On Friday the 13th, four days ago, school and work closed, and residents were encouraged to practice social distancing in order to slow the rapid spread of the highly contagious COVID-19.
I had seen this coming, as experts warned the situation in the U.S. was weeks behind Italy(link).
I had been to the grocery store, a week or two before the panic buying, and bought a few extra essentials in anticipation of some future movement restrictions. I didn’t think the grocery stores would close or food would run out. I wanted to have a little extra on hand so when the spread of COVID-19 peaks, we can stretch out our grocery runs and expose ourselves or others as little as possible.
Four days ago, I was working full-time, in school, and caring for my family. Having submitted my final assignment for my course on Sunday, yesterday I found myself suddenly a full-time stay-at-home mom. The adjustment has been quick and aggressive, and not without some growing pains.
I recognize the incredible privilege that comes with the kind of employment that allows me to be home with my kids during this time. We currently depend on healthcare workers, employees of grocery stores and all the up the food supply chain, pharmacies, and businesses that provide crucial services. The maintenance care workers that continue to clean and care for our facilities, now with increased labor, are also front-line combatants against the rapid spread of COVID-19. We owe these individuals to stay home and stay healthy, so that they can continue to do their job protecting the most vulnerable populations.
Staying home can be hard, and staying home can be absolutely wonderful. I’ve been thinking about the concept of delighting in home, a sort of homesteading, a lot these past few months. There is such deliciousness in hygge, home, comfort. But there is also isolation and feeling trapped.
To combat this, I turned my objective from survive to thrive (within the current constraints). I play my favorite records, light candles and the fireplace. We have a puzzle going and lots of little treats. Every little scrap or cardboard box has become a potential art project. We have dance parties and movie nights with popcorn and red vines. I spend time out on the patio, tending to my little garden or just soaking in the sunshine. I go on frequent walks. We play basketball and ride scooters.
I know this is a difficult time, and some of you out there are suffering or scared. I don’t have answers, just a little message, that someone out there in the big wide internet is there. I want to hear your struggles, I want to know how I can help. I just want to be there/here so you don’t feel alone. And if it can be my privilege, I hope to provide a little bit of inspiration and hope. I hope I can share a resource you might need or an activity that brings joy to you.
I know we are separated, but we don’t have to be alone.