Once upon a time is a classic fairy tale opening. I’m afraid that’s exactly what my last post was; a fairy tale. In the not so distant future the world will not resemble the one from the not so distant past. There will be a new normal, and it’ll be quite a bit different from the old normal. How different and what it looks like no one really knows, but I’m guessing face masks will be common place and shaking hands won’t be.
In my life there’s been three events that have altered “normal.” The HIV/Aids crisis, September 11th, and now the Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve been “staying at home” since March 14th, thirty-three days and counting, with no end in sight. San Diego and California’s early adoption of staying at home, social distancing, and face masks while in public seems to be working to flatten the curve and slowing down and reducing death. But people are getting antsy.
We feel safe at home, walking around the block, and riding our bikes, but it’s terrifying to go into a crowded store to buy groceries. In our county, you cannot enter a store unless you are wearing a mask. And all the employees are wearing them too. It’s jarring to see everyone in masks. Amelia said it best, “You can’t see anyone smile.” That’s sad, because a warm smile goes a long way in this environment. All non-essential stores are closed, and unfortunately many of them will never reopen. They can’t hold on, their businesses will be lost.
At the beginning of stay at home, there was a lot of stress, anxiety, and fear. And a lot of alcohol consumption in the evenings, but that is not sustainable nor conducive to quality sleep. When we did sleep the dreams were crazy, vivid, and intense. Now over thirty days into it we’ve adapted and have throttled back some.
Humor has always been a coping mechanism. The darker the times, the darker the humor. Right now there is some hilarious stuff rattling around in cyberspace. Is everyone over Zoom happy hours and meetings? The novelty has definitely worn off for us. Zoom rhymes with gloom and doom. Is your neighborhood like ours? Everyday there’s a parade of people walking around the block. And everyone is friendly.
The news and images coming out of New York are horrifying, a complete nightmare. And this is the United States of America? You would think that would wake people up to reality. How horrible to die alone, and how horrible for the families that can’t be with their loved ones. I heard someone say, “In America, even our pets don’t die alone.”
There’s been a complete failure of leadership at the national level. It has exasperated the situation. Our death count could’ve been lower if swift and decisive action were taken earlier. Instead, what occurred has been well documented.
I’d like to leave you with a rhetorical question. Why is Dr. Fauci receiving death threats?
As a distraction to this current nightmare we are all in, I’ve been giving a daily tour of our yard on Instagram. If you love plants and flowers check it out! gregharris395
Great post. Yes we have a dear friend whose mom just passed in hospital with only drs and nurses nearby. It was the family’s worst nightmare. They are angry and sad and scared because it “can happen to me” and there’s little we can do except drop off flowers with gloves, offer to get groceries, etc. Thank you for doing your part and also documenting this. I hope Amy is holding up trying to provide crisis support for her students. As much as we try, this is not teaching, it’s not homeschooling, and we can only provide support to the families who are able and wanting to log on. Hang in there.
Thanks Jenny! Zoom with kindergarteners has definitely been an interesting experience for Amy.
It’s just as you describe and exhausting for her. Take care and stay safe.
Well…this post was absolutely spot ON! The best picture here is Amy with that rainbow. Perfection! I love you both and can’t wait until we can hug.
Love your post. Such strange times – I know, an understatement!. I’m grateful I can work from home keeping my income. I have a warm, comfortable house with everything I need. Of course, dealing with some disappointment as events and social interaction have been put on hold until who knows when? My boyfriend and I were suppose to be at the Forum last night for the Eagles concert…instead, we played their music while drinking and working on a jigsaw puzzle! Had a great time and didn’t have to deal with the traffic, the silver lining! We had a couple of more concerts coming up which have been cancelled as well, but my biggest disappointment is Dawn’s graduation from Wharton going virtual…two years of grad school and these kids can’t join together in person to celebrate. It’s a bummer! I still have my flight to Philly leaving May 14, but hope of traveling is dwindling and I have to ask myself, do I really want to sit on a plane with other people for 5 hours?
Love the picture of Amy under the rainbow and the caption…perfect! Stay safe and healthy….one of these days, we’ll get together for dinner!
Big hugs to you both!
ps. Amy, I’ve been doing a virtual zumba gold class a few days a week and walking around the neighborhood. Feels good to keep moving!
Big bummer about Dawn’s graduation. I wouldn’t get on a plane. We are really looking forward to the day we can get together and meet your boyfriend! Thanks for your comments. Stay healthy!
Thanks – I did cancel the flights to Philly! Dang!!! And yes, we will definitely get together once we can. I know you guys will like Mark. He’s a great guy. Originally from Idaho. We are scheduled to go there for 4th of July, a family reunion of sorts. Hope it happens. Anyway, let’s have dinner here when it’s safe. We’ll enjoy hanging together! Stay healthy!
An interesting west coast perspective of our situation, with some valid points and some questionable thoughts. The federal response to this pandemic has been significantly impacted by several factors: the delay in / lack of comm. coming out of China & then WHO, the political infighting of Congress (w/ Nancy ripping more than speeches apart) and the inability of people to take heed and control their behaviors, and act socially responsibly. The response to this pandemic runs from global to grassroots, and at every level there’s been issues and advancement. Hopefully we will learn a great deal from this experience, we will change and adapt to our new circumstance, and be better for it! Zoom may rhyme with doom, but it also rhymes with room, and that’s room for growth!
As an educator for 30+ yrs, I witnessed the onset of computers in education. It too was an era of huge change (resistance & obstructionism, fear of losing a job, funding & asset reallocations, age discrimination; we had it all!) Lots of pedagogical ideologies clashing, yet advancing. I taught at a school that services extremely bright students, some with typical classroom setting disabilities (add/adhd, dysgraphia or auditory processing) or lifestyles that did not allow for typical classroom instructional times (professional musicians, athletes, models etc). And so many times, the key to their success was to teach them individual learning strategies that matched their learning style, and set them free to learn. And it was the onset of computers in the classroom, and then the personal computers that allowed this type of instruction that changed education for the better! So what’s the point? Perhaps zoom learning will be the next best thing! My sister, a 1st grade teacher, has divided her class into three groups, addressing each group differently; an advanced independent group, a tchr led instruction group, and a remediation group for individualized instructional help! As they progress, they move between the groups! She loves Zoom, and claims for some it’s a perfect fit, for others it’s the change that’s most difficult, not the lessons! Change is difficult, but it’s our resilience that will make us better. Perhaps we will all learn from this, there’s always room for growth!
Hi to Ruth. ✌💞😃.
Thanks Susan for the comments. I will definitely say hello to my mom for you. Please tell your mom we say hello. I hope she’s doing well.