Living through a pandemic – It’s okay to not be okay. Who would have ever thought that there would be a day when we would be wearing a face mask as our daily ensemble? I honestly never would have thought we would be myself. The last 5 or 6 months has been so weird. A roller coaster of emotions doesn’t even cover it. It’s been up and down since the first week of March. It’s now almost mid-July and things are getting rough again. Just when we thought we may be able to relax a bit, a few weeks later things really took a turn.
That’s why I have gotten behind on my blog posts. Over the last couple weeks, I have been pretty stressed and borderline depressed to tell the truth. Covid19 kind of got a little too close for comfort this past week. But before I get into our most recent weeks of this pandemic, let me rewind back to the first week of March.
Living through a pandemic – March, 2020
In the very beginning, I admit I didn’t take this very seriously until the early part of March when Covid19 became a pandemic. I believe it was the second week of March or maybe we were starting the second week when Governor DeWine closed schools throughout the state of Ohio. At that point in time, we were okay. The kids brought home two weeks of school work also known as “blizzard bags”. Most of their work were hard copy assignments. They had a couple assignments on their Chromebooks but these were assignments they would have had anyway. Doing this school work was easy during the first closure.
By the second week was about through, our kids were expecting to go back to school. They wanted to be back in school. But instead of going back after the initial three week closure, they ended up being closed for the rest of the school year. They went completely to Distance Learning which was no longer easy to do. All three of our kids struggled in their own way.
If memory serves me correctly, this was also when the Stay at Home Order began. As the weeks went on, the kids started having problems with school work and other frustrations and feelings about everything started to arise. Living through a pandemic has been really tough on them. It has been for my whole family.
Living through a pandemic – April & May 2020
As we worked our way living through a pandemic in April & May, we were getting frustrated, bored, upset, and things were depressing. I became totally exhausted and I couldn’t figure out why. I think it was just all the emotions. And not just my emotions either. My kids were missing their friends. They hadn’t seen them in weeks and it would be many more weeks before they would see any of them. The feeling of being isolated is never a good feeling. The loneliness gets to a person. It can be even more difficult for kids because they have no idea how to deal with the overwhelming feeling of it. I don’t know many adults who doesn’t get overwhelmed with those feelings.
Our oldest son was really upset about missing track. He had made the 7th grade boys track team at school only a couple weeks before they closed school. At first he was keeping up with his conditioning on his own when they were expecting to go back. He didn’t talk much when they heard they weren’t going back. But we kept trying to think of the positives. We took a lot of walks through the woods. Went down to the creek quite often and even went creek stomping when it was warm enough.
Easter this year was different
It was very different. The kids still had their Easter baskets. Of course all our shopping was done online because we were still in lock down during that time. We didn’t have a big Easter dinner or the big family Easter egg hunt. But we did still enjoy ourselves with a small dinner and egg hunt within our household. We really missed spending time with my mom. We did however, set up a Zoom meeting which was fun to do.
Our daughter’s birthday
Our daughter had a birthday in April. She obviously wasn’t expecting a party or anything by that time since we couldn’t invite anyone over. So we completely surprised her. There were a couple things she really wanted so we bought them for her behind her back. We used Amazon like crazy during the last few months. It wasn’t easy but I also baked her a cake without her knowing. I am still not sure how I accomplished that. When she came back inside from taking our dog, Oscar out, her brothers were standing in the living room holding her cake and the few gifts we got her. We had our own little party with just us. We definitely made her whole day. Her face was priceless.
While living through a pandemic, you just have to make the best of it. And sometimes those small positives made for the best times regardless of the situation.
Our high school Senior
Living through a pandemic has been really hard on our daughter. I can not begin to tell you how many times our girl cried. She would shut herself in her room. We would have many, many talks. It got easier when the school had make up days for graduation and other senior events like prom and the senior play. They were performing The Sound of Music. So then she was okay for a while. At least until the state wouldn’t let them wait until the end of June or the end of July like they planned.
Once they were forced to have a virtual graduation and cancel prom and the play, the roller coaster took a huge dive and it didn’t stop for a while. At this point, I was pretty upset myself. This is because the first and second week of June, things started opening back up. Some of the way things were done made me livid because there shouldn’t have been a reason not to let schools wait. At that time anyway. It just didn’t make sense. Now though, I am glad things did go the way they went with graduation because of the situation we are now in.
She’s doing okay though now that it’s all over. She and I worked on some graduation momentos and keepsakes. Some of them I surprised her with. Look for my next post about how graduation went this year.
It is okay to not be okay.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you or make your kids feel like their feelings don’t matter. I have read many comments or heard quite a few people say things about kids these days don’t know what real hardships are. That being bored or being upset because they can’t see their friends is nothing compared to “this or that”. To me, that is wrong on so many levels. There was a meme going around at one point saying seniors should stop being “babies” because at least they don’t have to go off to war right after high school. Are memes like that really necessary? Why should any kid ever have to feel like their feelings about current situations and what they are going through aren’t valid?
