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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A Dystopian Year In Review

 March 16, 2020. 

That was the day South Carolina 'shut down'. That was the day schools closed and work from home orders were given. It was so surreal, wasn't it? We thought: two weeks. Two weeks and they'll be back in school. How little did we know and how quickly things changed. 

In the week leading up to that date Lucas had a soccer game. I remember watching from the sidelines as the ref called the 2 captains over for pregame stuff and then indicated a handshake...I thought to myself, "Ugh. Why? The kids have been hearing in school and on the news and at home to forego handshaking." After the game the parents lined up on the sidelines like we had been doing after each game, the players would run by and slap hands with all the parents. But this time we just raised our hands in the air and cheered for them as they ran by.

Lucas' 12th birthday party was the weekend before at Stars and Strikes: an entertainment center that featured bowling, among many other activities. I look at pictures from that party now and think, "I can't even imagine." South Carolina had the first 2 cases of the virus and we were stressing hand-washing and elbow bumps. 

On March 15 Lucas was invited to a birthday party at the very same place he had his party a week before. I was surprised it hadn't been cancelled. Stars and Strikes, like many other places, were already instituting more stringent, and frequent, cleaning protocols. They also had hand sanitizer located throughout the facility. I dropped Lucas off with a reminder to try not to touch too many surfaces, no high-fives, and use that hand-sanitizer. By the time I picked him up the school closure had been announced. 

He's been home ever since (as has Joe, working from home). His school did have an in-person option the start of the new school year, but he wanted to try homeschool, so here we are. 

Right after schools were closed and the 'work from home' order was given it wasn't long before I was taking an eraser to the calendar as one-by-one things were cancelled: archery tournaments, soccer games, chess club, etc. 

When I needed to go to the grocery store it felt like Hunger Games. I needed to get in, get out. Get the bare minimum. Don't linger. Don't touch more than I needed. Keep my distance. All to avoid this invisible enemy. Hoping that I wasn't bringing something back to my family. 

The grocery store was where it really started to feel like a dystopian world. Announcement and signs to "keep 6 feet apart". Store workers standing by the carts and wiping them down for you. Empty shelves. Signs on shelves "1 per customer" on cleaning/paper products and "4 per customer" on canned goods. Partitions (or sneeze guards) going up between customers/employees. Coin shortages. 

Did anyone else watch a movie or old TV show and internally cringe at how close people were? I would see a crowded subway scene and think, oh gosh, that wouldn't be happening now. Or, yikes, they are way too close together. Haha! 

We didn't do any major house renovating projects, or pick up new hobbies; although Kayla started doing Zoom dance classes and Lucas did grow watermelon. 

We did walks, bike rides, geocaching and just got out in nature so we wouldn't feel 'stuck at home'.

They did summer camp at home.

Kayla, Lucas, and I haven't had a haircut in over a year (Joe just shaves his off!). 

And here we are a year later; adjusted to this new normal. The new way of life. We are slowly trying to get some of that old life back though. Lucas joined Kayla on the archery team since he homeschooled this year. They only had one tournament though; but Lucas did great for his first-ever tournament with a score of 237.

Soccer just started back up for Lucas, and Miracle League baseball for Kayla. 

Here's to hoping we can continue on this path to reclaiming the normalcy we once had. 


Mom24 said...

So many hugs. Glad your family made it through healthily. I hope normal is within reach soon. Lots of love.

Anonymous said...

yep! you said it all!
what will the new normal look like? But, you and your family had adjusted to the "all things are different from March 2020 and now. :} You made the best of the situation and took advantage of the great outdoors and also activities indoors.

Michelle and Joe you are great parents. AND YOU HAVE GREAT KIDS.

Love mom/grandma