It has been 6 days since school was abruptly canceled and life as we know it changed. We were notified last night that the school closure has been extended to April 10 with the understanding that it is likely going to be longer than that. They are saying that they anticipate schools being closed for another 6-12 weeks. We have been told that teachers are preparing for distance learning but so far have gotten no guidance of what to do with our kids other than a few websites we can use as reinforcement. As a former teacher, I cannot imagine what teachers are feeling right now. It is a tough situation full of uncertainties. As a parent, I am extremely worried what all of these means for our kids. It is hard to imagine that this is our life in 2020. It is like something out of a movie. I keep thinking of the movie Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, and Morgan Freeman. I know that everyone is scared of the unknown and what this all means. I am scared too. You know it is bad when they tell you not to come to church! I am so thankful for technology and the fact that we can watch church online and connect with others that way.
As of yesterday, practice has been canceled for both of my children. The gymnastics season has been officially canceled and has, therefore, come to an abrupt end. The cheer season is on hold as they are attempting to postpone competitions rather than cancel them. However, I feel like it is only a matter of time before it is all canceled as well. This all means that we really are putting a halt on our lives. We are literally staying home all day like much of the country now. I am already starting to feel a little claustrophobic, and it has only been 3 days since I have left the house. I am a homebody by nature, but this is extreme even for me. I guess it is because it is such a contrast from our normal go, go, go life. We don’t know what to do with ourselves and all the free time we have. It is almost like we are all in withdrawal from what has been our crazy busy life for so long. The change is drastic and a little unnerving, but it is also freeing at the same time. I feel like this is God’s way of telling us all that we need to slow down and take time to spend with our families. I think that maybe he felt like he needed to do something drastic to make us see what we were doing to ourselves. It has already had a huge impact on my family. My kids have played OUTSIDE together for the first time in years. They are getting to do things that they normally never have time for with school and practice. Their bodies are getting a chance to rest and recuperate. I am cooking meals for our family daily, which also hasn’t been done in years. We usually aren’t home long enough for me to really cook. I even tried out a new recipe last night that was a hit. My husband and I are spending time actually talking to each other and hanging out together instead of our usual passing of each other as we rush to the next thing. My oldest and my husband are even working to teach our dog a new trick. It is a totally new life…one that wasn’t planned but is a positive change. I am choosing to focus on the positive impact this has had on my family.
The media is reporting all of the negatives from the spread of this virus including the hoarding of toilet paper and food. That is not the whole story, though. Even from all of the chaos and uncertainty, so much good has come from all of this already. The school system’s first priority was finding a way to provide breakfast and lunch to ALL students who need it regardless if they receive free and reduced lunch or not. Communities are rallying around each other and offering support. I’ve seen coaches from all over posting workouts online for athletes to tune into. Teachers and administrators are posting videos of them reading picture books. Families that already homeschool their children are giving tips and sharing their schedules to help those families that have no clue how to structure their children’s days. Other teachers are offering help to parents who may not understand the material they now have been given to teach. Neighbors are purchasing grocery items for those that are unable to get out and are leaving them on their doorsteps. I could go on and on. I wish the media covered all of the good. I am proud of my friends, family, and fellow community members that I have seen step up and go above and beyond.
While these times are uncertain and scary, try to look for the good in it all because there is so much good happening all around us. Use this time to slow down and stop and smell the roses. Spend quality time with the ones you love. Support those around you that may need it and look out for your fellow neighbor. Be the good! Know that God is in control of it all, and he will lead us down the right path. Be ready to follow it wherever it may lead you.