I keep referring to this time, this social distancing, coronavirus, remote learning isolation time as the “zombie apocalypse.”
Partly for my own comic relief, and partly because it’s like the freaking Covid-19 is the battalion of zombies we are at war against, here in the apocalypse.
Two weeks ago I got something in my email box from an education company that said 70% of students were partaking in some degree of distance learning. This does include my own children and my own students, and at this point I feel it must be even more than that as social distancing rules tighten for more and more communities. My role as an elementary school Technology Specialist has me fielding the never ending tech help desk while also supporting teachers and parents in this time of tech triage. We have had 3 weeks of at-home school days and Zoom days and Seesaw days under our belt at the elementary school, semi-settling into this new style of delivering education from afar, attempting to get used to the new normal.
As adults, closest we can get to friends & family is FaceTime and Houseparty hangouts, holidays, and happy hours. I think back on my teen years and couldn’t even imagine this level of isolation that my own children are encountering. Friendships are happening by way of texting, and their main time together are in video chat rooms and on gaming platforms. Thank heaven for the tech time for connection, but man, I know I’m mourning the real face time that my kids are losing out on.
Life in the age of Covid-19.
As I'm pondering all of this, here are some of the things I have noticed, all of which have really surprised me:
- My inability to shut down and step away from the ever-blurry life, when my home office is my tv room, and my computer/iPad/phone never stop acting like the Bat Signal in Gotham City.
- My comfort in being home where it’s safe and germ-free, keeping us from exposure out in the world.
- My delight in the fact that at least this happened in the spring, not the depressing gloom of wintertime or the oppressive heat of summertime. At least the daily view and the backyard patio are a respite from the over-techified world.
- My over-saturation in mindless "over-scrolling" in Facebook, Apple News, and Words with Friends... which lead to my need to "step away from the phone!"
- That ever-present, low grade anxiety which has attributed to every aspect life. It’s unshakable, and I found evidence for it in reading a very good article which explained how this constant, lingering angst gets in the way of focus, explaining why I can’t get deeper into books than the comfort food equivalent of Harry Potter and picture books.
- That a FaceTime call and visually checking in on people is so much more rewarding than an audio phone and texts--but that after a day of "zooming" sometimes that's the last thing I want to do.
- That upgraded wifi is worth it!
- That I’m tired of seeing myself in the 1” x 2” zoom gallery view window.
- That I can have a fabulous outfit waist-up, cute hair, make up, and even accessories... all the while being in yoga capris and Bobbie socks. This apparently is the new normal when it comes most people's "work from home" outfits, without giving it a second thought.
- That I’m grateful for my low level, pre-Peloton bike for letting me get my heart beating and my step count above 546, which seems to be my default daily work average unless I make a concerted effort to change it up.
When will this be over is a big time question, and more so everyday is this one: who and where will I be when this is all over? No answers yet as we are all dependent on heeding governor "stay at home" orders, and if the curve is actually flattening. So many new terms that we weren’t even using a month or two ago.
I’m listening to the rain right now. One of those slowing moments of gratitude. I'm especially thankful that it is raining here during the dark of bed time for the hope of a sunny patio day tomorrow. But I'm feeling the cleansing power. May it cleanse, soothe, bring perspective, and lull me to sleep... while also awakening me to a new day, a renewed sense of hope, a newly opened sense of wonder and optimism. Three cheers to the scientists and vaccine creators... and the day we are finally on the other side of all of this. May we remember all we sacrificed and lost, while also hugging our loved ones!
Be safe out there as you take every precaution you can!!