Covid-19 has been a pandemic now for almost six weeks. The Texas governor on Friday closed all schools, public, private and secondary education for the remainder of the current school year. Munchkin has been distance learning for three weeks and he’s got frequent Zoom meetings happening with his teacher and classmates each week and they will be continuing until the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
Last week one of his classmates shared that they were sad they won’t be back at school this year for any field trips or fun activities that their teachers had planned for them. Hearing the sadness in the students voice made me sad and angry. Sad, because the situation seems like it has no end and angry because there seem to be opportunities that the federal government wasted in preparing the country and building up the stockpiles of important materials that the frontline workers desperately need to stay safe, but I digress.
As a high school student in 2001, I sat in the lunchroom watching in horror and disbelief as the news coverage of the September terror attacks rolled like a bad action movie. September 11, 2001 has been considered a defining moment for my generation and I feel like the Covid-19 pandemic has the potential of becoming a defining moment for Munchkin and Little Misses’ generation.
Earlier this month I tried – to no avail – to minimize my intake of information about the unfolding crisis. I was reading too many news stories and trying to seek the light at the end of the tunnel we were all just entering into at that time. I was scrambling for one iota of hope to hang on to in the face of all this bad news. It made me distant and grouchy to Mister and especially the kids.
One night, after I was brought to tears about the shelter-in-place orders that were finally being issued in a patchwork fashion across the state and country, Mister shared that we need to consider this whole situation we are in like a prisoner in a POW camp did during either the Korean or Vietnam War. A survivor of the camp was interviewed and was asked how they managed to stay alive despite the horrid conditions they endured. The soldier simply said that they took each day for what it was and tried very hard to not pin their hopes on the future that was uncertain.
Now that isn’t very heartwarming or encouraging, but it brings up a fair point; control what you can and let the rest of it go for now. We have never been in a situation like this before in our lifetimes. We haven’t seen whole swaths of the entertainment, sports, and education systems shut down all at once before. Heck even Ireland canceled St. Patty’s Day celebrations and may even keep bars closed once they ease up their social distancing restrictions.
While there are scary things going on right now in the world, there are also really cool and amazing things happening. I have been seeking out the positive stories when I scroll through the headlines of the day. Sharing the funny, silly or just plain weird things that make us laugh can lessen some of that stress that keeps trying to overwhelm us and make us shut down.
I hope and pray that y’all are doing your part in helping to flatten the curve and are staying safe in this isolating time. Thankfully, this is all happening in the age of digital connections: Zoom meetings, FaceTime calls and meetings that are finally converted to the emails that they should have been in the first place are all happening. (huzzah)
Don’t forget to peek out of that blanket fort in the dining room to sit down and eat a meal with your family (take out or home cooked, doesn’t matter), take the morning slower than the hectic schedule you had when the kids were in school and try to find ways to laugh and be creative. You never know what you’ll cook up when bored, limited in resources and trying to entertain your kids.