I’ve encouraged others to journal their thoughts during this time and decided that I should take my own advice ~ these thoughts are solely my own reflections.
The stories that affect me most right now are when I hear about people passing in hospitals not being able to see or even speak with loved ones. Some of my most comforting moments in the loss of my Dad and Mom included being able to be there with both of them. To think that a virus would have kept me from them would be simply awful ~ my heart hurts for those families. Not to mention those front line health care workers who hold the hands of the dying so that they are not alone ~ even though they may have known them only briefly or not at all. People use the word hero sometimes lightly ~ but they are truly heroes.
And the tentacles that his virus has ~ financially, economically, socially, emotionally, globally ~ it’s unlike any “war” that I’ve known or studied. Homes were literally transformed overnight into offices, schools, day cares, gyms, music studios, dance floors, etc. Families have to balance adult jobs being run from home, schooling from preschool through high school to include the return of college students as well ~not to mention the everyday things that are supposed to happen in homes. Stress levels that were already at record highs now have to take on the fear that comes along with this virus ~ fear for one self as well as fear for ones family. Jobs that seemed secure enough are now lost along with healthcare and unemployment reaching ridiculous levels in record time. Simple trips to the grocery store are now anxiety producing events that require gloves and a mask to stand in line six feet from the nearest person. Once you get in, the trick is then to actually find something that you want. I will be forever perplexed at why people have decided to purchase certain products in bulk. What about Covid19 would cause people to purchase toilet paper in large quantities? What about this virus would cause toilet paper to never again be produced? And the other day I needed chicken broth ~ not a drop in three stores. Why are we now stocking up on chicken broth?? I completely understand the fear associated with this virus but it was never stated that grocery stores would close or that they would never be restocked.
All that said, I have also noticed things that have caused me to take pause. I do believe that once we get to the other side of this “war” (and I do believe we will), we are going to have experienced a resurgence of family, a reorganization of priorities, a stabilization of our lives hopefully to the point where we reflect on where we were and where we want to go. I have seen more examples of families in the yard with rakes, and lawnmowers and shovels doing yard work and seen evidence of the same with creating meals and engaging in community projects of kindness. Families, for better or for worse, together 24/7 because they have to be but then learning how important those ties really are. Would we have had time for any of this a month ago when we were all engaged in over subscribed lives? The children who now may be going through disappointments such as potentially missing an extra special event that they have been waiting for, a planned birthday party or celebration, a sport season, or maybe the loss of a job ,and as a parent those are the times we want to spare our children from the most ~ will they be able to gain a broader perspective beyond the disappointment? We have not had to deal with things like this on such a large scale ~ ever! And while those disappointments will hurt, I do believe the potential positive growth will be forever and life altering. I remember living with my nonna in Morea, Pennsylvania while attending college and then understanding after spending time with her how her past life, inclusive of disappointments, shaped the incredibly strong person she had become. The use that she got out of coffee grounds or a piece of aluminum foil or a bag that once contained a loaf of bread ~ truly amazing~ nothing was wasted and everything had value. A grocer visited the Italian village once a week as did the Priest with a bottle of holy water that got splashed on you every time you sneezed :-). But those habits were born out of her upbringing, her life of survival raising 6 children with a coal miner husband and a school who wouldn’t accept her children because they didn’t know English. She was one tough lady.
I believe that the time spent learning to survive this global pandemic will have an impact felt long after this virus is conquered ~ and I do believe that can be a positive impact on some fronts if we want it to be ~ hopeful maybe ~ but hope is a powerful thing.
I look forward to the day when family and friends can return to gathering and my sons can walk in our home and we can all hug freely and not worry about transmitting anything but our love for each other!