Yesterday, we were told officially to stay home. I forget how long we need to do this, or how long we’re been doing this. Or where exactly we’re still allowed to go and do, but basically it’s not much.
We’ve been staying home for the last few weeks. I leave occasionally to get groceries, but Target isn’t even fun anymore. Shopping is stressful, the shelves are bare and you’re looking at everyone suspiciously wondering if they’re the ones who will get you sick. I wear gloves now. Bring my own wipes, carry hand sanitizer, and keep track of what I touch. I miss the days of strolling the aisles, sipping my Starbucks. I miss browsing.
Now that we’re officially required to stay home, we can’t play in the sandbox we found a week ago. We can still go for walks, but intentionally. We shouldn’t do extra shopping or frivolous stops. We need to not play with our friends (who we haven’t see in weeks).
We’ve been told to stay home. To leave only when needed. To exercise outside, but not play. Walk but not too close. To avoid people and crowds and don’t touch anything and please for the love of god not your face. We were asked, and now we’re told, to distance, together.
It’s an odd one, this pandemic. We’re all in this together, but we’re all so very alone.
I’ve painted my way through the hard seasons for years. The instant gratification and the quick fresh start calms my nerves. Something tangible to focus on. Something entirely in my control.
When things started to go downhill with this COVID thing, I joked with Ryan that we’d need to do a Home Depot run for some quarantine supplies. And before we started socially distancing, I swung by Sherwin Williams for a few gallons of paint.
I don’t love change. I really dislike it. But this change, this small and unimportant change. This I have control over, this is my choice. This I can change over and over and over again.
Paint a room. See progress and change, big change, quickly. Have a fresh start. Try something new. Let me know how it goes.
I wonder what my kids will remember from this season. This season of distancing and isolation. The spring break we stayed home. We saw no one. We only went outside to walk and bike and hike, but didn’t stop at any of the playgrounds. I wonder what they’ll remember of this season of us all being at home. Of weeks of Saturday’s.
I hope they remember the games and the movie nights and the little things that I planned to make this tricky time easier. I hope they remember the day I busted out the extra playdoh or dug out a hidden art project.
I hope they remember our talks about going without to keep others healthy. I hope that this passes quickly, and relatively easily. That if we get it, we stay in bed and watch movies and drink Gatorade and recover without hiccups.
I hope that this season is as peaceful as it can be. That planning helped, that we’re prepared.
I hope they look back on this season as one that changed them, but didn’t wear them out. Inspired them to think differently about what’s important and who’s important and inspires creativity and selflessness.
I hope that this season lasts longer than we want, for the sake of many, giving everyone the time to catch up that they desperately need. I hope we have the patience to keep it up, even when we’re tired.
I don’t know what this spring will look like, but I’m hopeful. That we’ll all come together, while we’re so far apart, for the greater good of many.
One day, this will be over. This lock down, the fear, the shortages. One day, we’ll be on the other side. We’ll have come through, stronger, but weary. One day, my kids will tell their kids about that time the world shut down because of a virus. One day, they’ll want to know more about what happened this spring. They’ll have questions.
I remember in February, before I flew to Disney with NoCo Moms Blog, discussing the Coronavirus with a friend and her coworker at the gym. Her coworker’s family lived just south of Wuhan and there was this wild virus going around. Things were getting locked down, it was wild. But we were safe. They were safe. They weren’t horribly worried.
On my flight, I briefly thought about bring hand sanitizer. I wasn’t worried. It wasn’t here. I was safe, we were safe. Our flight was full – there was a cheerleading competition at Disney that weekend. A few girls wore masks and we joked that maybe they had it. We weren’t concerned.
I came home. It was fine, no one was worried. China was locked down. It was fine.
Mid-February, I was worried. But felt crazy. So I didn’t say anything. I texted a friend, we bought toilet paper. We read reddit. I felt crazy, so I didn’t say anything.
And then at the end of February, shit got realer. Seattle got hit. And we were texting back and forth, and it was too big to deal. Too big to really think about. It was wild and unbelievable and couldn’t possibly happen to us. But we went out and bought toilet paper.
Here we are, three weeks later. The country is out of toilet paper. Finding milk AND eggs AND meat at the grocery store is a reason to celebrate. And we’re discussing locking the whole country down.