What was COVID-19? Should we be concerned? Early-on, no one seemed to know for sure.

P…Puzzled. That’s where it started. What was COVID-19? Should we be concerned? Early-on, no one seemed to know for sure.

A…Anxiety. We were in a deadly struggle with the virus and still with very little information on what was happening and what might happen. Fear of the unknown is the worst.

N…News. The news media shared the horrific stories and all the stunning numbers of infections and deaths. They also shared ways to be safer and provided the guidance we needed from public officials. They did their job and we became more informed on what we were facing.

D…Dread. As all the bad news expanded, from the health front, to the economy and loss of jobs, to stay at home orders and quarantines, we began to worry that we might never exit this plague. That this might last forever.

E…Endure. We began to accept the situation we were in and began to find more and more ways to cope. We started to hear about vaccines being developed on a record pace and that we needed to follow the safeguards we had until they were approved.

M…Masks. They were always a part of our safeguards. First, they were in short supply. Then, they began to be a fashion statement. Strangely, they also became a political issue, representing for some a form of government control of our lives. Regardless, they slowed the spread and are a true symbol of this life-altering event.

I…Immunity. The vaccines work, all three of them. They provide immunity and are the ultimate safeguard. Maybe we’ll need something more down the line, but the vaccines created the pathway to return to the new-normal that all of us face.

C…Closure. COVID-19 is not licked worldwide yet and may never be completely. Those of us in countries where vaccinations are in the majority now can begin to re-open our lives and have a form of closure. Our closure, however, comes with a condition. Until all parts of the world are safe from COVID-19, there is no total victory, no total closure.

That part of our journey remains.