Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels

Nobody knows when
all this will be over,
and I only wish us
nothing but closure.

When this is gone,
I’m going to the beach,
walk down the sand,
and lie under the sun.

I’m going to the restaurant
we used to go to,
with you sitting next to me.
Afterward we’ll go to a bakery.

Then we’re going to see
all the new movies like we did
so long ago when no one
stayed home to watch Netflix.

We’ll do everything we did
when we were young,
and we didn’t have to fear
for our dearest lungs.

But above all I’ll just breathe,
so slowly, deeply, and repeat.
Hopefully, the air will be clean,
the sky clear, and we’ll all cheer.

— Petra

Today is the first day I went outside at noon. After the government imposed a 10pm – 4am curfew, I couldn’t go shopping at midnight like usual. Last week I went grocery shopping at 8am, right when the store opened. That was unusual for my biological clock, which is different from most people.

Anyway, today I saw most stores are closed. The ones still open have changed to sell low-priced and ready-to-eat meals instead of whatever they used to sell before the COVID-19. The streets are not as busy as it used to be. And this is Bangkok I’m talking about. But the grocery stores are mostly crowded, except for the one that’s more expensive and normally has fewer customers.

Every single person I saw at the grocery store wore a face mask. This actually started like about a month ago.

After I came home, I soaked almost everything I bought in soapy water like a lunatic. I started to do this last week and posted a picture of my soapy tub full of packaged snacks and drinks on my Facebook afterward. I expected my friends to call me an over-the-top idiot. But no. Most commented that they did the same thing but with a different method.

Photo by me

How our lives have totally changed! I can safely say that people around the world are all in the same boat. Earlier this week, I wondered what it would be like when things are back to normal. But now after my short trip today, I think there will be no ‘normal’.

Over the past few months, I’ve wanted my mundane life back. My dream was shattered because I’m pretty sure I won’t have that ever again. Things have changed, and they will continue to change. We’ll be haunted by the Coronavirus pandemic for years, or probably for the rest of our lives.

When things are eventually back to normal, they’re not ‘normal’ normal. It’ll be the new normal like we’re entering a new era. The Post-Coronavirus Era. We’ll probably live our lives as though we’re going to die tomorrow. Like literally.