate your “poker face,” for the next time you react you might not have a mask behind which to hide. 

Use your vacation time and travel everywhere, for you never know when you might not be able to travel farther than your mailbox.

Work a side gig if you want, but don’t let the grind turn you to powder. 

Spend quality time with your family and friends, for you never know when you might see them again

Shop from local brands, for they add value and make communities unique

Be grateful always, and never shrink from a challenge, for you never know the impact you could have on someone else

COVID-19 took a lot from us, but it left us valuable lessons. How and with whom we spend our time is important, and we should take every opportunity to grow ourselves and our neighbors. I hope that this virus, if it cannot be eradicated completely, will soon find a home on the list of vaccinations everyone gets as a matter of course. 

On March 16, Mississippi opened COVID-19 vaccinations to everyone age 16 and older regardless of employment, pre-existing conditions, or citizenship. The Mississippi State Department of Health has an interactive map of vaccination sites across the state available at https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,420,976.html#providerMap .

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