When the World Is An Uncertain Place…

Two weeks ago I was assured that my son’s spring break camp would go on like normal, because the CDC had said gatherings up to 50 people were ok, and because the school had been disinfected the weekend before. “Great!” I thought. “At least I have a week to figure out how the heck this is going to work with two full time working parents, one who literally cannot work from home, and the other (me) whose boss has strong feelings against working from home, ESPECIALLY with a child home (and rightfully so).

So on Monday, March 16th, Gabe went to his first day of spring break camp, and I went to work as usual, worried about what would happen in 7 days. Then our president made his annoucement that groups should be no more than 10 people, regardless of what the CDC had said. I won’t get political here, I’m not here to discuss my feelings about politics, the president, etc. This is a safe space and you are entitled to your own opinions and I’m entitled to mine. And I actually didn’t disagree with what he said, and since then have seen mock ups and digital models of how this virus spreads and I think he might’ve had the right idea with significantly reducing the amount of contact over what the medical professionals at the CDC had recommended. But I digress.

Because of this new recommendation, our wonderful aftercare/camp program director emailed us to say that they would not be able to continue the rest of the week with the kids since there were far more than 10 kids in the camp. My sweet boy had the great idea of only letting in the first ten kids, and since he’s always one of the first, he’d be good to go. Isn’t it sweet how simple children see the world some times? To be six again…

My heart ached for the director and her staff. To have your life’s work ripped away from you for who knows how long, already having bought supplies for the week, now having to give refunds, having to tell your staff that their income would be gone for the foreseeable future. It hurts.

So I spoke to my boss who assured me that these were different, challenging times for all, and that my job was safe and they would work with me to make sure that I could care for my child and keep my job. Looking back at all that has happened over two weeks, it seems silly how ridiculously nervous I was about that initial conversation. Literally, I was terrified. But today marks the last day that she and most of my other coworkers (none of whom have school-aged children) work in the office. Beginning next week they are almost all working from home due to the new orders that have been going out this week. This is a completely different world we are living in than we were three or four weeks ago. It’s shocking how much can change in just one month.

And it makes me wonder what the next month holds, and what the next year holds. In some ways I see how this pandemic has made the world a better place. At the expense of a lot of good people suffering, and dying. But people are pulling together, lifting each other up, making an effort to be kinder, more responsible. What will happen in a month? Will the powers that be finally get the spread under control? Will we go back to our old lives, living overly busy, consumer-centric lives? Or will this forever change us? Will we rely on ourselves and those closest to us for our basic needs? Will companies finally see that many of their workers can do the same job from home, creating more flexibility for working parents, and reducing the overhead that businesses pay to keep those extra work spaces and additional electricity used? Will parents feel more empowered to take charge of their children’s education, not just academically but in teaching them life skills and social skills. Will we use social media as a gathering place for friends, instead of using it to take for granted the ones we love because we can “see” what’s going on in their lives, without ever having true connection?

I don’t know the answer to these questions. I don’t know when this pandemic ends. I don’t know if the measures in place now are enough, or if more will have to suffer before we take this seriously enough to make a difference. But I have hope. Hope for a better future. Hope for more love in the world. Hope for a truly beautiful life.

How are you handling these changes in your own life? Are you adjusting ok? Do you need support, a loving shoulder to cry on? Reach out if you are in need. Don’t suffer in silence.

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