When things feel out of control, often the best recourse is to make a plan as Katie has done with her bucket list for social distancing.
When I first heard about COVID-19 in the United States, I felt a little taken aback. In the interest of total transparency, I do not follow current events as well as I should. I knew there was a virus that had a major impact in China recently, going so far as to shut down major urban centers. That was the extent of my knowledge. I wish I could remember the moment I recognized that this virus was going to have a major impact on my life and the lives of everybody.
I remember preparing for Spring Break from school and hearing whisperings of a possible extension to our time away. When we left school on March 12, we said “goodbye” as usual and hoped for the best while bringing no mention to what could be the worst-case scenario. The next day I took my kids to gymnastics and swimming and noticed the low attendance at both activities. It felt a bit foreboding, but I continued to hope for the best. By Saturday, school had been canceled for the two weeks following Spring Break, and by Monday, I had an overwhelming feeling
of dread. I was sad for the people who own the restaurants we love, friends who work in the service industry, and people afraid for their health as this scary virus began to take hold in our community. I was sad for my kids who would miss out on school activities, sports, play dates with friends, and visits to our favorite places. I read the news morning, noon, and night and poured over every detail of what was going on in politics and public health. Then, I cried. I cried for people who were hurting and scared. I cried for what we would miss out on in our lives. I cried for the overwhelming feeling of uncertainty. After a few days of feeling just smothered by emotions, I said aloud to myself, “You must carry on.”
Then, things changed. Is COVID-19 still very scary and rampant in our community? Of course it is. Am I still taking every precaution to make sure we do not have any contact with anyone outside of our home? Yes. Every single day. Am I still a little sad for all the loss to individuals in our community and my family? I’m devastated. But I realize I cannot stay here. I cannot linger in this sadness and try to plow through each day. I cannot hope for the best while perseverating over the worst.
Toward the end of our first week of quarantine, I decided that I needed to work toward creating a more positive experience for myself and my family. I sat down with my family and explained to my kids how the next few months will look different than they are used to our lives looking. We talked about the “yucky germs” and the need to stay away from people and places to help keep ourselves and others healthy. Then, we made a list. We listed some things we had done before and loved, and we listed some things that we wanted to try for the first time. With our list, we found a little joy and a little hope. There will be life after COVID-19, but there can also be life during COVID-19. This won’t always be easy. Actually, it will probably often be pretty darn hard, but while I try to survive this crisis, I hope I can also make some pretty fantastic memories with my family.
This is our bucket list for COVID-19, even though we are hoping we don’t have the time to do it all:
- Backyard Campout
- Finish a 30+ Day Run Streak
- Teach Henry to Ride a Bike
- Mix Up Meals Day
- Make a “Board” Game on the Driveway
- Send Pictures/Letters in the Mail to Friends
- Allow the Boys to Have a Sleepover in Each Other’s Rooms
- Make a Bike Obstacle Course
- Make Ice Cream Sundaes
- Hunt Easter Eggs in the Backyard
- Watch Trolls World Tour
- Stay in our PJs All-Day
- Plant Something New in our Yard
- Have a Zoom Play Date and Happy Hour
- Find a New Place to Hike in our Community