Tuesday, March 24, 2020

"I can hear the birds again..."

Photo by Hédi Benyounes on Unsplash

The impact of the US virus shutdown on everything has been stunning. On the phone with the pediatrician (yes, we're one down), she remarked that she never heard the birds before because of all the traffic noise - and she's pretty far back from the road.

We don't have issues with pollution, but I'm sure many cities have seen dramatic changes. No traffic counts are valid after March 13th because the volumes are nearly non-existent. Gas prices are as low as they've been since 2003, but no one notices.

I sat out on our front porch this morning and saw at least 7 different sets of neighbors, some chatting on phones, some walking dogs, some just playing with their kids. Most of them I knew. Some I met for the first time.

My son is out on the front driveway with his buddy just hanging out 6 feet apart because I took away his keys. He's been getting stir-crazy and trying to figure out how to hold his tutoring sessions online.

Life is more digitally connected, but I see people being far more intentional about physical connection too. The choice to stay home takes on new ethical ramifications. We miss what we can't have. The wake-up call is good.

Dads are spending time with their kids - Heck, moms are spending time with their kids too (guilty). Dinner is at home together instead of on the run - or at least mostly together - Katie is double quarantined so I had breakfast with her in her bed. She's pretty happy about nearly unlimited Disney+ time, but misses her teachers and friends terribly. We're beginning to think about what it looks like for a cognitively disabled child to be employed digitally. Our church small group is going to meet via Zoom at our normal Thursday night time. Another group is meeting outside at a coffee shop and planning how to deliver supplies to those who are quarantined at home. Small towns mean close neighbors and dense support networks. Big towns are working on creating the same connections.

We have been blessed. We continue to work from home and have little disruption to our lives or futures. Many are rightfully scared about what the future holds both for life and making a living. Many who have been content just making it may realize that they need to catch up digitally and find new careers. Grocery store workers are esteemed as highly as police and firefighters. Nurses and doctors are heroes again. We all contribute to the whole and none of us are expendable.

Life will go back to normal, but I'm hoping it won't be the same normal. I could be content with some of these changes being permanent.

#Covid19 #NewNormal #grateful

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