Trying to make sense of it all
After the dust settled last Friday I couldn’t help but notice what a beautiful day it was.
I sat outside with a beverage while my kids played soccer in the backyard and we waited for mommy to get home. It was the kind of day I’ve been looking forward to since the holidays ended - sunny with temperatures in the upper-60s. For the first time, I really noticed the buds on the trees and thought to myself the area will be in full bloom in just days.
At the same time, I couldn’t help but reflect back on my last few hours:
Most of that afternoon was spent thinking about the National Emergency that was going to be declared at 3 p.m. There was lots of speculation on social media about what exactly that was going to mean- which was all wrong. Soon after that, I got a text from my mom saying schools were being closed for the next two weeks. I immediately began to wonder: what was I going to do with my kids?
I’ve never seen my local grocery store more crowded and the shelves more empty than they were that day. My wife and I planned to stock up on some extra things, and so did everyone else apparently. For the most part I got everything on my list. I had to laugh at myself because was a little annoyed most of the pasta was gone and I had to settle for elbow macaroni versus the rontini and penne rigate I usually get. Just a sign of the times now.
It’s amazing that something we can’t even see has got us to this point in the world. I’m not here to cause panic or say everything is going to be OK, I’m not even going to tell you to wash your hands or social distance – it’s more just to vent.
With our youth soccer seasons on hold and the kids’ Saturday ice skating lessons canceled, I can’t remember the last time we had no plans on a weekend. So we played sports in the yard, cooked out and even dug out the fire pit. I know my kids know about the virus, but I don’t think they fully grasp it at just 8-years-old, it’s just two weeks off from school to them.
Another thing on my list of things to do was get to the local box store, and so I [probably unwisely] took advantage of the opportunity. Armed with hand sanitizer from my wife, off I went to battle crowds and germs and eventually her texts wondering what was taking me so long (I can never find anything in these stores).
Trying to stay positive, one of my goals during this shutdown of life is to do a couple small projects around the house all while deep cleaning.
One minute, I can’t shake the feeling this whole event is going to change our way of lives as a Nation, and so I think this can be a new beginning. The next minute, I think how I wouldn’t be surprised if this all goes away in a couple of weeks. Obviously, you can sense my confusion, and I’m sure I’m not alone.
At least for two weeks, I really don’t have anything else to do but sit and wonder and play things out in my head – which is probably the worst thing anyone can do in a time like this. In two weeks, maybe I’ll know if my kids will be back in school, if we’ll have a spring soccer season, and hopefully if I’ll be able to watch the Philadelphia Flyers again this season - or even put out a sports section in the Lehigh Valley Press - or maybe I won’t.
At this point, all any of us can really do is be as smart as possible about every decision we make, and trust our judgment and upbringing to get us through this, hopefully as quickly as possible. Because the scary thing is, no one really knows anything.
None of us have any idea what’s going to happen in a day, an hour or even the next couple of minutes anymore.
While the dust has had to settle a lot lately, at least for one weekend, I hope things still felt pretty normal to my boys - even though deep down I knew they weren’t.