Laugh Often, People

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.

Laugh often.

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?

  1. Lisa R. Howeler

    I probably shouldn’t say this but it’s the younger people who are stocking up on junk food and beer during this crisis so I don’t know that I want them to take charge. Ha. Ha. They don’t seem too bright and are more worried about not being able to go to Starbucks or the bar. They also open up their mouths like a bunch of little starving birds and swallow everything the media feeds them.

    All that being said, I have underlying medical issues I’m worried about too, but I’m like you: calm for the post part and freaking out a little bit too. I’m taking it one day at a time and just praying everyone stay calms. It isn’t that I don’t think the virus is serious but I am legit more afraid of people freaking out and how fear will make them act than the virus itself. I lay awake worrying more about my parents and if they get it than me or my family. My mom gets bronchitis every time she gets a cold (and she hasn’t had one yet this year) and my dad keeps saying “Well, I’m 76. I’m going to check out soon anyhow!” really loud. In front of my children. I want to pop him one, even though he just thinks he’s being funny.

    I homeschool full time so if you need any ideas for sites, books, or resources to help, let me know. Obviously the library is out at this point, but there are many other sites I can direct you to. 😉

    • kat

      That’s very true. My husband works with a number of them. They even accused him of being negative when he was just giving the facts! But I do know I went to grad school with a number of bright, caring individuals who are now in their late 20s and early 30s, so I can’t help but have some hope. Still, most millenials are short more than a few brain cells. Or maybe there’s a whole generation of parents that just failed them. I hope we can do better and raise our kids to be thoughtful and compassionate.

      One day at a time is good. People are so consumed with being ready for, apparently, the next 6 months, but, looking at China, I have hope that we’ll be fine. It’ll hurt a bit, but, as a country, I think we’ll be fine. My best friend lives in China and has really kept her sense of humor about it. She’s managed to stay healthy and I know she was able to go out and get the things she needed, so all this panic buying is just nuts and doesn’t really teach our kids anything good. My husband went to the market on Sunday to pick up a couple of things and he said the staff were handing out carts so no one could take more than one and fill it with stuff, leaving nothing on the shelves for others. It’s crazy! I think hoping everyone stays calm is fruitless, but I still hope we as a country can calm down eventually. Or just go nuts because we’re cooped up. I worry about my parents, too, but mostly because my mom has a suppressed immune system. If my dad said what your dad does, I’d probably want to punch him, too. Especially in front of kids. There are some things that kids can know and other things where it’s safer for them to just be in the dark. So I’m glad my dad was the one cautioning us to prepare over a week ago.

      I’ll definitely be needing some resources, especially if school closures go beyond Spring break. My son’s teacher adores teaching and is already planning online video lessons, so I’m so grateful for her enthusiasm. But my son breezed through all his assigned learning activities and then the additional ones I gave him this morning, so I probably need more things to keep him busy! I’ll take anything you can provide for the Kindergarten level. Thank you so much!

      • Lisa R. Howeler

        I don’t have the link in front of me but a former teacher friend has been sharing links that parents can use during this time and when I get to my computer I will share some of them here. We use ABC mouse with my youngest but your son may be behind that at this point (my daughter almost is).

        About millennials, I wasn’t really thinking about the labels we give generations when we wrote that. I hate those labels. I know a few great young people who fit in that group – many of them hardworking farmers so I know they are not all bad. Not at all. I do think we need some fresh blood in positions of leadership but I think totally rejecting the older generation is a failure on our part to learn from their wisdom. There are many in that generation who are arrogant dinks with no wisdom but I still don’t wish death on them – maybe a few weeks of quarantine 😉

      • kat

        Oh, I so wish my son liked ABC Mouse. We tried once and he declared he was done 2 minutes later. He’s been resistant ever since and barely enjoys using the programs the school provides, but we’re hoping to change his mind.

        I think we can absolutely learn a lot from older generations, but the problem is that many of them don’t actually sound reasonable or seem to want to be reasonable. Of course, with each generation, there are good people and not so good people, but maybe this pandemic will actually get people to think more broadly about everyone. My husband’s colleagues are perfect examples of older and younger generations being focused on either themselves or on things not related to the well-being of others, but now they’re learning the hard way. I’m just hoping we come out of this as a better country full of more caring people. Then again, I’m also just hoping we come out of this.

      • kat

        Thank you so much! I’ll definitely be checking it out. I have a feeling the school closures will last the whole year, which makes me sad because I only put my son in school for the socialization.

      • kat

        That sounds so exciting and terrifying. Of course, it’s always good to leave it up to him; I would do the same if I ever decided to homeschool either of my kids.

  2. ourlittleredhouseblog

    I was just thinking that too, how many babies are we going to see at the end of this. Like Lisa, I worry about all the older people and the ones with other health issues. My husband and I can not get this, we have other health issues like asthma, heart, and I had half my thyroid removed over a year ago. My scar is still there across my neck but it isn’t as noticeable as before. Stay safe, wash up like crazy and have fun homeschooling your babies.

    • kat

      Yes, there are so many people out there who just can’t afford to get it. My husband and I are in the same situation, and we are worried because our kids are young and there’s no one else around to help out. I never realized before how old my family members are getting, but, now that I realize they’re about 60 and older, I can’t help but worry. I hope you and your family stay healthy and safe!

    • kat

      Haha, well, it feels like a valid question. No announcements from me, though! I’d lose my last marble if I had to teach and raise 3 kids who can’t go outside.

Share Your Thoughts

%d bloggers like this: