Saturday, March 21, 2020

Random Thoughts One Week In...

  • We're one week into our self-imposed quarantine during this world-wide outbreak of the COVID-19, or Coronavirus.  It's being called a pandemic by most, and there appears to be as many people who are frightened out of their minds as there are who could care less and are living their lives normally, or even recklessly.  I think both extremes are as harmful as the virus itself.  I've always believed that community is important to our mental well-being.  One could argue that community still exists even when we are closed off physically in our homes away from everyone, given that we have so many technological tools at our disposal to stay in contact with the world.  I hope that's the case.  I can't help wondering how different our world will be, if at all, when we are able to return to some semblance of normal.  Aside from the many inconveniences, it seems that only those who suffer serious setbacks during this outbreak may come out of this changed, for better or worse.  For everyone else, maybe some habits will change, but I'm willing to bet many will go right back into their previous lifestyle.

  • This was the longest string of telework days I've ever worked in my career, and counting.  I feel very fortunate that I'm able to do my job remotely, and that the service our agency provides is making an important contribution, even with so much of the country shutdown.  It can be isolating, even with the tools we have to stay in touch, just as with our personal lives.  My employees continue to do their work, and in most cases, they prefer teleworking than being in the office.  I get it.  I haven't teleworked much; just a few days sporadically throughout the year... I much prefer being in the office, but I can feel the benefits.  Instead of almost 2 hours per day of commuting, I only need to roll out of bed, without even the need to shower (my opinion, I'm sure).  But I miss the face-to-face contact I get with colleagues and employees.

  • My teenage daughter finds a lot of enjoyment in having no school work to do (aside from the year-long project in her Independent Research class, which she continues to work on almost daily), and the opportunity to sleep until noon everyday.  However, we have quite a bit of time together to just talk each afternoon, when I'm off the clock, and she has been very honest given her feelings about this whole thing.  Firstly, she feels terribly about the sacrifices that many of her senior-class friends have had to make, and who are missing out on once-in-a-lifetime experiences.  It started with the cancellation of the annual music trip, which impacted all of the band and chorus students, and took away their excitement about going to Boston.  Then it was the cancellation after one performance of the school musical, "The Addams Family."  It continued with the school system itself being shutdown for, currently, two weeks, and is sure to expand well past that.  Now it's the expected cancellation of the Senior Prom, and, perhaps, graduation.  And what to do about all of the missed school that will likely have to be made up?  It has become almost a lost year for students.  Time seems to go by so much more slowly during our childhood, and the teen years in particular impact so much of who we are and who we become and what we do for the rest of our lives.  Missing out on these once-in-a-lifetime school events is very sad, in my opinion.  My very intelligent and compassionate daughter seems to think so, too.

  • I'm mildly disappointed in one of the conveniences being offered by some businesses during these unusual times.  With our instructions to stay away from human contact to reduce the risk of exposure to the Coronavirus, and businesses having to shutdown and close as the impact becomes more and more widespread, some, particularly restaurants, are going to carryout service only, and some even offering delivery.  I hate cooking.  It's one of those daily chores that I just do not enjoy.  My daughter and I take advantage of these services regularly, and much more often than we should.  That said, I'm finding more and more restaurants that we enjoy are offering delivery.  We are happy to oblige these offerings... however, once we plug our address into their ordering websites, we're finding that we are, inexplicably, just outside their delivery areas.  It's incredibly frustrating, especially after whetting our appetites with our favorite dishes and then dashing our hopes with disappointment.  Carryout is always an option, but, since we're not showering as often, and not even getting dressed appropriately to face the public, the convenience of delivery is an option that is much more preferable.  Oh, the problems of a privileged society...

  • I don't mean to make light of any of this.  The COVID-19 outbreak is a deadly serious issue for our entire planet, and many are suffering terribly by its effects.  We who believe know that God is still in control, and we won't panic when we have faith.  We pray that our family, friends, and so much of planet Earth will survive and escape suffering and tragedy.  We are so thankful for what we have.  We will get through this, and we pray for a return to normalcy, and a willingness to learn the lessons this experience will teach us.

I hope you are safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.  Take care, everyone.

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