I’ve been really hesitant to write anything about this time in our lives because recording it makes it real. But at the same time there feels to be much more of a need to connect and to feel like you aren’t alone. And really that was the whole reason I started this blog, to connect and feel less alone. So I’m going to start a weekly post of what life is like right now.
Week of March 1st
I started to get an inkling that this virus was going to be a problem. The reports of toilet paper and disinfectant shortages had just started appearing on social media. Since I work in social media I feel like I probably had more exposure to the news than most people. I started adding some extra items to our grocery orders and went out and got toilet paper. I went to a winery for trivia with a friend on Friday March 6th. You could definitely feel some tension. The table next to us had hand sanitizer on their table. People were washing their hands more. We canceled a media invite to an event in Philly cause it seemed like the kind of things were germs could easily spread. An event I had tickets to at the end of March was canceled. On Saturday night we went to dinner with friends and we made some jokes about possibly having to stay home but mostly things were normal. Had I known that was my last night out I would have stayed out longer and choose a better bar for my last beer.
Week of March 8
After dropping Grace at preschool I went to the grocery store and picked up a few things. The store had plenty of disinfectant wipes but we had a container at home so I didn’t buy any. The next day I ended up going back to buy some and overhead someone say that the store brand ones were sold out cause everyone was buying them. We had speech therapy and I said to Grace’s speech therapist that they are going to close schools.
Wednesday I got my hair done and no one seemed too concerned. I told my hairstylist that I hoped when I came in April that things would be better. I went to the liquor store and got a case of wine and some snacks. The store was quiet and while we chatted about the virus no one seemed too worried, well except me. The gas attendant at WaWa was wearing gloves. Wednesday it was announced that the President would address the nation after weeks of downplaying the seriousness of the virus it finally felt like maybe the government was taking it seriously. While watching the NBA canceled the season and Tom Hanks announced he had tested positive for COVID-19. It felt like things were escalating quickly.
Thursday we went to speech therapy when I arrived all the toys had been removed from the waiting room and hand washing before and after was being enforced. The tension was high and I was filled with anxiety wondering if even bringing Grace had been the right idea. After speech we went right home. The closings kept coming one after the other: Disneyland, Spring Training, the NHL season on it went. I texted my father that he should not go on his trip to spring training. I picked Jack up from his half-day of school. I made the decision between Thursday and Friday that if school resumed on Monday I wouldn’t be sending him. Information about flattening the curve was coming out and this seemed to be the only course of action I could take. In a time of feeling powerless making decisions for my family felt like taking some of the power back. I had groceries delivered on Saturday and requested that they be left at the door.
Week of March 15
On Sunday (15th) we received notice that school would open on Monday for kids to collect their things and that it would be closed through the end of the month. I messaged Jack’s teacher and confirmed that he needed nothing from the school so I didn’t send him on Monday.
The week passed in a bit of a blur. I did a virtual happy hour with friends on Sunday and Thursday. I probably read more news than I should have. I spent time focusing on how to keep my family connected. Video chatting with Grandparents, setting my kids up to stay connected and creating a Facebook group. I continued to work from home as I always did just with the kids around. It felt a bit like an anxiety-filled spring break. My emotions were all over the place I was/am angry, scared, and anxious all at the same time. I made sure to keep up my daily Yoga.
There was a lot of back and forth with family. Should my parents stay in Florida where they spend the winter? We went back and forth until it finally became apparent that they should stay. For the most part, we tried to relax and keep things as normal as possible. The trees in the neighborhood bloomed. The governor slowly closed down businesses over the course of the week. It feels at times surreal, scary yet necessary. I keep reminding myself that the only way other nations beat this was by doing what we are doing now and that they got through this and so will we.
We are watching movies, doing puzzles, calling family, playing games and having afternoon drinks which definitely help dull my anxiety. We are trying to keep a routine while being flexible.