It’s really become surreal just how much things change over the course of a week. Terms like “Social Distancing” and “Flattening the Curve” weren’t even on our radar, and now it’s all everyone is nervously thinking about. One week ago, lives seemed normal, our trials were relatively marginal, and we had no idea that our days would become so disrupted.
I just wanted to share insights from my little corner from the world. I don’t think that my perspective is really unique, nor do I have any wisdom to offer others, but as we look back on 2020 years from now, I can offer a snapshot of what we’re doing, how we’re feeling, and just how much we don’t know.
Right now there’s more we don’t know about COVID-19 than what we do know. We know that while it’s especially mild for most, those who are elder, infirm, and immutably compromised are especially vulnerable. Driven by efficiency, our medical system is not equipped to deal with a significant influx of ailments, and COVID-19 represents a threat to the capacity of our health systems. In order to stem the tide, we’re working to “flatten the curve” of viral infection. Large events of any kind have been canceled. Restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and non-essential stores have been closed in order to prevent people from gathering. People have been asked to stay at home and avoid contact with others. “Social Distancing” is really just a term for staying at least 6 feet away from anyone that’s not in your family.
Luckily we’re still able to be outside and get some fresh air through activities like walking, running, and biking. However, people who love sports and gyms are having to find another form of exercise. All the while we’re washing our hands so thoroughly and often that my knuckles are drying up and cracking.
For our own family, the school has been canceled for at least three weeks (although right now it’s being treated as an extended spring break). It’s not clear whether or when we’ll be physically back at school if the school year will be extended out, rescheduled, or canceled altogether. This impacts both Bethany and Clara, but we’re lucky that Bethany gets to be home while the girls are home. At my workplace, people have been sent home, although I have not been personally impacted since I normally work from home. Mari’s in-home daycare isn’t officially closed, but most families have opted to keep their kids home as a precaution. We’re planning on it lasting at least 2-3 weeks.
As you can imagine, this level of isolation is catastrophic for a service-based economy, It’s not clear just how long this will last. Right now it seems to be at least three weeks, but it’s unclear whether schools or other businesses will open, while large gatherings remain banned. At this point, any sense of normalcy seems to be a long ways away.
Throughout all of this, we have many blessings to count. We’re lucky to all be presently healthy, and that COVID-19 doesn’t seem to seriously impact healthy children and youth. I’m lucky that I’m able to work throughout this time and that Bethany and I both have relative income stability. I’m lucky that Bethany’s schedule gets to mirror the girls’ school schedule, and that she’s able to care and entertain them during the day. I’m thankful that we still get to be outside when the weather permits, and that we can still find ways to exercise.
We’re buckling up and seeing where this roller coaster takes us.