I do okay as long as I only think about today. If I try to think about tomorrow, or next month, or next school year, it's really, really hard.
Economies are starting to open up. That's a good thing. I really do believe that. And governments are trying to put into place ways to keep the vulnerable safe until a vaccine and/or a good treatment can be found. They're saying that anyone at high risk and anyone caring for them should stay isolated. Except I think that most consider the elderly to be the only vulnerable population. There are all sorts of ways to avoid going out if you don't have to work, if you're retired, if you don't have children at home. So far, I'm not seeing a way to do it otherwise.
There are a lot of high risk people who are not retired. Many are children whose parents are not independently wealthy, who can't afford to "retire" even for a couple years. What do we do?
Andrew and Michael need to go back to school, if it's being held. They NEED that interaction. They can't stay locked up for two years. It wasn't super hard when all their friends were isolating, but now that they're starting to get together again, they want out too. I need to work. But it's public school. A petri dish. What do we do? Calling a number for groceries, meds, etc to be dropped off for the next two years isn't feasible.
I think of my high school years, of the time over the past few in the schools and of the crowded hallways, the packed classrooms. Guys, that's where the memories are! That's where the good (okay, and not so good) things happen. I don't remember the lessons from classes much at all. I remember the interactions. And as I look at what is being said, and what is not, I don't know that this will happen for the kids next year. I hear about only a portion of students being on campus at any one time. That sounds lonely, and scary. Yes, I know, it's life. And they'll get over it. But I ache for my kids, my boys and the kids I've taught.
There is just no good and easy answer to any of this.
I've worked hard to transition Aaron away from the blended diet that he does so well with to a formula, that isn't nearly as good for him. But if he ends up in the hospital, there's not a good way to get his food to him, and they won't provide a blended diet. Even more, if I get sick and can't make it for him, he needs to still be fed. If anyone in our home gets this, all our nursing will stop. So we'll be dealing with the virus and no help from the outside. I keep having visions of it being like when Laura Ingalls and her family got malaria, and everyone was so sick and there was no help until someone found them.
Yesterday morning, early, I got a knock on my door. Andrew was there and had just thrown up. He'd made it to the bathroom, but it was his turn to get up with the puppy, so what should he do in the morning? I told him to wake Michael when Simba started whining and tell him what happened. Okay, fine. Before this hit, I would have been asleep again before he even got back upstairs. Instead, I lay awake for over two hours, wondering if Covid had found us, and how. Was this the start of it? Where was it going?
He threw up once, that's all. No fever, no diarrhea, no muscle aches, nothing. And yet, I still made him stay in his room all day long, by himself, meals and everything. Normally, if it had been 12 hours and nothing (or sometimes sooner!) I let the kid out. But no way. He didn't get to come out until this morning. And I worried the whole time.
I guess there's a reason that much is written about certain parts of history and how people endure, or even thrive during those times. How they make people stronger, better, or sometimes bitter.
These are unprecedented times. We keep looking back to the 1918 pandemic and all that happened then. I wish I had more writings from people's lives. My great-grandmother lost both her parents within two days of each other. She and her brother were placed in an orphanage. Yet, when I hear stories of all she went through during her life, when I look back on my own memories of her, she was a rock! She worked so hard, endured so much, and yet was funny and gentle and lived a long life.
So right now, I'll try to keep my focus on the here and now. I try not to think of what it would have been like if my own high school years had been interrupted like this. I try not to envision what might be coming. I'll continue to work with my boys here at home, keep training this puppy of ours, and find time to work on my own schoolwork.
I've started taking a video or two, just a few seconds long, each day to put together once we're done (or once I decide it's been long enough anyway). It makes me look at things differently. What do I want to remember from this time? What am I going to forget about? What am I taking for granted?
There is a future coming. I don't know what it will hold or what it will look like, but one thing is certain, it will come.
All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seed of today.
Croft M. Pentz