It’s been a year since we’ve been living with COVID-19, and to say life has changed feels like an understatement. We have been collecting reflections on living through a pandemic and turned to our Patient and Family Advisors for what they’ve learned and what they’re looking forward to as we start to consider a life post-pandemic.
Ann Messier, advises our patient and family advisory work on many projects and has a background in health care.
What is something you learned about yourself during COVID-19?
Life has certainly changed and it will be difficult finding a new normal. I do feel confident that we will all establish a way to live safely and still enjoy most of what we were able to do in the past.
I learned that I can be compliant with all of the regulations and still interact with the people I love. As you know, my children and grandchildren all live on the west coast, so we have been doing many zoom/face time calls to stay connected. One of my grandsons is quite ill, so I keep myself connected by attending zoom webinars to learn about his illness. I even attended a recent grand rounds on this topic on zoom at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
My brothers live locally and I was able to safely go for outdoor walks with them, masked and socially distanced. My chorus had to shut down, and I have been the leader in getting us to sing virtually for Friday night services in our temple. I have been mentoring a few newly diagnosed celiac patients here in RI via zoom. Basically, I have moved myself out of my comfort zone so I can continue to participate in activities that have been important to me in the past.
Are you getting vaccinated?
I have been fully vaccinated for more than 4 weeks now.
How did you feel about it?
I feel strongly that it is important that as many people as possible are vaccinated so that the country/world can adjust to the new normal and move on. I felt overjoyed when I received my first shot, and unbelievably thrilled when the 2nd shot was done. At the end of the 2 subsequent weeks I celebrated by visiting each of my brothers so I could hug them (they were also at least 2 weeks past their 2nd shots).
What is something you’re looking forward to?
What I am most looking forward to is seeing my children and grandchildren again. My oldest grandchild is leaving for college in late August and I would love to be able to hug him before he heads off to the next chapter in his life. My younger grandchildren live in Seattle and I am just waiting until a vaccine is approved for them – I will be on the next plane when it is appropriate to do so.
Want to hear more perspectives? Read the whole series.