Monday, March 30
For the past few days, it has felt like we could see dark storm clouds moving toward us from a distance. And finally, they are here. Drops of rain are starting to fall around us as we hear about people we know who are directly impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
A pastor at the church where our kids used to go to school died yesterday from coronavirus. His grand daughter was in the same class with our son. We have a few friends who are living in self quarantine because they might have been exposed. My niece is helping serve with the National Guard, which has been deployed to set up testing stations for medical personnel.
It still feels surreal to us because we continue with our routine in the safety of our home. Each day, this way of living starts to feel more normal. At the same time, as the days pile up that we haven’t interacted with friends and family, we grow a little more restless to get back to our old way of life. The number of cases in the nation, in Illinois and in our county all are growing rapidly, making me think this could get a lot worse before it gets better.
Often, it feels like it’s just a dream. Each morning when I wake up, I check the online newspapers to confirm whether it’s true. The stories are still there.
On Saturday, I wrote this blog post asking if we are taking this situation seriously enough. I loved reading all of the perspectives people posted in response on my Facebook page. A lot of people said they also were painting rooms and working on home improvement projects as an outlet for their mental health. So a quick trip to the paint supply store was OK. Others said they are not leaving their homes at all. They have groceries delivered and only eat home-cooked food.
Moving forward, I have decided that it’s best to live as if anyone I come into contact with has the virus. I should also behave as if I have the virus and could give it to anyone I encounter. I’m not writing this to be dramatic. I don’t believe it’s actually true that every single person has the virus. But for me, if I think of it this way, I will take the precautions necessary to protect myself and others. I would feel horrible if someone I love gets sick, and I look back at my actions and realize I wasn’t careful enough.
This is difficult for me because the way I’m wired, I simply don’t live in fear of getting a virus. But this isn’t about me and my personal health. This situation is about every person doing everything they can for the good of the greater community. By doing our part not to spread something, we are working together to fight the storm. It’s not something we’ve ever had to do before, not only as a community or a nation, but as the entire world.
With all of that said, the girls and I painted their bathroom and Jayda’s bedroom the past three days. It feels so nice to have fresh, clean paint on the walls. We’ve created a few shiny new spaces that give us so much joy when we walk into those rooms!
Kent and I have found a good rhythm working from home. It’s starting to feel like there’s no reason to even work in an office anymore. Remarkably, this all happened just a few weeks after the non-profit ministry where I work sold our building. The car dealership that bought our facility is allowing us to continue working there for 10 months, but they had started using our parking lot to park their cars. What perfect timing that we are all working from home right when this transition was happening. It feels like it is giving us a new perspective on what type of space we night actually need in the future.
The kids were on spring break this past week, but they are supposed to start online learning Tuesday. This is going to add a new element of stress to my day. I feel like I need to check on everyone’s progress in addition to working myself. The added workload of constant dirty dishes and feeding everyone three times a day is the trade-off for the commute to the office.
I often think I should wrap up my posts with some encouraging word or positive thought, but I’m taking the pressure off of myself to do that. Writing here everyday has become a new routine that helps me process what is happening. It’s an unbelievable time that feels like we are living in a movie. And at the same time, because we are safe in our homes without the need to be anywhere, it can be mind-numbingly mundane. I’m often just trying to work through that paradox.
I want to be conscious and prepared for the storm that looms around me. But at the same time, I don’t want to let fear and anxiety dominate my life. It’s easy for us to complain that our life has become so uneventful. However, we also recognize that in the world in which we live, “mundane” is something we should be grateful for.
How about you? How are you doing right now? Does this situation feel real to you?
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