Shelter in place work life response & reality for Covid-19 pandemic

Each person and family experiences this chaotic and uncertain shelter in place from their unique perspective. Staggering facts, about physical and mental illness, financial hardship and unemployment, take our breath away. Together, we grieve and grasp moments of joy and extra time.

Quarantine photo credit: my Dad

Quarantine photo credit: my Dad

Thanks to my husband, nine-year-old and seven-year-old boys, sis, parents, family, friends, coworkers, church and school community for their support. A few recent work life joys include…

  1. We no longer take routines for granted. They rejuvenate us. We look forward to coffee and hydration. A shower, clean hair, moisturizer, brushed teeth, exercise and chores can feel like a big win.
  2. Although we miss in-person mass on Sunday and the recent Easter holiday, we still watch mass together on Sunday mornings as a family. Our oldest, who would now graduate from the junior choir to treble choir, leads by example at home.
  3. Our 3rd grade son’s teacher captures our family’s heart and imagination with the art of fairy tales.
  4. We all read. Thanks to my sis, who just gifted me, Writers & Lovers Novel by Lily King and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.
  5. Despite some Chicago winter flurries, the sound of birds, buds and bulbs that bloom remind us spring beckons.
  6. We rejoice in social distance elation thanks to a stranger or neighbor greeting.
  7. Introverts get a big pass on unnecessary small talk now.
  8. We get ready for the privilege of virtual Zoom chats, which vary starting with our first-grade youngest.
  9. Dance it out, yo! Our boys indulge me in these quarantine favorites, “Lean on Me,” “Stuck in the Middle With You,” “I Will Survive,” “Rump Shaker” [All I want to do is zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom], and more.
  10. Our boys make extraordinary art with their Dad.
  11. We walk our Chicago neighborhood, a lot!
  12. My youngest showed me how to spiral throw the football. My husband teaches us all.
  13. Virtual exercise helps us move and refocus.
  14. My Dad and I practice daily yoga with virtual classes and Facetime.
  15. Friend and family texts and phone calls make us smile.
  16. My husband and I just binge watched Homeland. We caught-up on This Is Us. We now watch Little Fires Everywhere.
  17. When patience runs thin and frustration boils over, we try to act with compassion toward ourselves and others.
  18. Our boys pretend to be fancy restaurant service staff at dinner. They clean our plates and sing for us.
  19. We strive to do our best. We try to give others space and act with grace.
  20. Kudos to random acts of kindness like our brother-in-law’s surprise fresh fruit delivery.
  21. We feel fortunate to wear comfy clothes, support local businesses and quarantine from home.

We acknowledge some moments are rough, but try to appreciate the joy. We thank all our loved ones who empathize and share their best practices for e-learning and our new normal. Thank you and kudos to brave healthcare professionals and all essential in-person workforce, especially grocery and production workers, who shoulder their own burdens.

We pray for all our people. May we find a vaccine sooner than experts predict and get access for wide-spread testing. Best wishes that we all emerge soon on the other side of this Covid-19 pandemic, stronger together! XOXO

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