a group of individuals removing their masks to reveal hopeful SMILES

Life, COVID-19, and a New Year

As of this writing, we are at the end of 2021. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and our lives were turned upside down with fear, wondering who will contract it - not wanting anyone to cough, breathe too hard, or really be next to you. Missing hugs, kisses, and family gatherings - these are ways for people to connect to each other.

Many fell into depression and thought "Will it ever end?" It scared so many people living with HIV.

Frightened by the COVID-19 pandemic

I know I was frightened in the beginning when hearing about people dying. I didn’t even want my family in my bedroom because I felt that they were not taking precautions to protect themselves. I would walk around wiping all the handles in the house with Clorox wipes and spraying the house with Lysol. I would take drives to get out of the house but found myself crying as I drove.

I have lost 12 family and friends with a couple passing away from other health conditions. It took a toll on my mental; I isolated myself and I felt like I was losing it. I told myself that if I have lived over 2 decades with HIV, then I was going to do what I can to stay safe from COVID-19.

Then I realized that I was letting this new pandemic take over my life, my happiness, and feeling free. Although I know we all know that COVID-19 has taken many lives, I also know that the media can put a fright in the minds of so many people. So I stopped reading about it and didn’t even attempt to glimpse at the TV just so I could focus on other things. Living is what I went back to, and I wore my mask and stayed 6 feet or more away from others.

A new year, a new beginning

2022 is here and it’s a new year, a new beginning to change some things. Look at your future and what you want to accomplish before the year ends. Write down what you want on paper and complete those tasks. What do you want to change and how can you be better than the day before?

Make a change for the better

I will be 52 years old on January 4th and I am grateful for life, family, friends, and my sisters and brothers in advocacy who have changed my life for the better. No one should feel alone when there is a community of people out there who love them. Make a change! Reach out to people who need support; uplift them and let them know it will be okay. Make a difference in the life of someone for 2022 because dealing with a diagnosis can be very hard and scary.

As we are in the new year, let us hope that COVID-19 will gradually disappear, so we all can feel safe around people without worry. So, I will end by saying thank you for being in my life and allowing me to share my thoughts.

Love, live and be happy, everyone.

Happy New Year to you all!

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