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BlogHappy Pandemic Anniversary: A Year in Review

Happy Pandemic Anniversary: A Year in Review

It’s finally here! The day we’ve all been waiting for: the one-year anniversary of pandemic bliss! Here are a few highlights from the best year of my life!

The day that I found out about lockdown:

I was laying with my three-year-old in my bed on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I was just thinking, It doesn’t get any better than this, when…it did! I suddenly heard that soothing sound on my phone that signifies an emergency alert. 12:00AM SUNDAY STAY AT HOME ORDER SANTA CLARA COUNTY. I jumped up at the good news and raced over to Lucky’s! What fun! I ran into a friend and hugged him as he told me he had just bought three bottles of Whiskey, with tears in his eyes (happy ones, I assume) as he proclaimed “…and I don’t even like Whiskey!”

We wished each other good luck. Little did I know that this would be the last time I would hug someone outside of my home…wait, touch someone outside of my home…wait, get within six feet of someone outside of my home…for the next 365 days. With almost everything torn from the shelves by the time I started shopping, I figured it would be box wine and the most expensive bread in the bakery department (all that was left) for me. Well, it was good enough for the last supper…plus, it was almost Easter!


The entire family is home together! What a blessing. Wow! It feels so good to slow down and spend more time together. Plus, teachers have no idea what’s hit them and have no expectations of my kids. This is great! We can just play Uno all day and hit up different nature spots around the area. I’ll even make a “Pandemic Photobook” to show what a super time we’re all having together. After all, President Donald Trump is saying everything will be opened back up by Easter! This isn’t so bad! If you really really really really really really use your imagination, it’s almost like a vacation.


…I think my imagination is broken. I never want to see another Uno card for the rest of my natural born life. Also, I just found out that my kid was supposed to be on Zoom every morning at 8:45 for school. Uh…oops…


I don’t care about money anymore. When I’m at Costco, I’m buying the finest meats and the choicest of snacks. My kids have started eating more chips every day on my bed than I consumed in my entire childhood. Only one month more of school! At least in the fall, school will be back in session. The numbers are starting to improve!




I’ve never seen this country so at peace, so unified. It’s almost making me physically sick…Not like, Covid sick…don’t freak out. Sick like, it’s so good to see us all understanding the gravity of the situation with the common goal: peace and justice…but, things are, like, nauseatingly good, you know? I love where this month is heading. 


Where am I? Who am I? What is the meaning of life?

Things I’ve been Googling:

– The history of bats
– Are droplets really trying to kill me?
– Why does it feel like there is an elephant on my chest?
– What to do with a 50lb. bag of flour
– What to do with a giant ravel of yarn
– What point does it go from enjoying Bukowski to frighteningly relating to Bukowski?
– Excuses for getting out of zoom meetings that aren’t “I’m sick” (cuz, like, Covid…)
– Breathing techniques for people who don’t feel like breathing anymore


My daughter gets to start kindergarten soon! Oh, wait…Zoomergarten. No, no. This will be fine! It will be good! Get excited, kids! Put on your uniforms to come to the kitchen island! Why am I crying? Oh! These must be happy tears. This is going to be great!

*5 minutes into the most confusing orientation of my life* My kids are crying. I’m crying. It’s fine! It’s okay…I bet I would have cried dropping my kindergartener off on campus, too! See! It’s not that different. This will be great. This year is going to be so good. I can feel it. Good vibes only.


Wait, was that an earthquake? And why is the sky orange? Is this what the end of the world is? Is this it? I mean, I know things have been going downhill, but I thought we had a little more time…

Oh! No going outside at all? The one respite from all of this indoor time? No people? Darkness? No, no. It’s okay. Seriously, I’ll just curl up with a good book for a couple of days…wait…a couple of weeks? Aoitb;witb;awoeitb…a month? I HATE EVERY AUTHOR THAT HAS EVER WRITTEN A BOOK AND EVERY WORD EVER WRITTEN IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS MEANINGLESS…

I’m going to make a gratitude list:

-I have legs. Cool.
-I have arms. Awesome.
-I still have my sense of smell.
-I don’t have the ‘vid




Oh, cute! Look at all these Thanksgiving crafts! I’m so grateful this year that I’m not dead! What an honor to live through this!

And since it’s Thanksgiving, time for another…

Gratitude list:

– No one is seeing the current state of my house
– No more shaving my legs
– My new addiction to social media
– I finally got through that 50lb. bag of flour
– I’ve learned to draw 52 Pokemon and my kids now think I’m amazing
– I’m not dead

Woah! A new president!…wait…like, for real?


This is going to be the most special Christmas of my life! This new injury I got from running up Mission Peak for the eight millionth time this year is going to give me sooooooo much extra time to focus on my kids!

Oooh! My eating disorder is coming back for the first time in eight years. Ah, that old familiar feeling! Time to get a therapist. Wait…there are none available. What?! People must not have been making all of those really useful gratitude lists that helped me so much. MERRY CHRISTMAS!


New President? I’ll believe it when I see it…
WOAH! Wait..what just happened!?
WAIT…What’s happening now?…Like, for REAL? A new President?! 
Vaccines coming! A zillion very realistic new conspiracy theories to consider!



I’m starting to actually know people who are getting vaccinated! And they didn’t turn into mutants! Although sometimes their arms start beeping and strange men in suits are following them at a distance, talking into tiny ear pieces…but, maybe that was happening before the pandemic and we just didn’t notice. It’s amazing, the little things I never noticed before that now I’m noticing. For instance: the sound of my husband’s chewing when I’m trying to have a quiet moment in the middle of the 2385723095757235th day we’ve spent together alone with the kids in this townhouse.

It’s March again!

I think we can all agree, it’s been a truly special year – one that will go down in history as the year we ate our weight in bread, spent our life savings on toilet paper (paper fittingly being the traditional one-year anniversary gift), and became (even worse than before) full-blown phone-addicted zombies. Hopefully there will be many more special Pandemic-iversaries to come. Year two will be cotton…hopefully the cotton on our arms when we’ve all been vaccinated!

Happy Anniversary!


Vanessa Dueck
Vanessa Dueck is a Milpitas resident training for the USA 2024 Olympic Marathon trials.


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