Life in the time of corona


What a week.

Has it only been a week?

Sort of. It’s really been longer. But only a week since what was once a distant, abstract concern sharpened into a serious concern that has dwarfed everyday life … making “everyday life” here in Maryland seem quaint.

It’s like a natural disaster is unfolding, only it’s a beautiful spring day. Like prepping for a blizzard, but without radar to monitor … and no obvious way to know when the danger will be over. At least after a hurricane, the sun can be counted on to guide us out of the gloom.

This is love and life in the time of COVID-19. Never have I felt so unsettled about what lies ahead. My human neighbors and I are all in the same boat. And I can’t distract myself or get away from it — not at home, certainly, where the kids are camped out. And not at work, where I’m still reporting to our hospital. The front of my office building has been turned into triage. Marketing, too, is needed on the front lines.

Even in my mid-thirties, I fight the urge in challenging times to run “home.” Back where my dad has a plan and a fridge full of food. Where my mom has crafts, People magazines, and a backlog of Hallmark movies on the DVR. Back where I am not in charge. Where I don’t need to worry about making the wrong decisions.

Despite the mounting concern and media frenzy, I’ve been trying to keep it together. For now, at least, I’m still needed and expected at work, and so is my husband. We have the relief of knowing the kids are taken care of, tucked at home while we wait to see what the rest of this surreal time brings.

When my mother- and father-in-law arrived, I thought I was going to cry.

“I can breathe now,” I told Spencer’s mom. “I feel like the grown-ups are here.”


At home, I try to stay “normal.” We have been cleaning like crazy, finally cracking into some of the cleaning products we’ve had for ages because I keep dragging in more after forgetting we own them.

Though I don’t want pandemic anxiety seeping into the kids’ lives, there’s no way they aren’t picking up on it. Day care is still open but, with Spencer’s parents in town, we’re keeping them home in the name of social distancing. Hadley and Oliver are both old enough to understand the departure from routine; my son especially struggles with change. Still, with their grandparents visiting (thank god), Hadley and Oliver have company and novelty to distract them.

They have walks in the woods. Coloring books. Easter crafts. They have snacks and “Peppa Pig” and LEGO blocks for days. They have Play-Doh and puzzles. When desperate, they have tablets. And if I were home, too, I’d have my books.

Like parenthood, there’s a great lesson of life in the time of corona: so much is out of our control. Things that would have seemed unimaginable a few weeks ago — closing schools; shutting down restaurants and bars; postponing elections — have already happened. These are strange times, friends. 

I fluctuate between “everything will be fine!” and “wow this is bad,” and I’m learning to be OK with that. One day at a time. We can only stay calm, scrub up, and carry on. Give our phones a break. Pause the newscast.

No one knows what will happen, but we can hold on and help each other through a turbulent ride. So wherever you are and however you’re reading this, I’ve got a light on for you. For all of us.

May we see ourselves swiftly through to the other side.

10 thoughts on “Life in the time of corona

  1. Wonderfully expressed, thank you. I am in Sydney, Australia, where the “helping our neighbour” attitude of January’s bushfires has been replaced by people hoarding toilet paper and food staples despite Government and supermarket assurances that we do not have a food supply problem. Stay well.


  2. “Where I don’t need to worry about making the wrong decisions.” Yes! With everyone else stockpiling groceries, I worry that I’m a fool not to. But is it necessary? How “bad” will things really get? The unknown is what makes all of this much harder than it should be. Thanks for your thoughts… I’m with ya!


    • Hugs. With everything feeling so uncertain right now, it’s easy to slip into a “hoarding” mentality … we don’t know how long this will last. But I have faith that we will all have what we need if we support each other. Ugh, this is not fun.


  3. This is just day four of social distancing for us here. We are on spring break this week, and I’ve been sucked in to social media and the various news stories online way too much. It has made me crazy and stressed out. So, I’m trying to leave my phone alone a little more and, although my attention span isn’t great right now, I’m also trying to read. Adjusting to this new lifestyle is difficult. I can hardly wait for the day that we can say, “remember when….”


    • Totally with you, Tina — I keep picturing how great it’s going to be when the headlines are only about how everything is “contained” and we can breathe easier (literally). Until then, we have to stay buckled up. Hope you are all doing well today.


  4. I’m also lucky to have my father in law with us to help watch our kids so that we can work. Both my husband and I have been working remote this past week and it is challenging, to say the least. Will have to see how things change as so much is different today from even 10 days ago. Stay safe!


    • Definitely challenging, but hopefully it makes a difference as we all flatten the curve. Ugh. Yes, it is crazy to think about how different life was just two weeks ago. It’s hard to imagine life even two weeks from now … but we will get through this. You take care too, Athira!


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