The Unbearable Heaviness of the Unknown (Plague, Day 130, July 30, 2020)

Things are shaping up to be a full fledged clusterf@ck for the fall. Schools and colleges are not on a good path at all.

I’ve been attending Zoom Board of Ed meetings, reading Facebook parenting forums, e-mailing the superintendent, and watching YouTube presentations trying to figure out what the hell is going on. I’m still confused. I have a meeting with Ian’s school – a Zoom call with four administrators – in an hour to get the details on everything from transportation, compensatory education, hours in live classes, therapy, and aides.

Jonah’s situation is also up in the air. He’s definitely having all his classes online for the fall. He is planning on moving into an off-campus dorm in a couple of weeks, but we’re not sure how long that the dorm will remain open and how safe he’ll be there.

I’m trying to keep my marbles in the midst of all this. Some days, I’m about two steps away from public crying. I’m tired to my very core with the overwhelming chore list and the never-ending guilt that I’m working in my office, while the kids are rotting upstairs in their bedrooms.

But in the past few days, I am finding myself moving from exhaustion and worry to a much better place of nihilism. In two weeks, we’re going to pack up the car with bathing suits and hiking boots in duffle bags and head into the mountains. We will drive the old Subaru to some of our favorite backwoods hideouts.

I can’t save the world, but I will save ourselves.

At some point, we all have to laugh at the complete collapse of social institutions and social safety nets. I’m ready to give everyone the finger and drink a beer around a fire. Because without laughter and rude hand gestures, we’ll all start crying in public.

We’re going to have to rebuild our worlds in the next year. In the fall, we have to look forward to economic collapse, a second wave of infection, and a contested election. But sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. So, in the meantime, let’s have beers and campfires.