The basketball launched from my fingertips, flying through the air, with the arc of a rainbow, making a *swishhh* and ending with a loud thump as it hit the ground with recoil. Since April 2020, school was put on hold, households around the world filled with panic, and hospitals were beginning to get busier than the drive-thru line at In-N-Out. Many of us wondered if life would ever return to “normal”. When would this end? Can we ever go back to normal?
I am a huge basketball fan. I love to play and watch the sport. Basketball is one of my escapes from the outside world. As you can guess, I was disheartened when covid restrictions began to take effect on parks and gyms. I knew I would not be able to engage in my favorite hobby for a long time. I tediously waited for the day I would receive news that parks and gyms would finally open. That day eventually came. It was the beginning of April 2021 when I woke up to a text message from one of my friends. He informed me of the news that I was looking forward to hearing all throughout quarantine: parks were fully open in Las Vegas. I felt as if I had won the jackpot. I headed to the park that day, just when the sun began to set. I was overwhelmed with joy; everything seemed “normal”. No masks, kids chasing each other playing tag, adults walking their dogs, families having picnics on the grass, people playing basketball. Never had I missed normal so much in my life. Was this the normal that we were all waiting for?
Yes, it was. Besides the reopening of parks, more businesses and malls were finally opening their doors to the public. More cars were starting to appear on the streets. Everything was returning to how it was before covid. Surprisingly, this return to normal didn’t feel so sudden. “It‘ll be so gradual, we probably won’t even notice it,” said Howard Markel, a historian of medicine at the University of Michigan. On the return to normal, Markel gave the perfect response.
After my experience seeing how life was smoothly transitioning back to normal, I felt rejoiced with hope and motivation. My experience is a testament to how hope can truly be the light at the end of the tunnel. As we continue to round this corner, stay strong. We have all gotten this far. An end to the pandemic is nearing, so let us continue to move forward with perseverance and strength. You got this.