US Infected: 1,515,311 Dallas Infected: 8,266 Texas Deaths: 1,340
It is officially coming down to the end of the school year. The kids have one week left before summer break, and it’s weird to realize that this entire nine weeks has been e-learning. I realized yesterday that we have been officially locked down for 2 months in our house. The kids have not left the house but twice the entire time and that was just for rides in the car. It’s heartbreaking to see the pictures of the graduating seniors who have to give up their proms, their award ceremonies, their graduation ceremonies and parties. Although there have been some unique car parades and such, it really is difficult for them.
Truth is, it’s difficult for all of us. In one week, Ramadan will come to an end, and we will be unable to have the usual Eid celebrations and prayer. We always celebrate with my brother-in-law, but we won’t be doing that either this year. This year, we will pray in our own home, dressed up as we usually do, and watch the imam on television. Much like the Easter celebrations this year and the Passover too.
We, as a human race, have never had much patience, and it’s certainly apparent that we have grown more and more impatient with each generation. We are tired of keeping company with ourselves. We are tired of looking at our hair that needs cutting by someone with skills. We are tired of eating groceries instead of take-out. We are tired of the millions of online entertainment options. So we are opening up again. We are going out and doing what we want to be doing again. Many say that the coronavirus is all a hoax. A conspiracy started to give the government more control. After all, if you listen closely to their words, “We’re in this together”, “Stay home, stay safe”, etc. you will see that they’re being repeated ad nauseam to whip us all into being sheep and letting the government take control of us. So off we go…sans mask, sans common sense and throw our frustrations out at the poor clerk working behind the plexiglass screen. How dare she stand there, with her mask and gloves on, hiding behind her screen, and touching all of our groceries! And why on earth has she put a plastic shield on the keypad where we scan the cards! After all, we have to punch in our numbers with our gloveless hands after the person ahead of us!! Our righteous indignation thrown in the face of the poor soul who came in to work to feed her 5 kids, despite the chance that she could bring it home to her. And we throw contempt at the stores requiring patrons to wear masks. And we throw contempt at the restaurants who will let you dine in, but will limit how many people come in and how close you sit to others. How dare they!!
Truth is, it’s all well and good for you to demand your rights to do what you want to do. It’s your right, after all. The only thing is, that all of us have rights too. Your rights only go so far, until my rights begin. We have to share this world. You have the right to not wear a mask. I have the right to not get sick because you don’t want to wear it. The shield is there for your protection from the worker, and the worker’s protection from you. The plastic on the keypad is so that it can be sanitized without destroying the circuitry. The six foot rule for social distancing is to help protect you from the guy who sneezed and the virus that stays airborne for up to 14 minutes!
You don’t want people to talk about “the new normal”? Well, I don’t want to talk about what a great person you were at your online funeral. Look, I get it. You’re bored. You’re pinching pennies trying to pay bills. You miss your friends, parents, barber. So do I. But now is not the time to stand up and be a self-righteous demander of your rights. Try thinking bigger than yourself and seeing the world through the kid next door who has serious asthma issues, or the guy at church with heart problems. They are at risk. If they get Covid-19, they will have to fight far harder than the average person. Think of the friend who lives with her elderly mother.
My heart aches to know how many people I know that just can’t or won’t listen to advise given from knowledgeable sources. My heart aches for my friends who are doctors and nurses who have to deal day after day with people dying at work, only to come home and find friends spouting off about how they don’t have to care or be careful. My heart aches for our messed up world.
This is not a fair situation. But whoever said it was supposed to be? Where did we get the idea that we should have the right to shame, or cast blame, or demand?
Today, as Texas has opened back up many of its businesses, and we look forward tomorrow to reopening gyms, nonessential factories, and workplaces…well we had the highest number of new cases to date today. I literally am sitting here shaking my head.
So here’s what I’m doing. I cannot change anything or anyone else. I can only affect me and my immediate family in my house (and sometimes, I’m not even sure I can affect them!) I am working to make our environment, THIS environment, more user friendly for us. I am working to keep our spirits up while making sure we are doing the things we must do to stay afloat. I am reaching out when I can, however I can to maintain friendships and family connections. I am trying to move forward while staying still.
Why still? Because I listened to an epidemiology expert define social distancing. Social distancing is not being out doing what we want to do as long as we stay 6 feet apart. Social distancing is staying still. Sheltering IN PLACE. Keeping our space bubble in and around our homes.
This week, I am planting food. We have just over a 1/4 acre lot where our house sits. Most of it is a pool and driveway, but still we have created gardening space with containers and creative placement. I have planted trees…fruit trees. I am growing peaches, apples, pears, oranges, lemons, mangoes, bananas and pomegranates. I have started sprouts of tomatoes, peppers and melons that I am transferring into pots this week. (And no…I could not order seeds online either. We ordered organic tomatoes, peppers and melons, pulled the seeds and sprouted them).
We are working on creating an outdoor oasis where we can escape the house and feel like we are in a new space. Granted, we have the gorgeous pool already, but by better utilizing our backyard, we can create an outdoor living space and it just feels awesome to be outside sometimes!
We as a family are working on finding ways to have separate, individual space and time as well as community times where we come together and actually spend time together. Meal times are an excellent time for coming together, as well as game nights, and movie nights. Making an everyday event into a special event, like movie night helps change the monotony of spending everyday in the same space together.
I call my parents on video phone as often as I can. As I’ve said before, seeing them in person really helps the feeling of missing them. Same with my brother. My husband has been having zoom calls with all of his brothers and sisters. I have also attended my college reunion zoom call and my high school band reunion zoom call. A little socializing helps too.
My husband goes to work in his little office space every day from 9am to 7pm. Sometimes we see him for lunch, and sometimes we don’t. The kids get up and we argue over doing school work, but eventually we get it done and get some down time to do our own things.
It is not a perfect solution. We miss our old lives. But this is what it is. Sunshine says that a lot…”It is what it is”. Apparently it’s something on TicToc, but it still fits a whole lot of whatever is going on these days! So, I encourage you all…embrace your “It is what it is” and try to make the best of it. Or at least try to make it better. Take your lemons and make some lemonade…it’s nearly summertime!