Who would have thought that we would experience such a pandemic as a nation? As a result of these events, we are adjusting our habits and behaviors at home and outside. While most of us learned about these events through movies and books, others have experienced in real life.
It was the early nineties; the USSR was collapsing. There was a shortage of everything. We had water and electricity for only a few hours a day. Food was scares, very scares; it was “The Dark Years.” I was a young boy, about 6-7 years old. My day would start by waking up very early to start the wood heater, so when my sister and mom woke up, the home would be warmer. My dad was in Ukraine, trying to make a few bucks for the family. Once everyone was up, we had our breakfast. As the day went by, my friends and I would go out to gather firewood. We would hike the nearest forest, collect wood and carry them via snow sled. Some of them were big logs; ergo, we had to chop them before taking them home.
The only beacon of hope was that we knew exactly at what time water and electricity would come. As soon as the power station turned on the electricity, you would hear mass clapping and yelling out of excitement. Each household member knew what they had to do to maximize our efforts. If the family lived on a higher floor, the water pumps would not have enough pressure to supply households who live higher than the 5th floor. Often time, we would go to our downstairs neighbor to collect water using buckets. And it would take more than dozens of times to fill up the bathtub.
If there were a significant sports game going on, we would gather at our neighbors’ home, the one who had a generator strong enough to power a small TV.
Times were hard, but we had each other. We went through it together. And now when I think back, I only remember the good things; people who were there to support, to share what they had, and to share their time and stories.
The current COVID-19 global pandemic reminded me of those times. I know that as a nation, as a humanity, we will go through it together. And in the future, when everything is back to normal, let’s make sure we leave the good memories behind.
Written by Andy Hakobyan, Co-founder