Reflections on 12 Months After Shutdown

Twelve months ago, our lives changed. Schools, colleges, offices, and businesses shutdown. People got sick. People died. I started writing about it on March 3, 2020.

A week later, in the second week of March, my house was suddenly occupied by four adults all day, every day. I became a full time manager of this chaos. Just feeding this house of men three meals per day required weekly menus and careful planning. Steve and I helped Ian adjust to the change in routines, extreme isolation, and the lack of education, while he was struggling with serious health issues. Jonah missed his friends, and had to celebrate turning 21 with his parents. Steve moved from a glass office overlooking New York harbor to a corner of my office/guest room. With everyone in the house, things broke and needed repair. We restructured our homes to deal with the new lifestyle. We found ways to remain sane during this isolation with outdoor dining, daily walks, weekend adventures, and a couple of driving trips. For the first few months, the television was always on in the background, so we could understand what was going on outside our front door.

In August, I wrote, “We are in the midst of a massive change in society. This may be the biggest change in human society since the industrial revolution. Please keep diaries. This is important.”

There’s no question that our lives changed a lot this year. In March, just a few weeks into this change, I wondered if some of those changes were positive. The negatives, back then, were obvious — people were losing the jobs and lives, people were lonely, nobody seemed to be in charge. But there were also some silver linings, especially in our own home. At the time, I was grateful for a slowed down life and for some quantity time with the people who I love most in the world.

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