I am creating an online journal during the Coronavirus social distancing so I can look back and remember how my thoughts and actions might change during this time. This is Day Eight
Saturday, March 21
It’s the weekend! It’s time to rest after a busy week, get caught up on housework and make plans to spend time with friends. Except…
It’s the first day that the state of Illinois is living under a “shelter in place” order from the governor. It’s Day Eight of social distancing due to the spread of the coronavirus. We haven’t had a busy week. We can’t be near any friends. And I’m starting to see signs that my family members are beginning to crack.
We no longer seem to structure our day around the time on the clock. We’re all sleeping later and staying up later. Matt laughed that he didn’t eat breakfast until 4 p.m. I find myself frequently making announcements like, “How is it 11:45?!”, “Can you believe it’s already 4:20?”, “Why are we eating dinner at 8 p.m.?!”
“All of the hours are the same!” Alayna lamented several times throughout the day. Without anything on the calendar, no place to be or the need to stay on schedule, time is losing significance.
“We’re living on dog time now,” I told her. In fact, we are all starting to appreciate why dogs crave structure in their lives. With each day that passes, we find ourselves behaving more and more like Cooper. We roam around the house aimlessly. We take naps at random times. We sniff around the kitchen looking for treats. We wait for someone else to tell us it’s time to take a walk.
I get excited when “it’s time” to do some tiny little task that is starting to become part of my routine. We change the day of the week on our sign in the kitchen in the morning. Before I go to bed, I check the number of coronavirus cases in Illinois and the nation and add them to the little log on my phone. I’m already starting to wonder if there will be a time when I no longer do these things.
We had a few big adventures today. Jayda got to attend a Zoom call with all of her classmates and teacher. It was so sweet to see their excitement as each class member’s face popped up on the computer screen! A lump formed in my throat as I looked on, realizing what a strange time it is to be a child. I can’t believe my kids are living through something like this and trying to figure out how to process such a drastic change in how we are living.
The teacher had sent out instructions that the children should be aware only one person could talk at once during the video call. You can imagine how hard that would be for 24 10-year-olds. It sounded like the chat was complete chaos, but I know they all loved their virtual time together. About halfway through, they all grabbed their pets and showed them off for their classmates. How often do they get to do something like that?!
Kent went out on an early toilet paper run as soon as the stores opened. He was able to find one small package at Target and another at Meijer. I promise, we aren’t hoarding. It just takes a lot of toilet paper for six people!
Later in the day, the kids needed to replace their basketball net, which had been torn and tattered by the winter weather. Kent, Andrew, Matthew, Jayda and Cooper all went along on this adventure. Because… why not? Getting in a car and going somewhere these days seems like a big deal!
Kent and I also went on a long walk today. We were amazed at how many people were out walking! It was like a parade of people and dogs in certain spots. We crossed paths with some neighbors and it was good to catch up from opposite sides of the path.
I cleaned out most of the kitchen cabinets, and Jayda and I purged all of the clothes she has outgrown. Andrew has been doing a deep clean of his room since returning home from college. He found a pile of bandanas, so I thought it would be fun to give Cooper a new “outfit.”
These are all boring events that I typically would barely even take note of in a day. Now, they have become our highlights!
By dinnertime, several family members were starting to show signs that they were losing it just a little. We had tears at the dinner table. People talked about how suddenly they’ve gone from feeling busy and rushed all of the time to having absolutely nothing on their schedule.
This week is spring break. Normally, we would be looking forward to the added downtime in our routine. I will still be working this week, so I will have some structure. But I’m a little anxious about a full week for the kids when “all of the hours are the same.”
How are you doing? Is social distancing starting to wear on you? What was the highlight of your Saturday?
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