I miss being late to everything.@HED
On March 8th 2020, my new husband and I were driving back home to South Carolina from Tampa Florida. We had just gotten off a cruise ship that we had called home for a week for our honeymoon. It. Was. Wonderful. We visited the Cayman Islands, Belize, Roatan, and Honduras. We ate in the fine dining room on the ship every single night and it was the best food I’d had in a long time. We went shopping, to comedy shows, we were alone for the first time since our daughter was born and it was just blissful. We arrived in SC around 6 in the evening, picked up our baby from Grandma and Grandpa, and went home.
Less than a month later, the governor of SC announced a lock down, closing all businesses deemed unnecessary due to the COVID-19 virus.
Restaurants, bars, salons, spas, retail stores, and a plethora of other businesses were closed for the foreseeable future. “Social distancing” became of regular part of our vocabulary. All you saw on social media were news reports about COVID-19, how many people were dying, stats on other nations around the world, toilet paper (???), and pleas from doctors and nurses around the world to STAY HOME.
Schools were closed, my siblings had two full weeks of no learning, staying at home with my Mom. My Dad laid off employees, no one was working, so no one was bringing their cars by his shops. My brother and Dad were the only ones at both locations to work on the few cars that showed up needing repairs. My husband and I both got a 1,200$ stimulus check deposited into our banking accounts. I haven’t been out of my house other than to visit family since I got back from my honeymoon. My husband runs all the errands, and does all the shopping now, since he is the one working and most likely to be exposed to anything anyways. My husband also deleted Facebook, confiding in me that seeing report after report of nothing but people dying had taken and emotional toll on him, and he just couldn’t look at it anymore. I hadn’t seen my best friend, my Maid of Honor for my wedding in two months. To be completely honest, I haven’t even started my car since my wedding day.
My whole world has changed. As a stay at home Mom of one, I don’t get out much anyways, but I looked forward to biweekly trips to the grocery store with my little family, I looked forward to weekly visits from my best friend. I enjoyed strolls around target, and occasional eating out for lunch. It’s finally getting warmer and I would love to be able to take my baby to the pool, or to the park. I was hoping we’d be able to go on a beach trip vacation this summer with my family. I’d been planning a vacation around Taylor Swift concert tickets I had gotten from my husband for Christmas. As someone who suffers from depression, the cancellation of all these things I had looked forward to, or that were simply just apart of my normal everyday life, are now non-existent, and that seems rather hopeless. In fact, it all seems hopeless. People are dying, governments are urging us to stay inside, wear masks, be vigilant; concerts, marathons, large gatherings, celebrations, weddings, festivals, and graduations are being cancelled or postponed. It feels as if we are all in a long dark tunnel with no end in sight. Sometimes I toss and turn at night, because it feels like I have nothing to look forward to the next day except the same old thing I’ve done for what seems like forever.
Its hard to understand what’s happening in the world when you’re in a bubble. It seems like that’s exactly what’s happening right now. We are all stuck in bubbles of quarantine and social distancing, that we have no actual reality of what’s happening in the world. What do our hospitals look like? What about the “hot spots” such as New York or California? What about the rest of the world? What does China look like right now? All we know is what we see on social media or the news, and with so many news outlets reporting so many different things, different opinions being slewed left and right, its hard to determine what’s actually factual out there. Its hard to feel safe when you don’t even know which voice to listen to. Its hard to see anything beyond the numbers, and differing opinions.
My first glimpse of light, however, came from John Krasinski’s Some Good News (SGN). This saint of man created a YouTube news broadcast that reported on all the good things that were happening during this pandemic. Things like hilarious videos of kids and babies, FedEx men and women who were still doing their jobs, a little girl who beat cancer. He features recipes, he serenaded a couple who got married despite everything. He held “SGN Prom” for all students missing out on prom this year. He interviews celebrities, and he just puts a smile on my face. I began hunting for those tidbits of good news. My cousin and her sweetheart had a zoom wedding. My favorite podcast is still releasing new episodes. I have tried a million yummy recipes. People seem kinder, parents are home with their kids. We go outside with appreciation and new purpose. I video chat my Mom every single morning. Couples are eloping, we’re having virtual concerts, Disney is releasing movies early, people are serving each other. Did it really take a whole entire pandemic for us to remember how good people are? It took social distancing to find creative new ways to show we love each other. It took a virus to force us to take a step back, and breathe for minute.
I want to take some time to express my sincerest apologies for those who have lost loved ones during this time. I cannot imagine the grief and pain you are going through. I want to express my thanks and gratitude for the doctors and nurses who are putting their lives on the line as they treat our family and community members. Thank you to all of our essential workers, our grocery store workers, our trash men, our first responders. I want to thank our governments, although we all may not agree with their courses of actions, this has not been an easy time, and they are working hard to ensure our safety once things get back to normal. I want to thank those who are concentrating their efforts on finding a vaccine for this virus. I want to thank those who have put together meals, picked up groceries, or checked on those who are in need.
I want to thank my husband for being an essential worker during this time.
I want to remind everyone that there is good in this world. Amidst all the bad, there is definite good. This is a hard time. A time of mourning, and loss, a time of anxiety and unease. A time where we are not sure what will happen next, when things will resume as “normal life”. But we must also remember the prayers we have prayed for others, the time we have spent uninterrupted with family. The shows we have binged (Tiger King, anyone?), the Zoom calls we have made. Years from now we will look back on this time fondly. A time that despite all its darkness, brought us all closer together.
So, here’s to future Target trips! Here’s to couples sending save the dates for a new wedding date! Here’s to next years Taylor Swift concert, and next years beach trip. Here’s to the 2020 graduates, you’ll never forget this! Here’s to all of us, just trying to remember what day it is.
I love yall.