I realize the COVID-19 pandemic has not ended, but we’re a long way from where we were 13 months ago.

We’ve all had to change things in our everyday lives. Some folks stuck their noses in the air and said to hell with everything, and demanded to live any way they chose, while others have spent the better part of the past 400-plus days secluded indoors.

Some people have experienced more deaths of family members and friends than others, and everyone who has had COVID-19, or currently has it, has experienced different symptoms.

As we trend more to a sense of normalcy, however that may now be defined, I’ve thought a lot about the past year, and how much things have changed.

Many of the things that became necessary, such as Zoom meetings, and even wearing of masks, will probably be more commonplace.

I remember in past years visiting Vegas and wondering why so many of the Asian folks wore masks. I still don’t know exactly why, but after wearing one most of the past year, I think I have a better understanding.

I ran across an email from WebMD, which attempted to answer the question, “How the pandemic is affecting our bodies.”

The article talked about anxiety, depression, headaches, hair loss, dental problems, skin issues, eyestrain, weight gain, unhealthy habits, neck and back pain, and hand and wrist pain.

How many of you have experienced any of these things since the pandemic struck our shores? How about since Hurricane Harvey?

Man, we got the one, two punch!

I find some of the WebMD stuff interesting reading.

I’ve not had a particular increase in anxiety, but I am looking forward to full football stadiums this fall, getting rid of masks, and shaking hands without a second thought, once again.

I have never had to deal with real depression. Have I been down, or sad? Sure, but not clinically depressed. I know all of us had days where we walked around in a daze after Harvey, wondering what the future held. My choice was simple, give up or move forward, one step at a time, fully understanding it would be a long road ahead.

When it comes to headaches, hair loss, dental problems, skin issues, eyestrain, and weight gain, the pandemic didn’t change a thing.

I can’t remember the last time I had a headache, I started losing my hair years ago, and unfortunately, I’ve never had good teeth, and will always be contributing to my dentist’s vacation fund.

I bought a new pair of glasses since Harvey, but that’s because I’m getting older. No big deal.

As far as weight gain, that’s not an issue. Any thought of gaining weight (from fat) is thrown out the window for a full hour, three times a week, when I’m working out alongside my wife, and many others, at Rising Tide. May 1 will mark three months utilizing their program, and I’ve never felt better. That can’t help but combat any potential anxiety, or depression, as well.

The only unhealthy habit I have is chewing my trademark cigar, and I started that long ago. I haven’t had a drink in ages, so that’s not an issue.

Any neck and back pain, or hand or wrist pain I might have has nothing to do with COVID-19. It may however, have something to do with not lifting weights correctly during my workouts.

Apparently a lot has changed in that area since the late 1970s!

All in all, I try to put everything in perspective, address those things I need to address, and forget the rest. It’s futile, for me anyway, to tackle life any other way.

Live each day to the fullest. You never know if it will be the last. And, that attitude shouldn’t change if we’re wiped out by hurricanes, or shut down by pandemics.

Life can be hard at times … but live life now!

Until next week, have a good week.

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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