The New Normal; Adjusting in the COVID-19 Society

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared about what’s going on in the world today. My Darwinian self knew the world would be in peril soon but I didn’t think it would be so soon. I am a lover of dystopian novels and apocalyptic scenarios in fiction. However, when faced with the reality of it, it’s a little different. I’ve always said the world had too many people and some cataclysmic event would begin to affect those numbers. But I myself have three kids and my 20 year old anthropology major college brain isn’t always the same. I’m in mom mode now and a huge hypocrite. The old single me has run away long ago. Now super mom is protecting the family at all costs.

Watching the world panic gives me a knot in my stomach. The people in charge (or assume they’re in charge) give speeches of comradery and tell us to stick together. But in many brains around here it’s “mob rule”. And where we stand supermarkets empty of essentials and fight for the last role of TP and the upper echelon sit pretty in their gloriously packed houses. Does the leader of the free world need to worry about running about of tp? Do senate members need to rush the store for milk, eggs, and bread or worse denied life saving medication?

My oldest child understand what’s happening pretty well. My four year old just assumes we are home. He has asked to go to school because there’s only so much magic in yelling excitedly ” The letter of the day is…” They miss their friends and the normalcy of the school day. I miss it too. The resentment is creeping in because instead of just spending time with my two-year-old I have to split myself between 3 children, all who want and need my attention and it’s beginning to wear on all of us.

My 8-year-old has been grumbling about homeschool since it began ( I may have also). All the teachers, specialists, and my son’s teachers are absolutely amazing. My son who is special needs is in dire need of proper physical therapy and speech which is difficult to give him when I am spending all day trying to teach my other child and squeeze in my own work for my job.

I am no stranger to education;I taught for 12 years all all ages (infants, ages 18 months, three yo, 5 and 10 yo) so I have boxes of lesson plans and projects. I love creating and crafting as does my oldest daughter. I always have a partner in crime when it comes to late night arts and crafts. But from Monday through Friday I am not the fun “let’s snuggle and have a movie and do some coloring mom”, I am “just do your work and get it over with!!!” mom. I have an autoimmune disease which keeps me home a lot so being barricaded in my own home with the essentials is nothing new nor is it strange to me. But combine it with not being allowed to take the kids to the park or take a stroll in Target without being smacked by Susan who just needs 25 rolls of paper towels and the bread, it becomes clear I really don’t need to leave the house. It’s because I was given a choice… go out and risk getting sick or choose self-isolation and quarantine my family from potential disaster.

Until recently my husband worked all day and then grabbed some things we needed on the way home from work. Usually it was in snack form the offspring desired like chips or granola bars. But now he has fallen victim to what the other millions of Americans and people all over the world have; life crippling layoffs.

His company is now down sizing little-by-little and he is currently home with us. We are told not to worry and we will get unemployment and this magical stimulus check will help us. I’m the mother of 3 children; I always worry. As the days drag on, I have seen some interesting things included with the news screaming for a while that the peak of this novel virus is still on its way.

I do see a silver lining although it’s thin and almost faded. Through this frightening haze of panic and terror I have noticed and thought of some positives.

*Less pollution. Perhaps that ozone can breathe a sigh of relief for once in a long time. I mean there HAS to be less emissions right? Everyone all over the world is likely staying put. No endangered animals are being poached or hunted for sport. And trees can grow safely for now in stripped rain forests.

*Ways to communicates specially with many of those tech ignorant Boomers.(Dang this new fangled Face whatsit. How do I turn this thing on??) Face time, Zoom, Google, Whatsapp…these companies have most likely seen a surge in use (I’m just assuming. I’m not searching for hard data here, people). Netflix offers Netflix Party which I’m dying to try with my besties or even experiment with my daughter from across the room.

*Learning New vocab…social distancing. Be social but far away from each other (6 feet or 6 states away, which ever comes first). It’s given people a chance to finally wind down and perhaps crack open a book for once in forever. But for God’s sake be gentle with it’s spine and DON’T BE A MONSTER and dog-ear the pages. Make a damn book mark. You HAVE the time!

You get to find out exactly who are
the essential workers are (aside from medical and emergency worker) and how hard society’s making them work, who is appreciating them, and who just doesn’t give a damn that these people haven’t slept in weeks (not to mention the danger the expose themselves to). And I get it, COVID-19 is scary and can and IS deadly. But if your nurse and doctor haven’t slept in three days they are most likely delirious and running on double or triple shift. If you are ones of the lucky people, in fairly good health and will make a full recovery, be kind to the men and women. Everybody’s symptoms are different from asymptomatic, just sniffles, the worst illness they have ever had and of course the ultimate tragedy succumbing to it.

Perhaps the take away is make the best of a terrible situation. Take the time to finally clean out the basement or write that memoir you’ve been wanting to forever. Unless you desperately need to leave your house do the right thing: don’t be garbage and STAY HOME. Remember we are literally in this together. Be kind. Be thoughtful. And most of all be safe.

Looking for some things for you and the offspring? Here are a few links (bold is for kids):

  • Storyline Online Books read by famous peeps. Betty White reads ‘Harry the Dirty Dog’ 🐶🐕🐩Need I say more?
  • Virtual Tour The Smithsonian Everyone will love this. You can search the magical interwebs for other virtual tours of other places.but c’mon, this has dinosaurs🦖🦕🗿⚗
  • Dirty John Podcast LISTEN to it. WATCH the Netflix series which is one season and listen to it on true crime obsessed and watch the discovery ID documentary. This true crime feels like-There is no way it could be true but I promise it is all true And you won’t regret any minute of these.
  • Overtone: Add color to your hair I have never colored my hair except when I highlighted it in high school. My dirty blonde locks are now a deep plum. I love it. You’re home. Treat yourself. It is a semipermanent coloring conditioner and if you don’t feel daring enough to go with a wild color they have natural tones as well. My hair really does feel great.

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