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Quarantine in the age of coronavirus

Coronavirus and quarantine. I definitely did not see this one coming. The week before Spring Break, we were still planning our trip to Los Angeles and were really wrestling with whether or not to pull the plug on it. I just couldn’t get comfortable with all the what-ifs. The last straw was when Disneyland announced they were closing. That was two weeks ago and now here we are in lockdown in Oklahoma City which seemed unthinkable then. Somehow a mere two or three weeks ago, all we could think about was the daily grunt of school routines and the upcoming spring break trip we’d planned. And in the blink of an eye (or more like the bounce of a basketball in Oklahoma City due to the Utah Jazz player bringing coronavirus with him here) suddenly things were looking significantly different.

The first week wasn’t so bad as we were still on spring break — but how to explain to Jude and Archer that we aren’t going anywhere at all. No, not to the mall, not to the movies, not to the science museum or the zoo. Home. That’s it. Gray days with plenty of rain brought all of us down. Simon and I have alternated between panic and inability to process what is happening all around us. There’s also the number of people who aren’t yet believing that it isn’t all a big lie or fear-fest from the media. That we are barreling headfirst into what will undoubtedly be a life-changing definable moment in history. “Where were you when the coronavirus came?”

I remember 9/11 well. I was in college and the need to go straight home and be with my family was real. It felt like being a little kid again who wanted the safety and security of parents who could encourage you that yes, everything will be ok. It will be normal again.

Except it isn’t, is it? At least, not in the way that it was before. And the coronavirus of 2020 will be another one of those moments.

The other night I cleaned out the car; it was the same day they’d decided to cancel school and go to an online-only model. Suddenly I was now a homeschool mom, which I swore I’d never be.  In a moment of overwhelm as I surveyed all of Archer’s precious school drawings and Jude’s loopy cursive handwriting, I sobbed. I mourned the loss of normal, of their amazing school and teachers and of the extra help Archer was getting that I fear I will never be able to replicate.

I’ve been attempting to get us on a somewhat regular routine now that school kicked back in this week, and remembering to have grace despite my imperfection. My friend calls it disaster schooling instead of homeschooling, and that couldn’t be more accurate. I start to worry too much and then I realize that I’ve definitely consumed too much corona-news.

But amidst our collective grief and worry, I find silver linings. Our life now is so less hurried and overscheduled. It’s much like how it is when we go to Carlton Landing. People always ask us what we find to do there. Nothing, we reply, and that’s what’s so great about it. We hang out together, go for walks, play games, eat dinner with our friends, all of which we’re doing now, sans the whole dinner w/ friends thing. The day fills up. When the sun comes out, I feel especially grateful. We’ve made getting outside a daily priority not only for our physical health but our mental health too.  We’re doing puzzles, making art projects and I’ve started scouring the internet for rescue chihuahuas because why not add to the crazy?! In the meantime, I’m also enjoying taking care of my ever-increasing plant collection.

All that to say, not an entirely exciting blog post but one I want to remember for the long run. These are crazy days, friends. Stay safe —

 

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