This morning, I wandered down to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Without the pressure to get Ian on his 7am school bus or to keep Steve company before his long commute into Manhattan, I was in the kitchen a full hour later than back in the old times.
I flipped on the news, noted the new death count on CNN, and then went for the morning walk to appreciate the first sunny day in a week and to listen to an episode of The Daily on the state of virus testing.
We had a tough weekend trying to help Ian get a handle of his OCD tics (if we say A, he says B in a really annoying way), and in the process made the situation worse. With the return of “school” and our new routines yesterday, he’s chilled out and tic-free. We’re thinking about adopting a kitten to help him manage stress better.
But Ian’s tics are the extent of the drama here. I’ve learned how to manage the massive food requirements of my family. (I made a truly awesome shepherds pie last night out of leftover mashed potatoes, leftover sausage and ham, cabbage, carrots, and peas.) We’ve learned how to shop, organize, and clean during our Friday trip to the supermarket. We’re venturing out for long driving trips on the weekend. College and jobs are chugging along just fine, and even Ian’s school is slowly working out.
It is truly amazing how the day-to-day lives of the entire planet changed over night.
It’s tempting to zip myself into the lovely tent of family harmony. Things are fine here, so why come out? Why bother looking at CNN, where the only news is the latest dumb thing that our president said? Numbed by numbered, even the death count has lost its sting.
But things aren’t so great out there. The unemployment rates are Great Depression levels. We could start to see food shortages at the supermarket soon. Parents with young children and jobs are exhausted. Some children are learning on zoom classes; others are not. And, yes, some people are still getting sick and dying, and it’s not a great way to check out.
For those of us who are lucky enough to have safe, warm tents, it’s really hard to unzip those canvas cocoons and check out the woods. Social distancing has lead to a certain kind of social and political isolation. How many people have stopped watching the news in the past couple of weeks?
If we had a different president, he could be helping us to see that big picture and build connections between the haves and the have-nots in this new world. He would be preparing us all for the sacrifices that will be necessary in the future.
Every evening, our president rambles on national television. It’s highly cringe-y watching him personally take credit for the old economy and blame everyone else for the virus, It would be nice if instead of making a “me, me, me” speech, he said something along the lines of “we, we, we.” It’s hard to imagine a worse president than the one we have right now.