The New Normal

I don't even know where to begin with this post.  So many things have happened in the last month.  I have tried to keep a record of the events but this new reality has brought chaos, and calm, into my life.  I've been busy living my life in this new "normal" so a lot of things have taken the back burner.

COVID-19 or Coronavirus has made it's way to the United States.  People were in panic mode in late February, early March, and began mass buying (hoarding) pallets of toilet paper and hand sanitizer.  Grocery stores were out of potatoes and bread for days.  The Huz is a manager at a local grocery chain and has worked insane hours and overtime to make sure people have access to the things they need most, only to watch products fly off the shelves faster than they can restock them.

A little over two weeks ago things were fine.  Schools were still open and I joked to a friend it wouldn't be long before they closed.  Two days later our school district announced an extra week of Spring Break.  Then it became two, and finally three.  And now schools are closed indefinitely. 

My son was on his ninth grade trip to Washington, D.C. when all of this insanity occurred.  When I picked him up the night he returned his teachers advised the students to self-quarantine for two weeks, "just in case."

That weekend was the last one where we could leave the house without worrying about catching this virus.  I celebrated my birthday early on Saturday having dinner and cocktails with dear friends.  On Monday my boss advised that our company was giving employees the ability to work from home to flatten the curve.  

That Tuesday was St. Patrick's Day, and my actual birthday, and the governor announced that all bars and restaurants were to close by 5 p.m., unless they could provide take-out/curbside service only.  The Huz and I finished work and went to my family's tavern to squeeze in one birthday drink.  It was the first time he made it to bar time with the sun still shining since 2003.  It's also a birthday I'll never forget.

I've been working from home for two weeks.  It's been a challenge with kids home, and my oldest began eLearning this past week, so keeping him on task is difficult.

The governor also ordered a "Safer at Home" order that went into effect on Wednesday, basically instructing us to stay home as the number of COVID-19 cases have doubled almost daily. This order means all non-essential businesses must close, people shouldn't leave their homes unless it's for necessities or medical reasons.   

Reading and watching the news is frustrating.  The media is unhinged in their coverage of this epidemic, or is it a pandemic at this point? I don't even know because one news source says the former and another claims the latter.  I honestly don't know what to believe anymore.  The President has been live several times and tries to sound positive about his expectations but it certainly doesn't match the reality of what is actually happening in the world.

We are staying home because we need to stop this virus from spreading.  It's terrifying, the unknown.  I read the news and people are dying.  It makes you think twice about everything.

Being stuck at home for so long is definitely taking its toll on my family and me.  The kids are bored.  They are cranky, always hungry and bickering with each other often.  I have lost my patience a few times, but overall I'm choosing to see things in a positive light.  I'm lucky to be able to work from home.  The Huz has a job that is essential.  My kids are healthy and have everything they need.

To stay busy we've been walking the dog, playing board games, reading books, watching movies, playing with Legos, having dance parties in the living room in our pajamas and making memories.  I'm grateful for the break from the hustle of my daily life.  Driving children all over, rushing to get to the office, rushing through lunch hour running errands; none of that matters right now.  The change of pace is wonderful.

BUT...yes, I'm stir crazy.  I still get the urge to jump in the car and go...well, SOMEWHERE.  I miss socializing,  I miss working at the family tavern.  But, the blessing in disguise is that we were scheduled to do a remodel at the bar March 23, in stages, but with the taverns being closed our contractor has been able to get more work done and ahead of schedule.  Silver linings everywhere.

So, tomorrow begins Week 3 of working from home, and week three of no school for the kids.  We anticipate this will be the norm through mid-April.  I've finally gotten into a new routine.  The best part of this has been using my lunch hour to get a few chores done, switch the laundry from washer to dryer, and sometimes even walk the dog.  I could get used to this.  Maybe. 

The boys know my schedule and when I have WebEx meetings, so they try to stay quiet.  Sometimes it's crazy, and some days I work in my pajamas, but last week I made the effort to still get dressed and put on makeup so that I feel like a human.

We are surviving.  We are staying busy. We will get through this.  Hang in there, friends.  I see the smallest glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.  


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