Day 2: The first time I woke up it was 5:30 a.m., not too much later than when I normally get up to go to work. I forced myself back to bed and woke up to the sound of rain. It was dark. I stumbled into the bathroom and decided to shower, just as I would on a normal school day.
Only today wasn’t a normal school day; it was the first day of distance learning. I opened my Mac Book by 8:00 a.m. There was a flurry of emails from students asking questions, and even a few directions on how to conduct distance learning. I made some coffee and left the kitchen for the living room, and Good Morning America, which was depressing. By 9:00 a.m., I shut off the television and retreated the the kitchen/office. My son had his earbuds inserted and was working.
DH walked past us and retreated to the downstairs bathroom. Just another day.
To say it was “easy” to work would have been a lie. I am still struggling with wrapping my brain around our new reality, and retreating under a cover of Fear. I snapped at my son and stood up suddenly, stepping into the cat’s food dish. The pain was exquisite, and for a moment, I wondered if I had broken the side of my foot. The thought of having to have it checked was suddenly sobering. So I willed it to feel better, which took an hour.
I have papers to grade. And some texts to read. But instead, I bounce around between Google Classrooms posting comments, and amending assignments. All the while my cell phone would beep with incoming text messages and Covid 19 announcements.
At 12:30 I stopped, reheated some pizza, and sat down to eat as a family. DH took a break and played with our son. I lay down and tried to close my eyes. But I couldn’t relax. Later, our son went out on his bike. A few minutes after he came home, there was a knock on our door. The neighborhood kids wanted him to come out and play. I stood guard by the doorway and said “Maybe tomorrow.” My son begged to ride bikes with them, and I let him go, wondering if we would do the same tomorrow. “Don’t go inside their house!” I warned as he peddled down the driveway.
Later still, DH and I took a walk around the neighborhood, a familiar path for me; a new one for him. Our son stayed home. We took that time to discuss the “what ifs”, which are terrifying. Not only am I afraid we might get sick, but I am afraid we won’t have as much income in a few weeks. How will we pay our bills?
Tonight, I watched the news and felt sick. After dinner, I helped our son learn how to use Google Hangout with a friend. Then I set off to get gmail addresses from his friends. I think it is really important that our son sees them, not just texts with them. I worry about the young people’s mental health. Once I was done, I checked out Facebook again and gasped. Recycling Services have been suspended.
I think what is most shocking is how fast our lives have devolved. There is so much uncertainty about what will happen next. All I can do is take things one day at a time. And show some gratitude for the small moments of love.
I would love to know how you are coping with this Covid reality. Leave me comments below.