I started this blog when I was laid off from work and had nothing but time on my hands a not a lot to do, and here I find myself in a similar situation. Life over the past 4-5 years has been busy and exhausting. I am working for Head Start as a teacher in a preschool classroom. The days fly by and I am usually stressed and exhausted. I feel at times like I am on a hamster wheel, just running and running and not really going anywhere. Still, time marches forward. Evelyn has started school and is now in the second grade at a small, rural charter school. Michael is working for a different early childhood program, as a mental health and behavioral support specialist (not his official title). We have been busy…and tired…and stressed.
Today, we are at home for the 11th day in a row, isolated due to the spread of COVID-19 across the globe. I figured it would be a good time to update my blog since this is something I never imagined would happen in my lifetime. I guess I always knew there was the possibility of world-wide pandemic, but of course, we never think this will happen to us or that we will live long enough to see events like this. Yet, here we are, with nothing to do but wait to see what will happen. Our days have been fairly calm here at home, but I do have an underlying feeling of anxiety (and who doesn’t?) which I try to keep hidden from Evelyn as much as possible. We have always taken the honest approach with her in explaining how things work in our world, so we try to be open and honest with her about the state of things without sharing TOO much, like how in Spain the military who have gone into elder care homes to help with disinfection have found dead bodies, abandoned by the staff. We try to share to good things, like videos of Italians on their balconies singing together to pass the time and raise spirits during their lockdown. For me, it is both scary and comforting to know that this is happening all over the globe. People are isolating themselves at home to help to stop the spread of the virus, which is very contagious and has a very long incubation period. While the feeling of solidarity makes all this a bit more bearable, it also scares me to think about the economic impact that these lockdowns will have. Schools are closed and all non-essential businesses have been asked to shut down in Pennsylvania and in many other states. We are extremely blessed that we are still getting a paycheck…for now.
I will never forget the look of excitement on Evelyn’s face when she jumped off the bus on March 13 and exclaimed, “No school for 2 weeks!” I had only just found out that the governor was closing schools for two weeks a few minutes before her and it was hard to hide the worry that was probably on my face. I knew even then that we would be closed much longer than 2 weeks. I think the novelty of being off school is going to wear out for her quickly. We have just been trying to make the most of the time at home…cooking, playing games, doing puzzles, catching up on Netflix, enjoying a little time outdoors when the weather is nice. It’s all we can do right now.