Life on Hold: Recapturing Moments Lost to Pandemic


The year is 2019. On the last eve of December, people across the world are headed outside their homes. Meeting up with friends, they gleefully celebrate past moments as they fight through drowsiness brought upon by nostalgic nightfall. As billions watch flashy horizons ring in the decade’s triumphant first seconds, they wish upon fireworks. Some desire new adventures and changes of scenery. Others want their lives to stay exactly the same – surrounded by people they love, doing what makes them happy. The night sky listens to everyone, and every last wish is granted.

Enter January, February – and the world’s days go on as planned, a global health scare being but a concern out of mind. Everybody anticipates their next exciting moments; birthdays, concerts, weddings, honeymoons. The chapters are ready to be written – and as enthusiastic minds count down the days passing by, the pages turn, ink painting them with every fragment of newly penned memory.

In March, a group of childhood friends leaves town to celebrate one of their own’s birthday in a village outside the city. After having been separated by the different universities they went off too, such special occasions are most important for them to stay close and continue their friendship. After a thirty-minute bus ride of catching up and making inappropriate jokes they wish the others around them didn’t hear, the friends arrive at the weekend cottage, home of the countless shared memories they will recall for the rest of their lives. The weekend is all about them and the bond they share – and no one takes that away, the cover of darkness bringing only snoring, loving shushing and the occasional hurl of yesterday’s chocolate cake and beer.


May flowers bring love and eternal companionship; as a couple of lovers make preparations for the day that will unite them in holy matrimony. Frustration arises from seating plans, flower arrangements, and invitations – but the long-awaited day finally arrives, and the sound of church bells ringing muffles every background noise. Their stars align and the celebration goes better than planned – or, perhaps, as expected – with someone’s uncle slightly passing the threshold of tipsiness making the guests reconsider their unrequited love for family that moment. The newlyweds know that theirs, however, is endgame.

The end of the academic year is a day just like any other for some and a colossal milestone for many. Young adults with one foot in the great unknown are celebrating the fruition of their many years of work as they gussy up in the mirror, wearing their cap and gown. High schoolers feel lost when life unexpectedly speeds up in front of them; one moment they’re sitting at the same desk they sat in front of for years and years. The next, they are planning the ceremony that will ultimately put diamond days of adolescence to rest. As everybody takes on the final quests of naïve youth, they put past disputes to rest. United by the final moments spent together for some, classes of twenty or thirty are closer than ever. And when the final day comes, it is glorious – speeches that move even the sturdiest, slideshows that immortalize the best years, and a last group outing to a local hotspot that ends the chapter lived by many on a final hurrah.

As winds of summer bring a chance to unwind, you finally get the chance to attend that concert you have always wanted to experience first-hand – a local music festival where millions gather from all around the world to see DJ’s of today rule the nights; a world tour of a famous musician for whom you would cross endless borders and seven seas, then line up twelve hours before the show to guarantee a good spot to watch your idol from. Collecting lifelong mementos with every photograph taken, every article of merchandise worn – these are just some of the best moments you feel lucky to be part of.


As autumn sets in and the warm summer winds turn into cold thunder and hail, the new year slowly creeps up. The familiar countdown brings the usual fireworks; the usual fireworks bring the same old wishes – change, love, happiness. Even with days being uncertain, whether they go exactly as planned or certain roadblocks get in the way – you know you can lean on those rainbow rockets in the night sky bringing you home and keeping you pointed towards better days already on the horizon.

Written by: Nagy Béla-Zsolt