A Year in Lockdown—Where Do We Go From Here?


Here we are now—a full year after COVID hit the United States and put an entire country in limbo. From toilet paper nearly becoming currency to vaccines becoming readily available, we have now seen the impact of this pandemic from this trip around the sun. I think this may be a good time to really reflect on what life was, what it is now, and what the hell we should do now. Was this a learning experience? Was this a battle for survival? Or was this just plain unending boredom? If you’re reading this now, you’re a survivor. And I really don’t think that should be taken lightly. Obviously, we are by no means out of the woods with this thing, but how should we cope with a possible light flickering at the end of this tunnel? It looks like some have begun the celebration or bought tickets to some live entertainment while others continue to [double] mask up and brace themselves for the trenches of a grocery store. I think the varying degrees of trauma we each experienced could result in different mindsets as we move forward, however, I really hope we as a society and a nation can be on the same page about at least one thing…

There is a common phrase that I’ve overheard that I found alarming. The notion that this past year’s lockdown will “come to an end and we can go back to how things were” seemed to be something that gave us hope before, but now it seems like a negative philosophy. I really do not think “going back to the way things were” should be the language that is used as we move forward into lighter health and safety restrictions publically. To me, anything that is said along those lines just seems to sweep everything that happened under the rug and I think there is a lot we can learn from the past year to inspire a more progressive outlook on the future’s present. This was a real awakening to see how a capitalist attitude impacted the survival of our society. Things like which goods/services we absolutely need to survive or what our basic hygiene should entail had to be constantly poked and prodded in the media and ultimately decided amongst ourselves. We really saw the strengths in community efforts and the massive oversights from ill-advised governing agents as this year unfolded. So, how should we move forward?

I’m not going to pretend to know all the answers, but I do want to voice how I hope our society can improve from this. One thing that is [hopefully] obvious to everyone is the power in wearing a mask when you are sick and also not coming to work if you are in an unhealthy state. I hope the economic politics are put in place to support this make it possible for workers to afford days off. I also hope to keep the focus on who and what makes our economy work. Aside from the medical field, frontline workers in stores, food industries, transportation, and especially delivery services really made our lockdown bearable. Politics aside, these industries should get some more respect as we progress further, and hopefully, that will result in some increased [minimum] wages in addition to more reasonable healthcare options for the workforce.

Now, what about live entertainment? This is pretty much what we are all wondering…particularly those of us in touring acts. When is it going to be cool to play a show? It looks like we are going to have to give it up to the bigger dogs to figure out how to make it work. Again, I don’t think defaulting to the ways of the past is how we get in the swing of shows, but it seems to be widely recognized to operate at a limited capacity. As a concertgoer, I am pretty nervous about heading into any crowds right now. It’s also pretty hard to imagine when it will feel safe or comfortable. As full-time touring acts seem to be kicking off, it is most likely going to be a wait & see on how to apply what works for bigger shows into local communities. I think a saving grace heading into spring and summer would be if outdoor gigs become a norm. I would hope that we can get our local governing authorities to lighten up on outdoor gatherings restrictions, like permits becoming easier to obtain, venues being able to set up stages in parking lots or sidewalks, less enforcement on noise violations, and hopefully, more articles/write-ups like this will spread (no pun…) this movement.

When I’m out and about or looking around, I tend to think there is not much we can do to move forward; but when I really stop and think about the future, I have a little more optimism in making progress as a society. What really sucks is that no matter what we do individually, we can’t force people to care, nor can we force them to do the right thing. Leading by example and hoping people come around seems to be the plan as of now.

How will you look back on this past year? Was it a long bad dream that just needs to get shaken off and forgotten about? Do we celebrate like we survived Armageddon? Do we just keep the adoptions that we’ve put in place to stay safe? I think the road ahead looks promising, but I am convinced that there’s no progress in going backward.





    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.