It has officially been one year since I started writing these entries for you. We have now been living through a pandemic for over a year. It was mid-March of last year when our school district, followed by the city and then the state, shut down.
It’s kind of crazy to think we’ve been doing a form of distance learning for over a year, that things are still experiencing full or partial closures, that countries keep opening and closing, that numbers have dipped and risen. It’s like a roller coaster, except I don’t feel like I need to throw up. It also, weirdly, feels like March 2020 was just yesterday. As crazy as those days were, I still remember them rather vividly. I remember sitting down with the papers Brother’s school sent home for the first two weeks, of meticulously filling them out. I remember the early Zoom classes that were only 30 minutes twice a week. I remember reading things out to Brother from some of his online materials and having zero idea where it was all going, or if I was even doing any of it the right way. I remember staring out the windows with both of you, of seeing how empty the streets were. I remember going on some early walks, freaking out if either of you got too close to anyone or if anyone got too close to us. That was before masks were even recommended. Mostly, I remember how well both of you adjusted to being home all the time.
One year ago, Brother’s school had all the teachers prepare two weeks’ worth of work for all students. Because schools were only supposed to be closed for two weeks. Well, two weeks has stretched into over a year. Next month, though, the district is planning on reopening schools. Of course, we have the option of sending Brother back into the classroom or keeping him home. After lots of thought and conversation, we’re keeping both of you home until you’re both fully vaccinated. Even if it means homeschooling for 2nd Grade and Preschool. If you’re lucky, kids, one of this fall’s entries won’t be about me having a complete breakdown.
On the bright side, ever since California laid out a blueprint to recovery, complete with pretty colored tiers, our county has finally made it into the red tier (from the most restrictive purple one) for the first time ever, and is eyeing the orange tier. That means more places can open and many of the places with limited capacity can now increase capacity. Theme parks are also allowed to reopen on April 1st. The excitement when you learned Disneyland was set to reopen on April 30th was contagious. Let’s just hope we continue to do well, and the counties around us continue to do well. I check for ticket information every day.
On the bad side, shootings and terrible car crashes that have resulted in fatalities seem to be increasing. There’s also been a rise in attacks on Asians. I’ll admit, it’s kind of scary to be out in the world these days not because of a virus, but because of people. In the past week, there have been two mass shootings. Just a few days ago, there was a horrible car crash that killed an innocent driver not that far from where we live.
But! Vaccinations are well underway. Of course, everywhere is getting a limited number of doses, so only some groups are allowed to get their two meetings with a needle, but Dad has started, so that’s one less thing to worry about. Your grandparents will also be fully vaccinated soon enough, and they can’t wait to hug you again. It’s been over a year. It’s slow, but at least it’s something.
It’s nice that the panic that held us in it’s painful grip last year isn’t here this year. At least, not where we live. There’s still a lot of social and political unrest, but, on the pandemic front, there’s more hope.
Most of all, right now, I’m grateful for how well both of you have been doing. We get out as much as we can, we see family mostly on Zoom but now in person once in a while. I’m a little afraid neither of you will want to leave home, but I’m glad you’re young enough that we still have a lot of say in it. I’m hoping that, when you’re old enough to read this, you’re far from the homebodies you currently are. Either way, we’ve survived a year.