For me there is something very satisfying about a new year. With the flip of a digit we all get a fresh start. New Years Eve is arguably my favorite holiday. I am also a huge fan of even numbers. The great possibilities of 2020 seemed inevitable.
And then Covid-19 happened.
I don’t know about you but I did NOT see this one coming. I know that among others Bill Gates has been warning us about this science fiction stuff since 2015. But much like most things billionaires say, I just assumed that there wasn’t much I could do about it anyway.
Social distancing became a verb. Not just any verb. THE verb. I am very fortunate to have a job that I work remotely from home. Not everyone has this option. My family’s job in all of this is simply to stay out of the way.
I am thankful for the essential people. From the healthcare workers to the truck drivers. Delivery people to restaurant staff. To that young mother stocking shelves just hoping to support her family, without taking the virus home.
YOU are keeping humanity from utter demise.
The rest of us are deemed nonessential. My children’s last day of school was March 5. They are supposed to go back at the end of this month but that is doubtful. Most think that we can put a bow on the 2019/20 school year. That makes six of us at home now each day.
A few years ago I finally had to admit to myself that I am a homebody. I have an outgoing personality. Which is confusing to me because while I do like to go places and love people, I would most days rather not.
The thought of being isolated with my family didn’t seem too bad. As a mother all we want is to know that our children are home and safe. I have heard mothers of grown children say how shattering it is when you don’t actually get to know the moment when your child is home each night. Because they are no longer returning to YOUR home.
I still have the routine of workdays to keep me sane. Of course now my days are flooded with interruptions. My children are ages 11-15 so they don’t need me as often as they once did. They mainly want to bicker with one another and ask me where to find any item that they have not been able to locate. Not that they actually bothered to look for the item. Why would they. Mom always knows.
There is comfort in knowing that my husband and I are working as a team to keep our household protected. He is usually tasked with going out into the world for hunting and gathering. Being a diagnosed germaphobe (diagnosed by me, not actually anyone with a medical degree) I trust him to make it out there in the jungle and back.
We even work as a team to open supplies that are delivered to our house. He takes the box to the garage, cuts it open, I reach inside and remove the items (as to not cross contaminate the contents with the virus that may have been on the cardboard) then he leaves the cardboard boxes in the garage, washes his hands until they bleed and burns his clothes.
Sure, slightly exaggerated. You get my point though. If my husband or I get the virus, then the rest of the world doesn’t stand a chance.
Although I am mostly fine with being home just knowing that I cannot leave does sometimes spark moments of anxiousness. I just have to talk myself down from the ledge in those times. It helps to walk outside and take a deep breath.
We take our kids on family walks, mostly against their will. We are making an effort to keep life from being a long stretch of meaningless days, where no one even remembers what day it is. But no doubt, we will get through this.
My heart goes out to the people on the frontlines of this pandemic. People who are losing loved ones. People who are losing homes. People who for the first time maybe have to turn to a food bank. People who go home after very long days just hoping that they are doing everything that they can to protect themselves and their families.
My heart goes out to the people trapped at home with their abusers. The homeless people who have no where to retreat to safety. The children who are hungry because school isn’t open to provide meals.
These are scary and challenging times but I have been profoundly moved by the human spirit. Fireman and their trucks lining streets to applaud hospital staff. People opening their windows to sing Happy Birthday to an 80 year old woman who otherwise would be all alone. Neighbors sharing supplies with neighbors in need.
I think on the other side of this we will all be forever changed by Covid-19. Certain traditions may become outdated. Like handshakes or hugs. We may forever be leery of crowded places. More of us than not may be working from home and not offices. But we are all linked together by the human connection.
Hopefully some who read this will relate to my perspective. Some people have an active role in fighting this virus. The rest of us can sometimes feel helpless. But we do have a job. We are here to offer support and encouragement to family, friends and even strangers.
All while practicing an acceptable 6 feet of distance.