This month has been eventful so far, to say the least. It began with our water heater breaking on March 1st. With some help, we managed to move everything out of the area where the water flooded. We had a large area rug that was completely soaked, but we were able to put it out to dry in our yard. Thankfully, we were also able to get the water heater replaced very quickly, and we had minimal damage to items in our basement. At the time this was happening, we also had construction going on at our house for several weeks. We had an addition put on our house after a woman accidentally drove her car through our sunroom back in November. The new room was completed last week. Below are some photos of the progress.
Last week we took our first family trip to Florida. While we were there, the news seemed to explode with more information, statistics, and warnings about COVID-19. To be honest, I hadn't been too concerned about the coronavirus when I first learned about it. It wasn't until recently that I began to understand the importance of avoiding heavily populated areas. We're currently experiencing a pandemic, which has lead us to 'social distancing'. The expectation to stay at home has not posed much of a change for me, since I'm currently taking an extended maternity leave from teaching. However, many are finding challenges in adjusting to the current 'norm'-- with children out of school, businesses and organizations temporarily shutting down, and healthcare facilities running out of space, to name a few. This domino effect impacts everyone in some way or another.
Despite these uncertain times, I've found that the circumstances are bringing out the best in people. We're fortunate to live in a time of connectivity.. if not in person, certainly through technology. The poem below has been circulating online recently.
The writer, Kitty O'Meara, stated that she wrote the poem in response to her own anxiety around news about the virus. Within my own social network, fellow art educators are using their time at home to tap into their creativity, many people are spending more time with family, and others are taking up new hobbies or tackling projects around the house that have been put on the back-burner. I've also noticed a great deal of generosity: people and organizations are offering free lesson plans, videos, and other educational resources. Well-known musicians are making live videos and taking song requests, while authors and actors are reading children's books on social media. When we shift our thinking to the things that we can do during this time, we can focus on what we have control over. Here's another image (and good reminder) that I have seen circulating recently.
I receive emails from a website called Action for Happiness, and I learned that today is the International Day of Happiness. I appreciate the ways in which these sites are addressing to the current global crisis, and how they are providing tools for responding in constructive ways.
Andy has been working from home all week, and will probably continue to do so for the next several weeks. We started a routine of going for walks in the evening before James goes to bed (weather-permitting). Today was very warm, and we saw lots of people outside while on our walk. It seemed as though people were more willing than usual to make eye contact and share a quick 'Hello'. Was this observation accurate? We all kept our distance of course, but I felt a greater sense of friendliness. Was it because we're aware of the indefinite quarantine that we may be faced with? I think the terms quarantine and isolation have a negative connotation... I'd like to think of this time of solitude as an opportunity to spend our time a little differently. I was fortunate enough to FaceTime with my mom, mother-in-law, and sister today and yesterday. We're all doing our best to adjust to the current situation. In the meantime, Andy, James, Jasper, and I are enjoying our social distancing in the new space!