When I wrote my original post on June 2, 2020 re the pandemic, I thought by this date, June 28. we would be back to normal, new normal. However, as of about two weeks ago, instead of continuing to go down, new cases of the coronavirus in St Johns County, Florida, where I live, have increased 91%!!! This spiking of cases has been reflected in all of Florida, and in Arizona, California. There is concern that this could extend into the fall in more or most of the US. The entire pandemic scene with all its restrictions has affected our family in many different way, as it has with all families. All who were working, continued working from home. Those finishing up a school year finished the school year online from home. This transition, with all today’s technology, has been possible.
The Delgado family, (my granddaughter, her husband, and their children)are probably representative of of many couples with children. Working from home with small children, age 3 and 1, presented its special challenges, with day care closed. Oliver not infrequently conducted conference calls with an small child on his lap. Their entire apartment is one big playground with toys everywhere
Chris and Anna Hernandez finished their school years on line at home. Chris was able to have a graduation ceremony, but only two parents could attend. I have been wondering how divorced parents handled this. Such a school commencement was not possible for many graduating seniors, high school or college. They have had to contend with some sort of celebration such as family, front yard, friends driving by, teachers driving by, etc. Disappointing because graduation is a very important milestone in the life of student. And the future is still unsettled. Anna and Chris, as many students, are waiting to see if their school will open next fall or if they will have to continue studying on line from home.
The Riester family are probably typical of many families with two, three, or more children. Every one looking for a space to work, study and concentrate. To add to the chaos they have a graduated college senior looking for a job. Due to the coronovirus restrictions, these searches are done online and by phone with the job market not optimum. And they have a rising high school junior who as of June 15 could receive recruitment calls from tennis coaches. This would have been done before the pandemic situation at summer tournaments where coaches could speak with players, their coaches, their parents. Now all is being done by phone, face time, zoom. AND both parents are also working from home. Many years from now there will be many tales of surviving this time and how it was done.
My other two children are with much less stress. Scottty and Magda have only one child at home. He is busy applying for colleges and they made quite a few of their visits to colleges before the pandemic shutdown. Jeanne and Lisle, both work from home, but have no family here – just a 93-year-old mother. They are both great about doing my errands. Jeannie has been fielding calls from her two sisters cautioning her to be sure I am not exposed to the virus.
My family’s problems and worries are very typical. It is a stressful time for everyone. Certainly for some much more than for others. My heart aches for owners of small shops and restaurants; and for their employees who for months have been without an income . No wonder people are angry, confused, frightened. A doctor at Mayo told me that they are hearing from more and more people with problems of depression. We certainly have to look inside ourselves for inner strength and perseverance and for hope and faith .
Certainly the last things this country needed was the recent police brutality against a black woman Brianna and two black men, Arbery and George. The Black Lives Matter protesters are understandable and justifiable but the rioting, destruction of businesses of innocent people, and the wanton looting is not. These criminal acts simply detracted from the message as well as leaving even more people without a means of income.
And all our politicians fighting each other, name calling, civil discourse seemingly a thing of the past. playing gamesmanship like children on the playground, make me despair for the future of this country.
Someone sent me a very clever poem Easter week covering the problems since coronavirus started. These are the final lines:
The churches are empty – but so is the tomb,
And Jesus is victor over death, doom, and gloom. So this year at Easter, let this be our prayer,
As the problems still rage all around, everywhere.
May the world see hope when it looks at God’s people.
May the world see the church is not a building or steeple.
May the world find Faith in Jesus’s death and resurrection,
May the world find Joy in a time of dejection.
May 2020 be known as the year of survival,
But not only that –
Let it start a revival.
I know these days I am feeling frustrated and that is when I simply PRAY. My faith has been my source of strength and joy for all these many years. I have not always walked the walk I would have liked to have walked or done what I wish I had done, but I always cling to a phrase from a childhood hymn, “For tho the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet.”
There was another part of the poem with which I would like to end:
Well….the story’s not done.
What will YOU do?
Will you share with that one
Or two or more people needing hope in this night?
Will you share the source of your life in this fight?
So what are productive things one can do within the confining walls caused by coronavirus. Think of the needs of others that we can help. There are friends, loved ones, who live alone or are ill. worried, have problems. Keep in touch with them by phone or face time or email and think of what to say the would cheer them up. Keeping in touch with them will cheer you up also. For yourself think of the projects you have long put off and use this time to get them done. My personal project is trying to clear out old photo albums. Save the relevant photos to my computer and destroy the rest. I will not live long enough to finish but it is fun and brings back old memories . Easy to fall prey to thinking only of yourself. It is a big help to stop that and think of problems of others. If you have something that concerns you, call family or close friend for help, advice, or just to vent. Exercise is essential. Take a walk,. Go to a reliable, safe fitness center. And once in awhile just enjoy the peace of your home. A friend told me recently he starts each day writing down three things for which he is grateful. I know these. suggestions are simple common sense, but some times in stressful times we overlook what should be obvious .
Stay Safe! Stay Strong! Stay Positive! Stay Well!
When I started writing this a few hours ago, I did not know what I was really going to say. I hope I have been able to express to all who are during this bizarre time battling frightening thoughts, despair, fear, lethargy , just getting out of bed each morning, not to let this challenging chaos in any way destroy your hope, love, joy, and faith.