I usually reserve the word “hate” for things I feel very strongly about, like Crocs and people who whistle or pop their gum in public. But I can confidently tell you that I hate COVID-19.
I really thought this was all going to blow over in a few weeks. I wasn’t worried, didn’t stock up, and didn’t cancel my plans.
But we’re over a month and a half in to being stuck at home, and it sucks.
I have to admit we are not one of those families who is going to look back at this time and remember how we all got to be together and our bonds grew. We’re not going to look back at the last few months fondly.
I’m tired of doing the same thing over and over and over.
I’m tired of not being able to buy normal things like yeast and soap and toilet paper at the grocery store.
I’m tired of not being able to let my kids play outside with the neighborhood kids they so desperately want to befriend.
I’m tired of picking up food and eating it in my car instead of in dining rooms and restaurants.
I’m tired of distance learning. I have a bachelor’s degree and I was stumped by first grade math.
Everyone has been affected by this. Even doctors and nurses, people you would think would be guaranteed a job, have been furloughed or even let go. Every single person, whether you’ve had symptoms of COVID-19, had family members who have had symptoms, or haven’t known anyone who has gotten the virus, has been affected.
Businesses are shut down. Some are even closing their doors for good because they can’t financially survive.
Schools are closed for the year. I worry that my daughter, who was so excited to start kindergarten in the fall, won’t get to have the “normal” kindergarten experience she was looking forward to.
Watching TV now means watching people reporting from home, talking on video chats to each other, and waiting for poor internet connections to clear up. We’ve binge-watched Tiger King, rewatched The Office, and watched a whole bunch of new Netflix movies. I actually miss sitting on the sofa next to my husband and pretending to watch NBA games.
My kids haven’t set foot inside a store in over a month. Our screen time limits have been loosened so that they’re almost nonexistent. Most days, I have no idea what day it is.
I have slept in and gotten up early. I have stayed up late and gone to bed at 9pm. I have let my kids wear their pajamas all day and made them get dressed right after breakfast. I have made cookies, cakes, muffins, and blondies. I have tried to drink more water, and had multiple sodas in a day. I have yelled at my kids to give me some space, and I have snuggled close to them to read an extra chapter of a book before bedtime. I have contemplated dying my hair bright colors and giving myself bangs again. I have optimistically tried to take all three kids on a run, and I have sat on the sofa and done absolutely nothing.
Life is hard right now. It’s surreal, weird, challenging, frustrating, and honestly, it just kind of sucks.
BUT! We’re going to get through this. We’re going to come out the other side, whenever that may be, with more gratitude for the little things. Every day that passes we get stronger, more resilient, and more flexible. We’re using technology and social media to stay connected in new ways. People are spending more time outside and picking up new hobbies.
It might be hard to see now, but eventually, this will end. Kids will go back to school and parents back to work. Grocery store shelves will be fully stocked and we won’t have to pay $30 online for a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer. We’ll be able to go to the salon and get our grays covered and aimlessly wander the aisles of Target again.
But until that day, it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to lament vacations postponed and parties cancelled. It’s okay to be upset that we can’t watch the Olympics this summer and celebrate graduations.
The last few weeks and months have been unlike any we’ve ever lived through, and hopefully, unlike any we’ll live through in the future.
COVID-19 sucks, but we’ve got this!