OPINION

Good Morning: A COVID birthday

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Michael Hutchins

Over the past week, I celebrated a birthday. I won't say which, but I can safely say that I am not longer in my early 30s and will instead just say I am in my 30s for right now. While I know many people have mixed feelings about growing older, this birthday was particularly bittersweet for several reasons.

Overall, it was a decent birthday, all things considered. I had the opportunity to see one of my friends, my father and a co-worker brought me lunch. Meanwhile, several others reached out to me via phone call or online to to wish me a happy birthday.

Still, I couldn't help but feel like something was missing. It was missing that one thing I couldn't have due to the pandemic. I couldn't get to see my friends and family for near as long as I would have liked.

Despite the warm wishes, I the fact that I couldn't see many of these people in person stung quite a bit. I saw my father for lunch, but the air of the ongoing pandemic hung over everything, and dominated conversation.

Likewise, I didn't feel comfortable doing a whole lot. Movies are still out of the question, and many restaurants are still limited in seating. Even sitting down for an afternoon of board games was off the table.

For a birthday, it felt like any other day and that stuck with me throughout the day. The fact that I couldn't spend my birthday with all my friends, coworkers and family took away some of the joy of celebrating another year on this planet.

This is the second COVID birthday that I've celebrated. It was just before my birthday that restrictions started going in place. However, I think I was still kind of numb to it during the first birthday. The lockdowns were still new, and I think that took the edge off to some degree. 

However, it has been  over a year now and those feelings have been washed away by 365 days, and counting. The loneliness is the feeling I think that came to the forefront the most.

I do not say this for pity of sympathy. Instead it is something that I have been feeling for a bit, and that day that comes once a year seemed to be the time that they all rose to the surface.]

That said, is there a way to get a do-over on these past two birthdays?