By JOSH RESNEK
After a year that has changed our lives and finds our society in a revolutionary moment, May is upon us and things are looking up brightly.
Facemasks no longer must be worn in Everett outside as part of the state dropping that restriction, which is in keeping with the CDC directive.
It is not known exactly how many Everett people died as a result of the virus, but that number is probably at least several hundred.
Will there be a memorial for the dead to remind us of what came before?
Seems a bit unlikely.
There remain many people who think the pandemic was a joke or a fake.
For those who suffered a loss, such a thought is not an option.
Facemasks must still be worn inside, although if in a restaurant, they can be removed once you’re at a table.
It seems a bit crazy now, the on and off masks, following the worst of the pandemic and its imposition on our lives.
The local economy and the national economy are awakening.
The virus continues to make thousands sick every day but as the CDC has suggested, the COVID-19 is going to become a part of life, something we need to deal with all the time.
What is the change?
It will not destroy us or our healthcare system because of the vaccinations and because of our willingness to sacrifice and to be more careful about how our society conducts itself.
We have learned how to control the virus.
Doctors and nurses have learned how to treat it.
It will not be eradicated, the experts say.
It will simply remain among the population and continue to affect – but not much of an effect.
We are now easing back to more crowded situations but slowly and with a certain degree of hesitancy and uncertainty.
In India, the virus is out of control. Tens of thousands are dying almost every day, with thousands of bodies being burned every day all around that nation. It is the same in Brazil.
The virus was out of control here last summer and into the fall.
We are over that now.
Deaths are down. New infections are falling. The state is closing major vaccination centers and opening smaller ones to reach smaller communities and groups of people.
Doctors and nurses on the front lines are no longer dying or succumbing to the virus. There is a sense of normalcy returning.
It will be a long time before many of us eat inside a restaurant again or goes to Fenway Park or the Fleet Center.
For millions of people who were confined to our homes for the past year, nearly everything about how we conduct our lives has changed.
Many of us have saved all kinds of money not going out, not wasting our hard-earned dollars.
For millions of Americans, there is no desire to go back to the waste and the hustle.
Large business skyscrapers remain empty for the most part.
Employees who once worked inside those skyscrapers will not be piling into crowded elevators to work in huge offices with thou- sands of colleagues.
Our business lives have changed dramatically.
Many of us work from home Zoom beats everything else. Staying home with the kids is a luxury that many people who used to work inside those buildings have come to enjoy.
There is no real demand or great effort to crowd into those buildings.
This, of course, has ruined many a downtown across the nation.
Tens of thousands of restaurants and smaller retail stores and many larger ones have gone out of business, never to return.
Outside dining during the warm months seems like a much better, safer idea.
The government’s major stimulus bills have helped to smooth out the rough edge of the financial disaster that took place.
Slowly but surely, the economy is coming back. But it will never return to the old normal.
The return to something new will be slow. This is happening.
The memory of the lives lost, and the economic suffering will remain for a long, long, time.
Only with the passing of time will we come to understand just how much the pandemic changed our lives.