Sunday, March 15, 2020

When Things are Uncertain

A week ago it was a glorious, warm and sunny day. I spent the afternoon making an early dinner, which we then wrapped up and brought to a local park to eat at the picnic tables there. The parking lot was packed and the playground was full of laughing, screaming children, while parents sat beneath the picnic shelter and talked and watched their kids. Other people were playing frisbee golf or emerging from the nature trails that thread through the woods, or feeding the ducks at the pond.

We drove to Kroger for a potty break since the park restrooms were still locked til spring. Inside, the store had the normal amount of customers. The shelves were full; produce piled high, and enormous amounts of Easter candy filled two aisles. While waiting for the girls to use the bathroom, I talked with a older gentleman. I bought some candy and gum and we went back to the park and finished up the evening with a nice nature walk and a last minute swing on the playground before piling into the van and heading home for baths and laying out clothes for school the next day.

It's amazing how fast things can change. While we've known about coronavirus for a while now, it didn't seem so much a cause for concern when it was far away. I feel humbled at my own rather cavalier attitude about it when I first heard of the mysterious virus sweeping China. I felt badly for the people being affected by it, but hoped it would not spread here. I was preoccupied with my little life here; school, groceries, my kids activities, baseball sign ups. And now the virus is here, and is affecting all of those things.

On Thursday our governor became one of the first in the nation to close all K-12 schools for 3 weeks. Our school district is always very reluctant to cancel school for any reason so we held our breath til Friday when the school called to confirm that yes, school is closed til April 3rd. My oldest son, who attends a special education school, went to school on Friday. His principal called mid morning, breathless and in a hurry, because suddenly they had to call and go over IEP's for each student with their guardians/parents. David was sent home with a work packet to do over this "extended break", with fingers crossed that school will resume in April.

Malachi, who began homeschooling with OHVA last fall, still has school as usual, although state testing, which is done in person, may be affected. In fact, there may be no testing at all.

I went out Friday since I felt like I needed to stock up on some staples and meat. We live in a small, rural community and the Super Wal-Mart was full when I arrived. It was difficult to find a parking space. Inside, though, there was still plenty of food on the shelves. The only aisles completely cleared included, of course, the toilet paper aisle; also bottled water was gone, ramen noodles, cereal, bread and the eggs were nearly gone. I thankfully was able to get everything I needed to feed the kids for at least two weeks. We have plenty of frozen meat, potatoes, spaghetti noodles, rice, dry beans, canned veggies and fruits, flour, sugar, butter, vegetable oil, milk and cheese. I think we will be ok.

I was talking to a friend today and it was mentioned how much life feels differently than it did a week ago. Besides the kids being home from school life for us right now will go on much as it always has. I am not really worried about the kids getting the virus; by all accounts, even if they do get it, they will very likely completely recover. I do worry about our older folks here in town and those with health difficulties that make them more likely to be at-risk. There are many of them and many cannot get out to the stores to get toilet paper or groceries. Many people in this town don't drive and rely on our little Dollar Store for almost everything and with all the supplies disappearing from the shelves, what will they do? I worry what will happen if they get this virus and cannot get medical treatment.

I worry that in a few weeks, when I need to get more groceries, the stores will be out of everything I need.

I worry my kids will fall far behind in school work. I worry about our economy and jobs; about the parents who still need to go to work each day but who now have their kids unexpectedly home. Everything is so uncertain now.

While my gut feeling tells me that we will get through this and emerge ok, I wonder what kind of journey it will be til we reach that point. Who among us now may be missing when we arrive? The thought shatters my heart. I feel anxious, tense, protective, breathless. All I can do is keep my babies home (already they are restless, being confined to our (rather large) back yard and walking to either church or grandma's house) and check on my neighbors. A freezer meal, a roll of tp. . .I wish there was more I could do.

One thing that I hope comes of this is an increased sense of unity and community as we care for each other and look out for each other. May we all extend both hands to our brothers and sisters and together weather this storm. I love you all.

<3 p=""> Much love,

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sarah,
    Wishing you all safety and peace.
    Our boys like making up their own board games. A friend's children are writing stories. Some ideas?
    Very best,
    Natalie in KY


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!