The natives have surpassed restless and have devolved into some kind of primitive amoeba-like life form. The petri dish previously known as “home” has become a prison of lethargy and sloth. The problem for my family is that the rain has returned, temporarily ceasing outdoor activity. No trampolining, long walks, gardening, or running around in the sunshine for a shot of vitamin D to keep us balanced.
If that isn’t enough, my utopian fantasy of maintaining a strict militaristic schedule during coronavirus lockdown has faded into indifference.
- Lunch is whatever you make for yourself.
- Bedtime is whenever you fall asleep.
- Hygiene? Give me a sec while I look that one up in the dictionary.
As I study my fellow inmates, I struggle to remember what life was like when we hurried to wake up, eat a quick bowl of cereal, pack lunches, braid hair, and get to school and work on time. After-school activities (basketball games, piano practice, book reports, bike riding in the park with friends, etc.) are no more than a pleasant memory.
Regardless of how COVID-19 hit the planet—bio-terrorist weapon set loose on purpose, bio-terrorist weapon set loose accidentally, spontaneous mutating bat virus, aliens deciding to vaccinate the planet against us so they can move in … at this point it doesn’t matter. It’s a weapon of mass destruction and it’s bent on destroying our sanity.
In an effort to remind us that we’re in this together, I’ve created some lists of things it would behoove us all to remember.
- Kids are not mini adults. While they can be flexible and resilient creatures, often adapting to change quicker than we can, quarantine is something they have never had to face before. It’s BIG, folks.
- Kids will say things and act in ways that might have shocked us during “normal” life. They are processing a lot right now. So, relax, and try not to overreact.
- Kids may want to be in constant touch with their friends on Kid Messenger, Zoom, Google Hangouts etc. one week, and then want no contact with them for two weeks after. Ebb and flow, yo.
- If you’re having nightmares and dreaming about giant chickens coming over unannounced to square dance in the barn you didn’t even know you had, your kids are certainly experiencing similar nocturnal disruptions. It can affect their mood, so go easy on them.
- Clean clothes, hair, bedrooms, etc. are highly overrated. Just keep washing your hands and stop touching your face and we’re all good.
For the Workforce:
- Work/life balance is a myth. Do the best you can. The end.
- You don’t have to wear pants or brush your teeth for a Zoom meeting.
- Deadlines might need to be viewed as a suggested date of completion vs. a mandatory one.
- If you’ve lost your job and have always dreamed of having time to write your memoirs, might I suggest now as the perfect time to start?
- If you’re still employed and working more than you ever have, it might be helpful to reinstate business hours and let your co-workers know you cannot be at their beck and call 24-7.
Every single person on the planet is going through a LOT right now. People are sick and dying and not just from COVID-19. Many have lost jobs and are in a panic about how they’re going to provide basic necessities for their families. Some are in unhappy marriages, while still others are dealing with depression that existed long before the world went catawampus. I was diagnosed with breast cancer the day before my state went into quarantine. We all have something else.
- Be kind to each other.
- Try to bathe at least once a week and brush your teeth daily. Hair care? Don’t let it turn into dreadlocks or you’ll have to shave it once the mice move in. Or not, you know, whatever.
- Try to talk to someone that doesn’t live in your house every other day or so, if for no other reason than to remember you’re not the only people left on earth.
- Be silly. Yodel, do the Macarena, play charades, just have some nonsensical fun in the midst of all the crazy.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself.
*Whitney Dineen is an Amazon #1 bestselling and multi-award-winning author of romantic comedies, non-fiction parenting humor, and suspense thrillers. She loves to play with her kids (a.k.a. dazzle them with her amazing flossing abilities), bake stuff, eat stuff, and write books for people who "get" her. She thinks french fries are the perfect food and Mrs. Roper is her spirit animal.