Is it silly to still feel scared?

(Courtesy of Emily Lim, edited by Riddhi Jani)

In a world that seems to be forcing its healing, I feel as though we’re becoming too comfortable with the possibility of passing COVID-19 from person to person because of everyone’s new favourite saying:

“Omicron isn’t that serious.” 

For some reason, it’s becoming a comfort, not a concern, that vaccinated people who are being the most affected by this strain of the virus are the eldery and immunocompromised. It feels like the majority is saying the pain, covering, and suffering is over — despite cases hitting a disgustingly all-time high in the past few months. 

And honestly, at this point, I dont think it’s hyperbole to ask when we stopped caring about people who may be more at risk than us? 

For some of us, those who have lived conscious of what this virus may do to us or our loved ones for two years, this new fast-spreading “not-so-serious” phase we are living in doesn’t seem like healing. It feels like the world is more on fire than it was a year ago. At least then we had some extinguishers and a general plan — now, it feels like some of us are fire-proof while some of us are drenched in kerosene. 

Get tested in a province where you can barely find rapid tests and can’t book PCR tests. Social distance in a classroom where that may not be possible. Wear N95 masks that can be more expensive and harder to find. 

I’m worried about re-entering personal learning, work and social events — not only because of the seemingly disregarded threat of the virus, but because I’m afraid that I’ll be the only person in that room who feels this way. 

Am I overreacting, or do I have a right to worry?  

Don’t get me wrong — I long for the days where I can feel like I have my old life again. To say the days are lightlessly melding together wouldn’t be an original observation. This isn’t some grand new proclamation to say that nowadays everything is sort of blending into some mutual level of mundane.

Watching someone you love’s graduation on a screen on a Thursday evening while sitting in your sweats on the couch can make anyone wish to return to the pre-pandemic world. But to me, the desire for normalcy, the desire for us to celebrate these moments as they used to be, just isn’t enough to potentially put people in danger. 

In just over a week’s time, campus will be open. York students and faculty will be driving back, flying back or simply even walking down a lane to reach their classes. And while I don’t think we should be living in fear, it feels like we’re throwing caution to the wind without acknowledging the worries of the people who will be most affected. 

If you’re scared, you’re not alone. Again, we shouldn’t be living our lives behind a wall of panic — we deserve to enjoy ourselves and feel safe while getting our education, attending our jobs, and seeing our loved ones. 

But, as of right now, for many people that isn’t a reality. I know not everyone feels this way, and as long as you’re acting safe and responsibly, then I’m glad people are starting to feel like themselves again. But for the people who need more time, the people who could really get hurt, or the people who could hurt someone they love, they deserve the option to return to their lives in a way that makes themselves feel safe. 

You’d think after two years we’d realize that everyone needs to live at a different level of safety. 

So, is it silly to still feel scared? Short answer: no, it’s normal and pretty expected. Long answer: it’s normal to feel scared, but we shouldn’t have to.

About the Author

By Sarah Garofalo

Former Editor

Sarah is in her fourth year of Film Studies at York University. She is passionate about using writing as a tool to educate herself and introduce others to hidden stories and new ideas. In the future, she hopes to continue her studies in film and merge it with her love of writing and journalism. You can always find Sarah sketching, painting or endlessly watching films while waiting to get back into movie theatres.


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