Every spring is like a new awakening. As the weather changes, we emerge from our hibernation into the warmth and sunlight after being confined for months in the dark and cold. Due to Covid, this last year has felt like a really, really long winter with the majority of us spending more time at home than ever before. But now as vaccines are becoming more widespread, Covid numbers are stabilizing and things are slowly opening back up, it feels like the world is collectively entering a new season.
As someone with a weakened immune system and asthma, I was far more conservative with my bubble than many others I know. When I get a flu shot, I am sick for a week. A cold that my family recovers from in a few days takes me weeks to clear and I often end up on steroids to help my breathing. It is scary. And because of that, I was very serious about the Covid protocols in place in our home. All of our interactions with people outside of our immediate family have been outside – even during the winter in freezing temperatures. I haven’t been in anyone’s house. No one has been in ours. I was furiously scrubbing our groceries for months. My workouts were either streamed to my makeshift basement gym or done outside. I haven’t stepped foot in an office since last March. I haven’t taken any chances.
While there is an abundance of hope about our future and a return to normalcy, there is still a good amount of fear and confusion as we prepare to leave the security of the bubble we’ve created for ourselves and our families. As the CDC and the state start to roll back guidelines and restrictions, it is hard to know what is “ok” and “not ok” to do now. For me, the thought of interacting with people without masks again causes the same anxiety I felt back when we started wearing masks in public. Should I hug family and friends? Is it safe for me to book a date night with my husband at a nice restaurant?
Since the beginning, Imagine Float has been included as part of my bubble. There was never a point during Covid that I didn’t feel comfortable continuing my services. When you arrive, you are met at the door for temperature checks and screening questions. The space was designed with relaxation and solitude in mind which translates perfectly in this climate. Each service is conducted in its own private room so there is minimal interaction with staff and other clients. As part of the standard float protocol even prior to Covid, showering before and after you enter the float chamber is a requirement. Appointments are spaced out with plenty of time to clean and disinfect each room in between client visits. It has been one of the few places outside of my home that has felt safe and relaxing. Imagine Float has been a haven for me during this time of immense stress and uncertainty.
We’ve all been through a collective trauma this past year and in certain cases, our way of life has irrevocably changed. Covid has forced us to confront and analyze how we interact with others. The status quo and expectations around business operations has become more stringent. We are more focused on personal space and cleanliness than ever before. Restrictions are being lifted and we are starting to re-enter normal life. Despite praying for this moment for months, I find myself hesitant to burst that protective bubble.
In a few days, I will meet the eligibility requirements to receive the Covid vaccine. Many of my family members and friends have already received their first dose. It’s been a surreal ride this past year and it feels amazing to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. Although I am sure we will experience more change and uncertainty in the coming months as we learn to navigate yet another “new normal,” I find myself filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the resilience we have collectively shown. Gratitude for the people who have fought tirelessly against this disease. Gratitude for schools and businesses, like Imagine Float, who had to completely alter their way of doing things to protect us. And finally, gratitude for this change of season where we are moving out of the cold and the darkness and finding our way into the light.