Yes, things could be worse. There are people going through things that are far worse than not being able to go to school or have a real graduation. These kids shouldn’t have to feel guilty for being upset. Their feelings should not be ignored or treated as if they aren’t as important. Their feelings don’t take anything away from someone else’s struggles.
It is okay to not be okay.
Things were definitely different
Things were really weird. So many things changed while self isolating. Including the way we shopped. Of course for months we couldn’t go out unless it was for necessities like groceries. We didn’t even go into the store anymore for groceries. We started using Kroger click list. At one point I had even asked my husband why we didn’t just do that this whole time instead of waiting until we were living through a pandemic . It was so easy to order and then just pick them up. It wasn’t easy at first because there for a while, we would have to order a couple weeks in advance because they were backed up.
My husband had to deal with changes at work. There were so many changes. He’s considered essential so he was working the whole time during the Stay at Home Order. His company took some shifts away so he had to end up laying off a few of his employees. Because of that, he ended up running into other frustrating problems with all the restrictions in place.
I am exhausted
I know I previously mentioned this but exhaustion just doesn’t cover it. Since the beginning of this mess of living through a pandemic, we have been up and down. Stuck at home. Can’t go do anything. Making sure the kids stayed on top of their school work. I think at one point I had even cried about not actually going into the grocery store. And I don’t even particularly like grocery shopping.
I had to explain countless times to my kids why their friends couldn’t come over. Or why they couldn’t go to their house.
I had to explain to my boys that just because they didn’t have to go to school anymore, they still needed to regularly take a shower. Seriously, why do I need to explain that?
My mom is on home dialysis. Living through a pandemic hasn’t been easy for her at all. She had a kidney transplant years ago. I think I was about 13 years old when she had her surgery. Well, a couple years ago she lost all her kidney function. Her donor kidney lasted many years longer than usual so we are thankful for that. She also has other health problems and has been on and off oxygen for years. It almost killed me we could’t spend time with her over Easter. I call her almost every day but sad that we hadn’t been able to visit.
As short lived as it was, we did have a few weeks of improvement. When things started opening back up, Ohio seemed to have stayed pretty flat for a while. We did start allowing a couple of friends come over. Only the ones with parents we talk to regularly. We all got on the same page and my kids either went to their house or their buddy came over to our house for only a couple hours at a time. Between us parents, we took it slow and made sure it was a nice day so that they could spend most of their outdoors. My older son was pretty happy because he and his buddy likes to ride dirt bikes and four wheelers.
We also jumped at the chance to take a canoe trip. We headed down to the Hocking River when the canoe liveries opened up. It was one of the best days we had in a while. They only allowed rentals, they weren’t transporting personal canoes yet but we didn’t care. We just wanted to spend some time on the water. My husband and I started actually going to the store to grocery shop. We still leave our kids at home though since there is a limit to how many people are allowed in the stores now.
But it was a nice change.
At least while it lasted.
Living through a pandemic – Our current situation
Again, we go downhill again. That stupid roller-coaster. See? This is why I am exhausted. Up and down, up and down. Living through a pandemic sucks. Last week things started getting bad again. There as been a surge of Covid cases. We put a stop to the friends coming over among other things. The Governor is now going by county. There are 4 levels. Our county and the county my husband works in are at level 3. By going county by county, they can ease up or tighten up restrictions in areas that need it. Right now where we are at, face masks are now mandated in public. It’s not a big deal to us since we have been using ours anyway but it does concern me.
Last week we finally heard news about the school restarting guidelines. Our kids’ school district came up with a plan last week. I love how they put their plans together. They are using a color plan which means they can easily make a transition for different scenarios as the year goes on. Green will mean all students will go to school, yellow means 50% will go one week while the other 50% will be distance learning at home. Then they will flop flop. There is orange and red too which is in place if they have to close a specific building or if they will have to close the entire district.
This week had me going crazy. I won’t get into too many details because it involves other people but Covid19 gave us a scare. It was a bit too close for comfort. One of my family members has a fiance that is very sick from Covid19. My household didn’t have any contact but it’s still really sad and scary. My husband did have to end up getting tested because of a situation at work. He’s been at home all week because he couldn’t go back to work until he was cleared. It’s been a stressful week especially since he just happened to be having what he thought was a sinus problem. And of course our household has been in self quarantine this week. He did find out yesterday that he tested negative.
Huge sigh of relief!
If I have learned anything from living through a pandemic, is never take anything for granted. I think we all take things for granted without even realizing it. I like to look for the positives. We have definitely had a lot more family time. This time has given us time to slow down and enjoy the simple things. That’s what we try to do as often as we can. Things may be starting to look bad again but it’s summer darn it. We may be limited to what we can do but we are going to enjoy those walks through the woods. Or spend more time down at the creek.
That is if it’s not too hot. I wish we still had our swimming pool…
We will probably camp a few more times in our backyard. We did that not too long ago. The kids love it.
No matter how tough things may continue to get, we are going to enjoy our summer as much as possible. I don’t even want to think about what school may look like in the fall. I hope you all can enjoy your summer as much as possible. Always remember to enjoy the simple things and look for the positives.