My Trip to Mexico | Covid Journal
As the joy of the holidays starts to wear out, the anxiety for the future returns. I live in a small city in Mexico, and I had the privilege to be able to go back to spend Christmas and Epiphany with my mom. As I arrived back, a couple of my friends expressed their desire to see me, of course, I agreed. The scary part began when a couple of days later after I saw a person, they would tell me that they got the virus. This happened around 7 times in the span of my vacation, and every time it felt as if I had doomed myself by being reckless.
If I am being honest, I have already resigned myself to the fact that eventually, I am going to get Covid, and since I am fully vaccinated and boosted this does not seem like such a scary thing. The tricky part was that, if I got it while in Mexico, I was not going to be able to return to the US in time for my classes, which places my F-1 Visa status in danger. The fact that I had to take the test 24 hours before traveling just made it a little bit worse for some reason. Taking that Covid test was the most anxiety-inducing thing I have done in a long time.
I can just imagine how many other people in my type of situation must feel. Having a thing you worked so hard to get taken away or a family separated is not uncommon in this day and age. A friend of mine was trapped for a month in quarantine in a foreign country all alone just because she wanted to get her Visa approved. Of course, all hotel and food expenses were on her. An event that started as a momentary inconvenience has now changed the way we see traveling, studying, working, and even day-to-day activities like shopping or eating.
Another moment in my holiday where I felt like life had changed forever was the moment I had to walk into a packed plane where people were coughing around me. What before would have been a completely normal and even pleasant thing now becomes a living nightmare. Friends of mine who had mild social anxiety before Covid now experience lengthy panic attacks every time they must interact with a group with more than three people. At the same time, the fact that they cannot interact with people makes them feel lonely. They are caught between a rock and a hard place.
On the other hand, technology and the economy are slowly but surely getting back on their feet and people are coming up with incredible and creative solutions to our every problem. People seem to be more ready to accept this as our new reality and contribute to it in any way they can.
Empathy seems to have flourished in places where one wouldn’t imagine, and hardship has made the relationships that survived stronger and more durable. For now, we can only hope that things get better, even if that means never going back to normal.