Surprisingly Busy

More than a month has passed since my last post. Even though there are less activities and the pace is slower, we’ve been surprisingly busy.

In April, we celebrated two death anniversaries (my mom and my FIL), S turning “Sweet 16”, P turning “double digits”, D and I celebrating our 20th. We can’t forget about Easter!  In April, we’ve acclimated to attending Mass via Facebook Live.

I still go to work at least 3 – 4 days a week. I’ve been volunteering some time at my hospital. The kids’ online school has them occupied during the day. D’s busier than ever, modifying lessons for online learning.

I’m trying to stay upbeat because let’s face it. We’re doing ok. We both have our jobs, the kids are healthy and we have enough toilet paper and paper towels to last a few months. Apparently TP and PT are scarce items. It’s hard though after about 50 days. How did people at war stay in shelter and hiding for so long? I guess we have the privilege that our very lives are dependent on it. Yeah, we can get sick and yeah we can die, but the actual percentage is low and definitely less imminent danger than say bullets and bombs.  Still, it’s starting to wear me down.

I’m in my office today and I was putting up the latest artwork from Peanut.  I didn’t notice until taking the photo to post here that mixed amongst the “love you’s” and “miss yo’s” are a few “stay safe’s”. Over the past month, she’s learned not to hug me when I come home. She’s learned to wait until I’ve showered.  I guess she’s worried about me.

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Surreal

Surreal… it’s the word that keeps popping into my head.

March is still not over and the contrast from how this month started and how it’s ending is so stark.

I can’t believe we had gone skiing 24 days ago.  We went out for dinner for my birthday.  I had a routine dentist and doctor appointments. I signed up Peanut to another two months of gymnastics class and an acting class.  We were raising money for Soso’s mission trip to Appalachia.  I had called around for driving schools for Soso.  We were starting to think about visiting colleges over the summer.  We were also happily planning our milestone trip to Italy in June.

Three weeks ago, I was surprised that some trees had bloomed.

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Now the flowers are fading and the streets are eerily empty.

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Now, I worry about not only when the pandemic will end, but the profound personal and global impact.

Just as 9/11 has changed the course of our lives, so too, will this pandemic.  Will bowing become the norm?  Will people eat out less? Participate less in large group activities? Will there be more virtual conferences? More tele-everything? Tele-learning, working, medicine…  Just as there are scanners for weapons at security points,  will there be body temperature scanners in the future?

The greater worry is the global impact.  Will we see a shift in the balance of power?  Will it reinforce nationalism over the hyper-globalization of the 20th century?  Will leaders across the world leverage the pandemic for more state control and greater restrictions? Will we become less open and less free overall?  One thing is clear. Life will never be quite the same again. All I can hope and pray for is that my family and loved ones survive and everything else will shake out ok in the end.

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Social Distancing

It’s been two weeks of no school and social distancing. Two weeks since the girls have interacted with other children, anyone else for that matter, in close personal setting. They seem to be getting acclimated to homeschooling/e-learning. We’re still getting the hang of various video chat platforms. It took me and 2 other moms an hour to get all three girls connected. However the girls seem to have social distancing perfected.

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We ran into a family friend while biking and walking the dog. The girls were so happy to see each other but knew to keep a distance. They rode around on their respective bike and scooter, apart like that, while the moms and shout-chatted also from a distance.

A proud and yet sad moment… Proud that these kids got it right when according to social media, grown adults can’t. Sad that this the best face-to-face social interaction we’ll get for the foreseeable future.