They say the first five days after the weekend are the hardest.
Whoever they are.
They also say we’re in a new normal. I don’t accept that.
After 47 years of house arrest this is not normal.
I am, however, resolved to accept that this might be the new reality.
And, I don’t like it.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve settled into a routine. Having the gym reopen helped with that.
But this is not sustainable.
I miss the amusement park. I miss theater. I miss church.
They’ll all come back. The question is when and how?
I don’t deal well with unknowns. I don’t like surprises.
That’s why when Halloween comes around, I’m better at being a monster than a haunted house patron. I do not like to be startled. For any reason.
Halloween is another unknown this year. I mean, even if we’re back it will never be the same again.
Speaking of back, school districts are trying to figure out how to open, or not open school this fall. Here in my home county, school is supposed to open on September 8. Even with my problems earlier in the week with identifying the days, I know that’s less than two months.
From the beginning I’ve been in the reopen camp. I still don’t understand how we went from 15 days to flatten the curve to 15 years (give or take a few months) of “you can never go anywhere again.”
But I just don’t know about school.
We don’t have school-age children, but I’m married to a teacher. She’s spending her summer “off” taking classes about distance learning and how to make that beneficial for both students and teachers.
I know there are some who think we should just open up with social distancing. But that raises so many more questions.
Not the least of which is how are you going to keep the bathrooms stocked with soap and towels.
Plus, there’s just no way that a teacher (with or without an assistant) can be expected to have a room of 25 kindergarten age children keep their masks on.
If you think I’m wrong about that, you’ve obviously never met a child.
These are hard times. Heck you got all the emails…challenging times, difficult times, unprecedented times…one might hope that thesaurus sales have soared. One might also be wrong.
But even with the struggles, most of us still have it pretty good based on world standards. And really in terms of pandemic standards.
No one is rolling a cart through the streets yelling “bring out yer dead.”
The Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918 came on the heels of World War I. As I was thinking about writing this, I thought of the thousands who were affected by nerve gas on the battlefields.
My grandfather was one. You know that I tell his story in my stage play Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy. He lost a lung and suffered for the rest of his life.
But I wonder if there are statistics of those whose respiratory systems were already compromised who fell victim to the flu epidemic. Surely someone out there has studied that.
My grandmother on the other side of the family had the flu, lost a child on Saturday, delivered a child on Wednesday (my Uncle who survived), and lost another child the following Saturday.
We’re complaining because we’ve watched everything on Netflix.
These are hard times. These are challenging times. These are $$%@$&*@# times.
But we will get through them.
Things may not be the same when this is all over. We may not be the same.
If we recognize this as an opportunity to do things better, to be better people, then that’s a good thing.
Let’s give it a try.
We can start on Monday.