Long ago, I started this blog as a place to document life with 5 kids. To keep track of memories and events and funny kid antics and...just, life. I discovered that my brain processed life through words and I found so much joy in documenting the happenings of our life.
I’ve been off social media for lent, but when the coronavirus started to disrupt daily life, I began snapping pictures to make a “Pandemic” memory book someday. Just today it crossed my mind to start to journal this historic time on this dusty old blog of mine. So here we go...a bit of a late start, but better late than never, right?
Ellie and I traveled to Jamaica in January for a girls trip and there were murmurings about a virus in China...but China is a half a world away so these murmurings were nothing more than a blip on my radar. Shortly after returning from Jamaica, the news started to ramp up a little, and I’ll be totally honest, I didn’t pay any attention to any of it. We traveled as a family to Florida in February and, once again, news was starting to really pick up about this “coronavirus”. At this point I was (I hang my head now) vehemently certain that this was some media ploy to get us all worked up. (I’ve long loathed that we, as humans, seem to be the puppets and the media the puppeteer with all the power to control our thoughts and emotions and actions.)
By early March, I was still scoffing at this whole thing, but starting to wonder if I needed to be more concerned. Then they cancelled school on March 16th and the former school nurse in me was aghast because I was always told “keep healthy kids at school and sick kids at home...if you let healthy kids out of school they just congregate together and spread sickness” but it turns out I don’t make the decision whether to keep school in session or not. 😉 My Ellie is a senior and walked out of that school uncertain of whether or not she just had her last official day of school. “Distance learning” commenced for Abe and Ayla, my middle schoolers, while my high schoolers basically had a two week break while the public school prepared the district for their distance learning plan.
All the while, I’m over here caught up with trying to figure out where I stand on the whole situation...and you wanna know what finally made me buy in that this was a real concern?
When they cancelled mass. I’m Catholic...and let me tell you, they NEVER cancel mass. Massive snowstorms will blow through and mass is not cancelled. If you deem it is unsafe for you to get to mass, then that is your own decision, but in all my life I NEVER remember mass being cancelled. And here we find ourselves with masses cancelled THROUGH Easter, the holiest of seasons in the liturgical year. No Holy Week masses, no Easter vigil, no glorious Easter Sunday mass. My heart was (and still is) crushed.
But...THAT’S when I decided that this was serious and that I did, indeed, need to be concerned.
Around this same time, my work started talking about social distancing, how we could continue to provide patient care and minimize exposures, and who could work from home. And then, on March 27, our governor announced a “shelter in place” order to last for two weeks (until April 10th).
This week is when the impact of coronavirus was truly felt at my job...ZERO face-to-face contact with patients unless absolutely necessary, relocated to a vacated office of someone who had been relocated to working from home, and waiting with this feeling of impending doom of when the surge is going to hit.
Through the increasing seriousness of this pandemic my eyes have been opened more and more to the blessings in my life, to trying to find a blessing in everyday...from the near 60° March day with a whole houseful of able bodied kids to help make a huge dent in getting spring lawn work done to recognizing the privilege of technology that allows us to participate in mass as a family in our basement via a livestream mass on YouTube.
God is still good...there is still SO MUCH good in this world and while we don’t know the certainty of how this will play out in our personal lives, I am profoundly touched by unity and support that I’m witnessing. Our hospital is decorated with hearts and paint proclaiming “we are in this together!” People are making face masks and posting signs and just when it was beginning to feel like our country was being ripped in two, we see a coming together for a common cause.
Yes, my friends, this too shall pass...and we will be stronger because of it!
To be continued...