The New Not So Normal

The pandemic has touched all of us in so many ways, it is hard to pinpoint one or two things that have changed in our lives. What most comes to mind during the pandemic is the blog I have been writing throughout to help me stay sane. The following post was one I wrote in March and this is what I thought I might want to remember about how this pandemic felt.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Coronavirus Chaos

This week I’m just going totally off script and doing something different.

We’re in the midst of absolute chaos. Our world has ground to a halt. So much has changed so quickly it’s almost impossible to keep up with. A virus is sweeping through our world and everyone is doing whatever they can to stop it in its tracks. It’s kind of like we woke up one day in the middle of a movie. If I were watching it I might even say the plot is not believable enough and who thought of this script?

As for our little world of home...My daughters senior year in high school has basically now been cancelled. Two of my college age kids have the rest of the semester home. And the rest go to school virtually. We’re juggling 8 virtual realities in one house and some things are amazing and some completely overwhelming.

So today I just wanted to share different things I have thought/felt/heard/seen/experienced which may help you get through:

- Man Plans and G-d laughs has taken on a whole new level of meaning

- There’s a whole lot of darkness around us but a whole lot of light left inside

- Take a step back at some point and realize this too shall pass

- It’s ok to complain some of the time - these days are long and there are a lot of people in small spaces

- Time has sort of lost its meaning in a way. When you’re home almost all the time and have nowhere to go it just doesn’t seem to matter much if you have dinner ready at 6 or 8...maybe that’s just at my house

- Move as much as possible - I ran a spontaneous half marathon this week because it meant more time in the fresh air!

- One of my sons decided we have so much time together all day he went on strike against family dinner the first week. Too much together time. We let it be but he’s back at the table now.

- My youngest doesn’t love virtual school - she misses the regular routine. Her teacher made a one on one zoom call to just hang out with her.

- I think a little levity about the situation is ok - it relieves the stress and anxiety. Yes it’s awful and people are suffering but it’s also a lot of change and restrictions for everyone and sometimes humor can get you thru. Tasteful humor of course.

- A few weeks ago we didn’t even know what social distancing was, now it’s a household word

- There’s so much kindness in the world - we just have to tap into it.

- Everyone seems to be taking different approaches to this but I’m amazed at the lessons people are learning from this experience. Two examples:

- We have to value our earth more - look how the pollution has gone down since we have ground to a halt. Maybe we need to treat it better.

- Family time and the family unit is being revived - we were so busy going out and doing things we might have forgotten that there’s so much to be gained right in our own houses

- It’s spring and I’m amazed watching the world burst into bloom oblivious of the chaos within it

- Small things are huge sometimes. Running last week, this woman was driving up and down the road near the path blasting music and cheering - her friends race was cancelled and she decided to simulate it for her. We all made her a finish line to cross.

To sum it up, these are crazy times. I believe this will be that moment for our kids. Every person I know remembers what they were doing on 9/11 when they heard the news. Different generations remember the moment they heard Kennedy was shot. Anyone in the DC area vividly remembers the sniper. This is a time our kids are going to reflect on as adults and remember. I think it pays to add some good memories to this experience- I’m hoping my 6 year old remembers that we went out on her bike every day and I jogged next to her as we took in the sights and breathed the fresh air. I hope my older kids will remember cousin Zoom calls where my family at large virtually hung out. And long Shabbos afternoons where we played every game in our closet. Mostly, I hope we all stay healthy and make it safely to the other side.