Axel Valdez

Design Engineer

Post-pandemic Musings


With each day that passes, I increasingly remember the pandemic with a positive twist.

It was far from good. It wreaked havoc on my mental health at first, but perhaps it is a blessing that my mind chooses to retain the positive aspects and bury the rest

I miss being all day at home with my wife and my kids. Rationally I know it was difficult, especially with a three-year-old rightfully demanding attention, but I miss it anyway. Those times evoke feelings of intimacy, closeness, and profound love. Such immense love.

I also miss my Animal Crossing New Horizons gang. Three of my friends were already playing it a lot when I got it, and they warmly adopted me. We played together almost daily for about two or three months. We would set up a WhatsApp audio call and meet up on one of our islands, then talk for hours and hop to another of our digital properties. It was delightful and relaxing. Once again, much love.

I missed my parents a lot, but when Anabel went to great lengths to bring them to me as a birthday surprise, it became one of my most cherished moments. Those tough times also brought us much closer.

I remember the freedom I felt when I drove out to the convenience store just outside our neighborhood for the first time in months. And often after that, the feeling of just going out and driving aimlessly with my kids in the back seat at the end of the day. The joy on their faces.

I don’t want to be insensitive. I’m fully aware of the pain the pandemic brought to many people. I recognize that I am fortunate to have avoided the loss of a loved one, and my heart goes out to all who did. I was privileged enough to be able to stay at home, stay safe and take care of my family.

Maybe this selective remembrance is part of our survival instinct. I don’t have enough knowledge to claim that, but it’s also not important. My brain’s mechanics choose to keep only the good, and I choose to embrace it, smile, and be thankful for my life.

Axel Valdez w