Too many years ago, my lifelong best friend up and moved away to China, of all places. She’s still there. She was there when the coronavirus broke out. She was there when events and celebrations and parades were cancelled. She was there when her whole city basically went under lock down. She was there for the worst of it. She’s still there, still healthy and alive.
She’s also still kept her humor, her unique way of looking at the world. She still finds the bright spots, still finds the little ways she can enjoy life. We communicate over social media and seeing her posts and stories about life over there and how she’s managing always make me smile. She’s still her, still the crazy girl I grew up with, still the one who can find a smile in everything.
There was a point where I would just wish for her to come back home, but now, with the coronavirus taking over the States, she’s safer staying exactly where she is. I’m thinking I wish I could move to be with her.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m scared, but not in panic mode. I have a chronic underlying medical condition that puts me at a greater risk of developing more severe symptoms, so, yes, I am worried. Yes, I do ask my husband to work from home as much as he can. Yes, I would have taken my son out of school had the district not decided to close. But, no, I am not stocking up on toilet paper. We just happened to need some at the wrong time.
I’m aware there are some people who, for whatever reason, may need to stock up on water and toilet paper, but I’m also sure there are a fair number of people who are just panic shopping. Though, if they’re buying that much water, they’ll need all that toilet paper. They can also keep all that hand sanitizer. With schools and work places starting to close down, people will be pretty much cooped up inside, so they’ll be near enough to a sink, water, and soap, which, honestly, works better than hand sanitizer. Wash your hands, people. My son’s teacher taught them to sing the ABCs while washing their hands, so I’ll be not too impressed if my 2 year old picks up the ABCs because of the coronavirus. It’ll make for a fun story when she’s older.
The next couple of weeks will be a huge adjustment with the schools being closed. I’ve always contemplated homeschooling, even before I became pregnant for the first time. Now I’m kind of excited I’ll get a taste of what it’ll be like. I’m just glad the teachers were given enough time to develop an educational plan for the students. It’s much easier going into this at the drop of a hat with some curated resources and guidance from a trained professional. I’m just sad he’ll be missing out on time with his classmates.
Half of me wants to freak out. I’m worried about the possibility of hospitalization. I worry about whether or not I’ll be able to breathe. I worry about how my husband would be able to handle basically being a single dad if I get sick. But half of me feels completely calm. I’m kind of looking forward to this, to having my kids at home, to being locked up at home. I’m an introvert, so I love not going anywhere.
My best friend’s reactions to the coronavirus keeps life in perspective. She lives where it started and is coming out of it healthy and fine, with her sense of humor seemingly undiminished. If she can survive this, I certainly can. She reminds me to look at the bright spots, to find the good things. It’s not always fun, it’s not always going to be fun. It’s going to be frustrating. It’s going to be lonely. It’s going to feel like a circus sometimes. But there are always bright spots.
I get my kids back by my side. I have some control over my son’s education now. My husband might end up with some paid time off because he can’t go to work or get his work done. California is getting some much needed rain, and, soon enough, the sun will be shining again. Maybe all the old politicians who can’t get things moving will get it and die so a new wave of younger politicians can come in and make the necessary changes to strengthen our country (okay, maybe that’s a little mean and way too political, but I know I can’t be the only one hoping some idiot in power gets it). I have books to read, my blog to work on, and things to bake. My kids have an abundance of toys, snacks, and imagination. We’re all alive, healthy, and happy. Things get to slow down and we have a chance to take a breath. And, apparently, there are college students who get more time for video games.
Two more things before I go.
A couple of blog posts regarding the coronavirus I particularly enjoyed:
From Chelsea Ann Owens – a story of the goodness that still resides in people. When everyone seems to be trampling each other for that last single roll of toilet paper, there are still some who will stop and help.
How to survive a crisis by Alan Parkinson – a nice, honest, and funny guide on how to survive this thing.
And, lastly, I’ll leave you with some words from my beautiful poet-writer friend.
Take in whatever sun you can.
Go on long walks.
Cherish what you have.
Play the same song on repeat and dance.
Eat something sweet.
Stay healthy, everyone, and remember a little compassion can go a long way!
P.S. Any guesses for how many babies there will be in about 9 months?