Pandemic // Month 4
It’s July 13; it’s been four months since coronavirus, social distancing, virtual learning, and face masks became part of our daily lexicon. We’ve gotten used to rarely leaving the house, only getting in the car to head to a doctor’s appointment, grocery or Target pickup, or the recently added (and much appreciated) books to go pickup from the library.
We are well into summer; I remember thinking at the beginning of all of this, just when we realized school probably wouldn’t go back for the rest of the year; it’s fine, but I hope we can get back to some kind of normal before summer. Well, summer is here and we are still at home. Our days that are usually marked by swim team practice and long hours at the pool are instead marked by hours of LEGOs and splashing in the sprinkler or our DIY backyard pool.
Some things have opened back up, but we’re still staying home, nervous to venture out more than absolutely necessary as case numbers continue to rise. Some days I’m desperate for a change of scenery, and we’re slowly starting to venture into the outdoors beyond our backyard, but overall we have settled into the stay at home lifestyle. I’m surprised by what I do and don’t miss. I miss seeing friends in person, but the slower pace of life is nice--I don’t miss the feeling of rushing from place to place with a full calendar. I don’t miss the large amount of time I spent driving, but I do miss the silly car conversations with my kids, and having time to listen to podcasts while I drove. I miss wandering the aisles of Target less than I thought I would, but I do really miss our library trips. I miss the pool and long Tuesday nights spent at swim meets. I both miss the ability to make future plans and am finding freedom in the fact that it's hard to plan much into the future right now, so I need to focus on today.
Things have settled down; there is no longer the adrenaline rush of the first weeks confined to our homes, where I couldn’t pull myself away from the news, constantly refreshing to see the latest reports and predictions. Now, I check in daily to see where we are but am no longer consumed by the information. Instead of hours spent on news sites, I’ve read book after book, reveling in the escape to a different world (favorite quarantine books so far: Beartown and the sequel, Us Against You).
Virtual school isn’t an option I ever would have thought I would consider, but with the current state of things, it’s what we are planning for the fall. As we hear the school systems plans and wait for the announcement from the governor to clarify whether or not in-person school is even an option, I remember that last Friday in March that I picked my kids up in carpool: I knew that schools might close briefly because of COVID, but the thought that we wouldn’t be back before the end of the school year never crossed my mind, much less the idea that the next school year would also be impacted.
But here we are in July, and it looks like coronavirus, social distancing, virtual learning, and face masks will still be peppering our daily conversation for the foreseeable future.