CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—With cases on the rise, it is clear that COVID-19 will continue to be a part of life in 2022. On Friday, people on Capitol Street in Charleston took time to talk about how the pandemic impacted their outlook.

“I had a lot of fun experiences this year,” said Olivia Thompson. She said she, unfortunately, caught COVID-19 in 2021. But she’s ok now and focusing on the positive things to come. “I think it is going to be a great year kind of because my sister she’s learning new things,” Olivia said.

Many of the people talked about their experiences in 2021 and how in some ways COVID-19 made their accomplishments a little more challenging to achieve. Daily life continues to be filled with masks, testing, vaccinations and in some cases divisive conversations about all of those things.

“I find it difficult to stay positive. There’s a lot of concerns about the vaccination rates and the mask mandates. People need to stay safe out there. I think that we have to go through with a lot of hard work and necessary sacrifices but we’ll see our way through eventually. We just have to stay the course,” said Charles Fern Sell.

But people say heading into a new year they have a different outlook.

“I’ve probably learned to count my blessings more than anything and kind of be present in the moment,” said Marquis Nobles. “Just because you never know when we may have to be shut down again or may have to stay home.”

Most of the people said they have still continued to pursue their dreams of things like homeownership, education and travel.

“I’ll see it as a whole lot of learning. It is a bit of a blur but I learned a lot in the world of business and school and just meeting people and not meeting people,” Sell said. “It was worthwhile and it was difficult.”