COVID-19 has flipped our lives upside down. Mom, Dad and 2 elementary school students have all had to find new ways to remain engaged. School has been delivered solely via devices. Work has invaded the home. Parents have necessarily become teachers–or at least backups. With social distancing in place, this has meant very little interaction with friends and family and much of the world. Celebrations have been put on hold. Exercise opportunities have been limited. Park closures, gym closures and occasional beach/trail closures have become the norm. Though online reading options are readily available, library closures limited our options for books to hold and read (none of us like reading online).
It is still not a pretty picture, and I certainly do not expect any improvement in the current picture until at least April of 2021. There will be more deaths, more sickness and more separation. There will be a rise in depression and suicides come fall and especially winter.
However, it is not all doom-and-gloom. As a family, we have benefited by spending more time together–quality time. Work-at-home means no commute times. Meals have become a family gathering two or three times a day. Play time can now involve the entire family. We walk a lot and we talk a lot and we play a lot and we laugh a lot. We are resilient. We maintain contact via phone and meeting software, when possible, with friends and family; not ideal, but better than nothing.
Initially, being physically cut off from other people was the most difficult change. Also, there was a sense of feeling trapped in one location. Both of these are still the case, but we have found ways to live with them.
We spend way too much time on devices. Once “normal” returns, I think our biggest change will be re-connecting with our favorite local spots, and travelling to visit family throughout the state and country. Powering down and getting outside more will be our biggest change.
We will survive.
Submitted by Brian T., San Luis Obispo County – Arroyo Grande.