Oh I remember having one of them. About five months ago…maybe six. The news started trickling in about cases popping up whilst we were still in school and it was unsettling but not really a worry as Corona was more still something I enjoyed a drink of at the weekend than a threat. Even as we went into spring break, I wasn’t overly concerned. I did buy 11 tins of ravioli in a moment of panic buying at the store but that’s the only thing I have panic bought and I still don’t know why I chose ravioli-Rich is the only one who really likes it?!? I did get anxious about the loo roll situation as we were running low and the supermarket shelves were empty but we didn’t reach crisis point before I was able to secure some. Quite a relief as the only big leaves we have in our garden belong to a very spikey aloe vera…at least it’d soothe as it owwws!
So then we had home school and work from home orders. That was hard. However, we did find our routine eventually and then, we broke up for summer! Rich went back to work in the office and me and the boys stayed pretty much at home. And we got on with it. Same new routine, different day. On and on and on. We avoided going out as they said we shouldn’t. We doordashed our favorite restaurants once a week so it felt like we were doing something a bit special (aka: I did not want to step another foot in that kitchen).
Al has been able to keep in touch with all his friends online and that has been wonderful. I hear him chatting, occasionally giggling. Sometimes, he comes through and tells us funny stories he and his friends have been sharing. I mean, as a Mum, it’s like the perfect scenario. It’s perfectly socially acceptable to let him on the computer and I don’t have to worry about where he’s going or who he’s with. (Obviously, I do a bit-internet safety and all that but so far, he’s been grand!) He is the perfect model of grumpy bored teenager and he’s quite ok with staying home.
So anyway, I digress. Recently, we started venturing out. We visited a couple of cafes. We’ve been to the local pool which is about the only thing that can be enjoyed outside in these oppressive 100 degrees heat days. But believe me, we mask up. We are a family who pretty much embrace rules. We stand back from people. I have the hand sanitizer in my bag and we 🎵wash, wash, wash our hands to keep them nice and clean etc 🎶 as soon as we get home. For us, it’s not that we’re scared of contracting it-obviously we are really. But it’s more what would happen to the boys if we end up hospitalized. Until someone can offer me guarantees on that, I’m going to continue to be cautious! But we decided it wasn’t healthy for the boys to stay cooped up inside. Never going out was perhaps building a bit of fear. Our mental health needed a bit of TLC so we started heading out as the guidelines relaxed and guess what! Now the numbers have jumped in our area even further.
And coincidentally, my thoughts have begun to wander towards the impending return to school. Oh how I want my kids back in a class room, mixing with their new buddies, joining in with different activities and complaining about homework and the school bus. I miss work too but if you ask me later I’ll deny I ever said that!
The boys are due to start Junior High and High School so it felt like this year was a rite of passage for them. A milestone in their seemingly speedy race towards adulthood. I guess it still is, but the passage is taking a different turn for their cohorts. I’m supposed to be worrying about Joshie making friends and Alex not getting mixed up with the wrong type of friends. I planned for it. I knew I would. I am that Mom! But 2020 just had other ideas. School supply worries are supposed to be about if I’ve purchased enough pens and binders but forget that! Here I am looking at the school’s logo’d masks for purchase on their PTA spirit wear site. And how many bottles of hand sanitizer will be enough? Which store has Clorox wipes?
The number of cases, to all appearances is increasing by the day-hubby keeps telling me to ignore them and look at the trend but that, in truth isn’t offering much comfort at the minute. I’ve tried so hard to seek out unbiased information but sadly, this has definitely become a politicized situation. We’re surely in the Matrix and being offered a blue or red pill. Neither of them seems easy to swallow. The blue pill promises death and casualties if we do not lock down. The red pill suggests it’s all under control and unless we get back to work and school, we’ll die of suicide or poverty. I kind of believe the truth is somewhere in the middle. Truth be told, I don’t really like that pill either! The kids have got to get back to school. Everybody knows this. Parents need to work. Everybody knows this. The virus won’t disappear unless we socially isolate and everybody knows this too-except them crazies who think it’s all a hoax but hopefully they’ll socially distance themselves enough by trying to find the edge of the flat earth!
My brain has been in constant turmoil trying to make sense of the situation. We don’t have a stay at home order but we have their recommendation. Rich has been told to work from home again. He hates it but we’re just kind of grateful he still has a job as we know that’s not the case for many, many people. As it stands, school starts back next month. They’re offering online or in person tuition. I had been reading everyone’s various opinions and every time someone said what they were planning, I found myself internally debating their choice. Was it right? Should I do it? Should I tell them I disagree? But what if they’re right…? I literally laid awake this last week trying to decide.
I think it kind of feels like a Sophie’s choice situation for a lot of folks and people can only do what they feel is best. I don’t experience your lives and you don’t experience mine so we have to offer grace and compassion and support where ever we can. People are genuinely afraid and people are genuinely not. We have to accept this is the way of things at the minute. History will decide as they say. We just have to be patient with each other. Or mute the buggars on social media who are messing with your peace. That’s something I’m only just learning but boy, it makes a difference!
Anyway, we unexpectedly made our decision yesterday. It’s not ideal. It doesn’t really suit us and I’m not sure if it’s the best thing to do. And closer to the time we may change our mind. But the relief in actually making the decision was instantaneous. It was such a relief to have a plan even if it’s not a perfect one. A peaceful easy feeling, if just for a while!
But believe me, you better be wearing a mask in our presence-we’re pretty much ready to get the tin foil hats out over here.
Anyway, look after yourselves. I never meant to go down this rabbit hole but like I said this has been weighing heavily on my mind and writing seems to be my new outlet for a semblance of sanity so sorry for that! Next week, why on earth would you call a scone a biscuit America!