As I sit down to write this, we’re (my family, friends, and fellow New Yorkers) heading into our 4th week of stay-at-home orders and remote learning due to the Corona virus, Covid-19. For other states it’s been longer. It’s April 5, 2020, and never did anyone think something like this would happen in our country, in our world, in our lifetime.
Covid-19 has devastated the globe and its people on so many levels, it’s hard to begin to comprehend and process the situation. For that, I’ve been very quiet on this blog until now. “Where do I even begin?” I’ve asked myself so many times. I’m certainly not going to post my guide to my latest international vacation destination.
More than that, though, it’s been difficult to write. The news has been changing every day and every hour. Every minute. There’s been so much to take in, and so much to learn. Social distancing, remote learning, shelter in place, stay 6 feet apart…all completely foreign things until now. Needless to say, it’s been hard to focus.
In the very beginning – when news of the corona virus first came out – there were times when I came close to writing a post. I thought of writing a post on best places to visit on the East Coast within a drive’s distance from New York. As the news changed, that idea quickly went out the door. Then I thought about writing a post on best day trip ideas, but then that idea quickly went into the trashcan as well. Perhaps I’ll write a post on nice places to go hiking – but my fear is that some places might get too crowded, and I don’t want to misguide anyone. We shall see.
When the first week of stay-at-home happened, it was paralyzing in a lot of ways. I was glued to the news from my sofa in my den, and that seemed all I could do. My kids were learning how “to learn” remotely (which so far, I must say, has gone well. My girls’ teachers have been unbelievable at figuring out how to teach from afar in such a short period of time), and every time there was a glitch or they didn’t understand something, I begrudgingly pulled myself away from the sofa to help them. I was lethargic, lazy and completely consumed by the news. Let’s face it, it’s depressing!
Then there’ve been the things like the dishes and the 20 meals a day for the kids and the cleaning. The cabin fever, the rainy days, the trying to monitor screen time (I’ve given up). These are tough times and they are a true test!
But as time has continued on, the active and positive person that I am has started to fall back into place. Like so many others, I’ve taken this opportunity to do projects that I normally don’t have time for. I’ve turned my house upside down and gotten rid of a ton of clutter and unnecessary things, and it feels good. Maybe I’ll learn some lessons from this too – no more random junk from CVS! Seriously, enough is enough!
It feels good to be donating so many clothes and books and unopened games to those in need, and to be contributing in that way too. I usually do it, but have been way behind. I’m finally going to put those photos in my stack of photo frames, clean out my kitchen cabinets, and go through the garage (currently incomplete projects).
My girls and I are in discussion about how we’re going to redesign our basement, and they’ve been perusing design websites, which I find totally cute, not to mention productive and educational as well. We’ve been taking daily walks with our dog – something usually relegated to just me when they’re in school, and our dog has loved it. He’s loved all of the family time. We even enacted an episode of the cooking show “Chopped”, where the girls each made a dessert. The strawberry shortcake won, and the Reese’s chocolate bars got “chopped”.
As Governor Andrew Cuomo says, there are silver linings to take from all of this. Of course, no one wishes Covid-19 and all its death had happened to begin with, but it’s important to see the good things, if you can. For instance, a new family ritual has arisen, something we never did before. Most nights these days my family eats dinner together and then plays B.S., the card game. It gets raucous and competitive and is a blast. Normally, on school days, we’re crazed with after school activities, then I’m trying to get dinner on the table in a rush, and then it’s homework time. There’s no time; it’s been nice to have the time.
Another silver lining is of course all the online social connections. I’ve connected with people I haven’t talked to in 20 years. Facetime, Zoom and the good old-fashioned phone have been a god-send, catching up with everyone from my current life to my childhood friends. Cocktail hour via Zoom with my college roommates was the best. Sending texts and memes to and between my earliest friends, so fun. Side note: a shout out to all the comedians and funny people on Instagram – you have seriously gotten me through this! Laughter seems to have been my medicine.
No, these are not laughing times, but if we can’t laugh, then where does that bring us? We have to find comfort in the little things. Whether it’s through de-cluttering, walking, running, cooking, reading, working on our homes, making art, writing, spending time with our kids, playing with our pets, re-connecting with family and friends, gardening, doing home work-outs, and simply laughing – those are going to be the silver linings in all of this. The things we’re normally too rushed to do or appreciate.
When I was cleaning out my closets, in the last closet I was cleaning, I found an old bag I hadn’t seen in years. It says: Silverlining. I viewed it as a sign.