It has almost been a month since they announced school closures due to Covid-19. I had just arrived at an open house I was hosting for a program I facilitate when I heard the news. Someone had sent me a text message about it earlier, but I just assumed it was fake news. I was looking forward to a night of talking shop with some of my favorite community leaders in the social services world. Instead, we spent the night eerily repeating how very weird this new news was. This was the start of the new normals we would soon all face.
The next day was a Friday, and the school closures weren’t set to kick in until after March Break the following week. I thought this would be the last day of school for my four children for awhile and so I drove them to school this day and told them to bring as much home as possible, with emphasis on their indoor shoes. There was hardly anyone in the normally over-filled parking lot that morning. There was a teacher supervising the children coming off the bus. I joked to her saying that it didn’t look like it was going to be a busy day. She didn’t laugh but instead said she thought this was going to be a day we would all remember. Another eery vibe of what was coming.
I did my normal business day thing, and eventually caught up with the news that night. That is when the gravity of the situation started to sink in. If the kids should not be in school, then maybe I should not be facilitating a group in the coming weeks. I work in social services and the implications of what the news was saying, were far-reaching, to say the least. Everything changed. The next week announced several closures. Very quickly I erased things off my giant to-do list on my whiteboard at home. By the end of the week, the only things left on my board that I could do were buy a cinnamon shaker and do my taxes.
The next few weeks were all about rebuilding. Almost as quickly as my whiteboard emptied, I filled it with new things. I figured out how to do my own taxes online but decided the cinnamon shaker was non-essential. I reinvented my world around self-isolation with my family. It’s taken almost a month, but I have adapted. I’ve written a lot about adapting to new circumstances, but I never realized that writing was my way to adapt.