One long year ago, I spent two days working with fifth and sixth grade teachers. I spent one day with a friend exploring the orchid show at the botanical gardens. I spent an evening in a crowded gym listening to Peter Reynolds read his new book and talk about books. I stood in line, surrounded by people standing shoulder-to-shoulder, waiting for Peter Reynolds to sign my book. After being away from home for four days I drove home. I didn’t realize that was the last time I would be able to interact with people face-to-face for a year.
In January, we were getting reports of an illness in China. Cities in China were shut down. I wondered, how does that really happen? In February, the reports were about cruise ships being quarantined and turned away from ports, I wondered what was going to happen to the passengers and crew. In March, the reports of how many countries and people being infected were frightening, I wondered what I needed to do to stay safe. By April, I knew life, as I had known it, was totally altered and I didn’t see how/when it would go back to “normal.”
Just like that we were in the midst of a pandemic. Nothing seemed safe anymore. I couldn’t go to the grocery store. I couldn’t go to a restaurant. I couldn’t get together with my family or friends. The world may still be spinning on its axis, but my orbit came to a halt.
Slowly, over time, some things changed or adjustments were made. Masks and plastic gloves made it possible to go back to the grocery store. Curbside pick up allowed us to eat food that I didn’t prepare. Zoom brought family and friends into my house. These adjustments are okay for now, but I hope they are not forever.
Just like that life changes and we have to change too. I may not like all the changes, but I will change so that we can get back to our “normal” life. This is what I know for sure.