While many folks experienced drastic life changes during the quarantine, mine was maybe a little different kind of drama. As a person who works from home anyway, I just had to get used to “Take Your Whole Family To Work Day”… every…day. Trying to achieve work-homeschool-mom-wife-balance with people in one’s space all… day… long… is a little like trying to brush one’s teeth while eating Oreos.
Still, I had some deep thoughts that may or may not make people slap the table, or smile, or just think I’m a bumpkin.
It was challenging to adjust at first, once we all got used to the new (albeit temporary) normal, there was less stress in the house than ever before. The new quieter life meant there was no need for un-winding at the end of the day. My son-student had no mood swings, no behavior problems, and complaining was at a minimum. Having home school at the dining room table for three hours, rather than all day in the very-stimulating environment of school (which he does love), he had no need to decompress, and he spent more time away from his room and his devices. Bonus.
I didn’t have many errands to run, but hands up if you absolutely LOVED being able to drive around Georgetown making left turns everywhere you went! All the places I normally turn right and make a U-turn, because I don’t want drivers lining up behind me at an egress, making gestures that do not look like “Have a nice day, Scooter!” For my part, I promise to continue letting people walk in front of my car in a parking lot without saying, “C’mon slowpoke!” like I used to.
Part of my silver lining was the result of my own impressions from too much media. I spent two weeks hopping between quickie-marts and convenience stores for some staple foods, because news and social media made it seem like getting food was akin to crossing the Mojave in flip-flops. But, the first time I walked into Walmart, it was practically a spiritual experience to see food products, literally, everywhere. Sure, the toilet paper aisle was laughably bare, and like any good Southerner, I will die of thirst before putting unsweet tea in the cart. But, walking up and down the aisles, I couldn’t help feeling like there was a chorus singing somewhere behind all the golden shelves. There was so much food, I was able to buy extra things for people in need, which I didn’t used to do regularly. It wasn’t difficult, or even expensive, and I can’t wait to do it again.
To that, I say thank you. Not just to the employees who were on the front lines at the store, but also the farmers, ranchers, package makers, stock people, and more. Everyone in the supply chain who has always kept those stores full and allowed me to take everything from milk to Krispy Kremes completely for granted.
Speaking of first-world problems, I also have something to say to anyone who ever doubted America is absolutely the best place to be. I want to point out some proof of that statement can be found in one of the worst ways we are suffering right now. Our economy came to a devastating halt because businesses that were not considered “essential” had to close.
A century ago, every business anywhere was essential because all the businesses we had sold food, ammunition, clothing, and myriad mechanical equipment. How tremendously awesome did we become as a country that our economy could grow to include, nurture—and sustain—millions of businesses and ideas that are not actually critical to our survival? In short, America has been killing it for a long time, and we will again, because that’s what we do.
No silver lining for the media. I still don’t like them.