Oh, hey there. It’s me, Amelia, and I’m writing from home. When I started this blog something like 18 months ago, I was approaching a sweet time in my life where I did the (for me) unthinkable and stayed at home for over a year. My daughter, Novella, was approaching 3- not old enough for PreK- but old enough to make lasting memories together. Like so many things in my life, I had one vision for how I would handle things and wanted to document my ideas. But, turns out, most of me was both overjoyed and basically braindead in that time. I didn’t have any interesting ideas- just time with my girl. I regret nothing.
I went back to work for the 2019-20 school year as a part time teacher. It’s been the perfect setup, honestly. I work 3 minutes from home, and Novella attends the school across the street from mine. Incidentally, this is the school she went to prior to our year at home.
I’ve had an interesting school year. Amazing, really. While there are always challenges, it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life- a constant reminder that if you ask, you shall receive, but you better be ready when that calling comes. My team, y’all. The Dream Team. My kids, y’all. They have pushed me to my limits in many ways, but have shone a light into the cobwebbed corners of my heart and found a little place within myself I’ll never be able to unsee. I never imagined I’d be leaving them like this. I never imagined I’d be right back at home like this.
Novella and I are on day 9 of what has been labeled social distancing. Which is a fancy way of saying we are in quarantine, indefinitely. Brandon goes to work and to the store occasionally, but that’s it. I don’t even know where to start with this, so I guess I’ll just start at the beginning.
I can’t really remember the first time I heard about The Corona Virus, now called COVID-19 (which stands for COrona VIrus Disease, 19 is because it was first started/recognized in 2019). The first image I can remember from of it was actually just two weeks ago, when they showed residents singing from their windows. I’m going to be honest, I scrolled right past it at first, but returned to it.
That’s kind of how we are in America- if it isn’t our problem, well: it isn’t our problem.
I keep going back to this thought: I would give anything to go back to my problems last week. It would be comical if it wasn’t so damn sad. Ten days ago, I sent my husband a message bitching about what is now the absolute stupidest issue imaginable. The next day, everything changed.
Tom Hanks, well, I don’t even know how to describe him other than he is just so Tom Hanks. At the beginning of this school year, they asked us to describe someone who is a “warm demander.” A warm demander is one who can manage to make things happen without force, people just follow the leader because they see the leader and think Man, I want whatever he is having. I think Confucius is smiling down or around or above…wherever he is, he is super proud of Tom Hanks.
Last Thursday, I awoke to the news that Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19. The day before, I read a post from an American living in Italy detailing what their lives were like while living in quarantine. It’s incredible how quickly my mindset changed. I went from thinking this was some small problem that would never impact me to full-on-prepare-for-battle mentality.
I began to think of everything we could possibly need for two weeks, beginning with medicine. Brandon and Novella were very sick over Christmas (we actually kind of think they had COVID-19, but more on that later), so I worked from there in terms of medicine and sick supplies. Then, I ordered practical things like pastas, tuna, canned goods. As I was placing the order for meds, they were disappearing from my virtual cart because the supply started depleting that quickly.
Brandon went to Sam’s and texted me: “Is Sam’s always this busy on Thursday?”
My work day went really well, really well, actually. I had a great day with my kids. Had an awesome evaluation post-conference. I grabbed my things and left abruptly. I would’ve done some things differently if I had only known we were closing the next day. (As of right now, we are returning April 3rd- I will be very surprised if we return at all.) Shortly after I left, we got the call that we were closing Friday. Not really a big deal as Spring Break was the following week.
Friday, it was more evident that people were reaching Panic Level Red and the proof was in the grocery store. My dad sent pictures of empty shelves, and I totally bought into the hype. I went to Aldi and it was like I couldn’t even see straight. I had no plan- I just started buying all the things I saw other people buying. Some of the things I’m so glad I bought, (feminine hygiene products), others I am wondering what I was thinking (random instant mashed potatoes, rice). I felt sick.
We went through the weekend like we were just observing one super long Sabbath. Except we had plans to go away that week. Every time I would try to pack, I would feel sick. Sunday night, we decided not to go after we learned we would receive a full refund. It felt like a burden was lifted from our shoulders.
Monday is when everything truly changed. It was like just one big crap pile that resulted in one big panic attack on my part. I could suddenly see the impact of this all coming at me full speed- the small business that supports my family and my sister would be hurt; kids would be out of school far beyond this week. Someone around my dad’s age died in the same state in which my parents reside. I was standing at the counter making Novella’s lunch when Brandon came into the kitchen. I looked at him and said: “I’m so scared,” then whoooooosh went the floodgates. I went for a drive and stopped to get a few crafts/ activities to do with Novella during our social distancing. After driving around aimlessly for an hour, I was ready to come home.
Tuesday, I felt the waves all day. Waves of nausea. Waves of exhaustion. Waves of panic. Waves of contentment. Waves of energy. Waves of hope. I took Novella for a walk around the neighborhood. I was starting to panic so bad I held back tears. I looked up to the Heavens and heard God say: ” You are imagining the worst case scenario, what does the best case scenario look like?” And so I had a vision that looked like people coming together, getting on the same page and saying we did this! We all sacrificed and we were all better for it.
Actually, that conversation was on Monday. You can’t even believe how much the days are running together now.Tuesday was when I started feeling like the government at least understood the plight so many were facing: we know we all need to stay home but we can’t do that AND pay our bills. (I will be speaking so much more on this later) I felt so positive about the whole thing, and that feeling has stayed with me the most. Except those waves.
I’ve looked for ways to give ever since, and consider it a blessing just as much to me when someone is willing to accept that help. I’ve decided that’s my mission/ purpose in this. To be the light.
I’ve decided to take a break from Facebook for right now- it just lends itself so much to negativity, and as time goes on, I fear we are going to get meaner and our viewpoints narrower.
I am using this space to document our experiences as undercooked as I can. I want to remember this time as much as I want to forget it.