Well, this all sucks, huh?
Last week, I was joking that as an extreme introvert, I’d been training for this my whole life. But now, like everybody else in the entire freaking world, I’m anxious. Vacillating between “holy shit panic” and “this too shall pass calm,” I’ve settled mostly on “if everyone would just STAY HOME, we might be OK.”
But my head has been doing that swirly thing and I remembered when I had this feeling during the stressful, sleep-exhaustive days of infants and toddlers the only thing that would help was to write it all down.
So here we are.
The following – without any organization, planning or editing – are my thoughts:
> I have been sick for the past two days. I did not have a fever at any point, mostly just head and body aches, but I stayed in my room and avoided the kids, etc. I feel MUCH better today than I did yesterday, so I feel confident this is not corona. I debated trying to get tested but with the limited tests available AND the fact that I don’t have corona symptoms, I decided that was probably a lost cause. Despite my confidence, I will stay home and avoid contact with others for at least two weeks.
> Corona is in our town but it’s unclear who/how many/if I’ve been exposed. I totally understand the case for privacy and I even get the “just assume everyone’s been exposed at this point” advice but as with most things, the more clarity we have, the less anxious we feel. So, I do wish we could get a bit more information about the current situation in our town.
> We’re getting mixed messages from government officials, both national and local. I’ve had to stay away from the national news because it makes me too anxious. I will just say that this virus best not screw up Election Day. #HazmatSuitsforVoters
> I like how I’m still getting emails about businesses cancelling things that say, “Out of an overabundance of caution, we are now cancelling…” Um, what? I’d hardly call it an “overabundance” at this point but thanks for the chuckle.
> At my peak miserable yesterday, I was scared. What if I don’t feel better tomorrow? What if this keeps getting worse? What if I’ve already given whatever it is to my kids? But as our thoughtful friends and neighbors checked in, left soup and magazines and brought us supplies (all left on the doorstep, of course), I was reminded AGAIN that I’m so damn fortunate.
I’m keeping in mind the millions of people that have to worry about things like…
- Lost wages for missing work
- The security of their employment or small business
- Their kids not eating enough because they’re missing their school meals
- Missing important medical appointments like chemotherapy
- Getting sick with a compromised immune system
It’s all too much.
Are you guys hearing about ways to help? Mr. Rogers told me to look for the helpers so I’m ready. If you are a helper or know of a helper, please point them out. As of now, we plan to buy gift cards for all of our favorite restaurants and local shops. 🙂 What else can we do?
> Here are some of the less important things that we’re sad about in this house and our planned remedies for them
Problem –> Missing school.
Remedy –> Um, our teachers are amazing. They are working hard to share ideas for at-home learning. The middle school teachers are posting reading materials and assignments that they had little time to prepare. D’s 5th grade teacher is interacting with the class every day, posting assignments and even encouraging an online exchange of videos so each student can share their thoughts about the books they’re reading. G is doing his packets that came home on Wednesday. And still practicing his recorder on a daily basis, God help us all.
Problem –> No playdates or in-person time with friends (And I mean NONE.)
Remedy –> FaceTime! So. Much. FaceTime.
Problem –> Theater performances being cancelled after many, many hours of rehearsal and preparation
Remedy –> At home musical creation and performance! (stay tuned… this should be good)
*Side note: I just saw this post on Twitter from Broadway star Laura Benanti…
I love this idea! Please send me all of your kids singing ALL of the songs!
Locally, the actors and crew of SES’ Little Mermaid, Long Lots’ The Wizard of Oz, BMS’ Matilda and SHS’ Seussical (did I miss any?) have all worked SO hard and I feel really sad for them. Hopefully the show will go on… later in the year. But in the meantime, send me videos of your kid singing their showtunes… they’re my favorite thing to watch.
Problem –> General boredom
- School assignments
- Reading quietly
- Reading out loud
- Family book club
- Math stuff – IXL and other math apps (I obviously will not be homeschooling math)
- Writing about what we’re reading
- Creative writing
- Bad-poem writing
- Writing letters to friends
- Writing thank you notes (first up, to the custodial staff deep cleaning our schools right now)
- Science experiments (I mean, we’re not doing that in my house, but you guys should totally do some)
- Walking the dog
- Basketball & other outdoor sports
- Indoor obstacle courses
- Musical instrument practice
- Online piano lessons
- Rock painting
- “Raid the basement art supplies” projects
- Puzzles – jigsaw, sudoku, crossword, brain teasers to name a few
- Organizing closets and wardrobes
- Laundry, laundry, laundry
- Local business support – pick one, buy a gift card for future use
- Help a Helper – find an organization helping and donate
- Household scavenger hunt
- Driving scavenger hunt
- Screens (because I haven’t completely lost my mind)
*Before anyone is impressed by this list, please know that the only things on this list that have gotten done in our house are (minimal) school assignments, reading quietly, basketball and screens. Our “Anti-Boredom Intensive” starts on Monday. I’ve already warned the kids that’s when shit gets real.
> And lastly, I have a confession: I currently have six regular and six travel size bottles of hand sanitizer in my house. I did not mean to hoard them, I swear. When the stores all sold out, I purchased the regular size ones on Amazon but the delivery times were vague so then I ordered the travel ones. They all arrived earlier this week and I was planning to share, but then I felt sick so THAT didn’t seem like a smart idea. But every time I see those bottles of hand sanitizer, I feel guilty.
So this is all is brand new territory. But thank God Al Gore invented the internet and we now have social media (whoever thought we’d say that?!) and texting and FaceTime and all the other ways we can stay connected in a world where we cannot – and should not – be physically connecting.
For you huggers and social butterflies and extroverts… I see you. This is going to be a little harder on you guys than for those of us that have been practicing social distancing for years, but YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS.
Listen, if you promise to self-isolate, I promise to answer my phone when you call. We can all make sacrifices.
Stay healthy and stay home.
PS. Please let me know if you need hand sanitizer. I promise to deep clean the bottle with the Lysol wipes that I’m also accidently hoarding.