Life during a Pandemic
It’s hard to believe we’re living through a pandemic. That this will be something children learn about in school and read about in history books. And although I want this little space on the internet to provide some positivity and normalcy, I also want to look back on this time and remember it. Because although a lot of things are currently a challenge, there’s a lot of good coming out of this time as well.
When I started this blog, it was a place to collect my thoughts. I was newly married, newly pregnant, and about to send my husband off to war in Afghanistan. It was my sanctuary, a place where I could come and write and release all of the feelings and emotions I was dealing with. My life felt out of control and this space was something I could control. Half of the time I didn’t even know what I was going to write but once my fingers hit the keyboard, the words just started to flow.
I haven’t sat down to write about life during a pandemic because I honestly wasn’t sure it would come as easy. I feel like I’ve been living in some sort of Twilight Zone and it’s hard to distinguish what’s a dream (or nightmare) and what’s our reality.
A reality where people are dying daily.
A reality where hospitals are parking refrigerated trucks outside because the morgue is full.
A reality where you wait in line before entering a store because only a certain amount of people can enter at once.
A reality where everyone is wearing masks to protect themselves.
A reality where you’re limited to one pack of toilet paper and paper towels per trip.
A reality where you can’t see your family or friends due to social distancing guidelines.
A reality where weddings get cancelled, funerals are limited to 10 people and school is virtual learning indefinitely.
A reality where our kids were ripped from their classrooms. They won’t get field days, yearbooks, concerts, proms, or graduation ceremonies.
This is our reality. Something we never could have imagined and something we certainly weren’t prepared for.
I haven’t been to a store in months. Like literally, I think the last time I was inside of a store was almost 2 months ago. We’ve taken a few rides in the car, sometimes just to get some fresh air and another time to pick up produce from a local market.
But even then, it’s nerve wracking. Any bag or box that has come in contact with another human needs wiped down with disinfectant wipes before coming inside. I’m constantly wiping down door knobs, cabinet handles, toilets, light switches, everything. Because although we’ve been self quarantining, I’m paranoid that somehow, something that someone has touched outside will contract the virus. Whether it’s an Amazon package, the mailbox, a rock on the sidewalk that someone helps stepped on.
Some people are taking this more seriously than others; some are following the rules and some think they don’t apply to them. Some are gathering for volleyball games or block parties or play dates, knowing that this isn’t supposed to be happening and doing it anyways. My kids have watched other kids in the neighborhood play together and cried at the door wondering why they can’t go play too. And trying to explain to them that I’m keeping them safe and following the rules seems to go right over their heads. They’re 8 and 6, how could they possibly understand the severity of this situation?
We were told “Influenza is worse than the Coronavirus” and “more people die from Influenza every year than will die from the Coronavirus.” And that “only people with underlying conditions and compromised immune systems are at risk”. But right now, it feels like that’s not the case. When you hear of hospitals running out of ventilators and deciding who gets to live and who gets to die. When you hear and see healthy individuals fighting for their lives, it becomes a lot more scary.
We’re all just doing the best we can. Most of us with school aged children are trying to balance homeschool, working at home (if we’re fortunate enough to still have a job), our own mental health, keeping up a home, and paying our bills. SO many businesses and individuals are out of work and the economy feels like it’s collapsing. There are small business loans, unemployment, and stimulus checks available but it’s not enough. It’s not the same. People are slipping into depressions and feeling helpless. Each day is taken on a case by case basis and no one knows what it will bring or how they’ll feel.
And although there is SO much bad coming out of this situation, there’s also a silver lining. I mean, we have to look for the silver lining in all of this or we’ll go crazy.
Families are spending more time together. They’re finally getting to play that board game that’s been collecting dust or work on that puzzle sitting in the closet.
Siblings are building forts, going on treasure hunts and putting on talent shows. They’re deepening their bonds and they don’t even know it yet.
Parents who used to miss bedtime routines or getting their kids ready for school every morning are there to do those things. Even if it means getting them ready to sit at the kitchen table for virtual learning.
Couples are actually talking. Of course social media is still booming so there’s still the distraction of the phone (which quite honestly I’m thankful for). But couples are spending more time together and learning more about each other everyday.
People are picking up the phone and calling or FaceTiming with people they haven’t in months. Because there was never enough hours in the day before and now all we have is time.
People are writing letters and drawing pictures for grandparents and popping them in the mail. Because a trip to the mailbox is the highlight of everyone’s day.
There’s so much going on in the world that we can’t control. No one knows how long this will last and even when restrictions are lifted, how long it will take before we get back to normal again. Before we feel normal again.
The best thing we can do for ourselves and the rest of our community is stay home. And instead of thinking we’re stuck at home, rewiring our minds to think we’re safe at home. Take up a new hobby, learn to meditate, bake bread or make homemade pasta, do ANYTHING you want! Now is the time to work on all of those projects or self-care routines. Now is the time to take care of yourself physically and mentally. We will get through this together. Will it be tomorrow? In a few weeks? A few months? No one knows.
But if we try and make the best of it, who knows what good could come out of it.
If you’re struggling and need more resources, check out our other posts related to life during a pandemic:
12 activities to entertain toddlers during quarantine
Staying calm during the Coronavirus Pandemic
30+ things to do with kids during social distancing
what do you think?