I have been through other pandemics: SARS, H1N1, Ebola and Zika. Those were nothing like Covid-19. This virus has changed my family’s daily routine. Never did I think I would be home, teaching my kids. I have taken on extra roles; I am now a mother, teacher, lunch lady, principal and a janitor. I don’t mind my kids being at home, but what I do mind is all the fun things they are missing. My son, a freshman in high school, just missed a trip to Canada. He was really looking forward to that. My daughter, an eighth grader, was looking forward to her last few months of middle school before her eighth grade graduation. My youngest daughter, who is nine years old, is still trying to understand why she isn’t in school. She misses all of her friends, her teacher and the principal, who is retiring after the school year. She worries that she will not get to say good-bye to her. This is not a vacation to the kids; they feel trapped!
This virus has not hit us financially, as my husband was able to collect unemployment for the three weeks he missed work. Nevertheless, this has not been a good time for anyone with anxiety. A few months ago, my anxiety knocked me down for a few months. I was picking myself up and getting back to feeling like myself. Then the virus hit; everywhere you look, the TV, social media, newspapers and so on, all you see or hear is how many people have died or been hospitalized. My anxiety is through the roof; I’m scared of this virus hitting my family. I have been spraying and wiping things down a hundred times a day. I have stocked up on canned food and pasta so none of us have to step foot into a store. My husband and I even bought a generator for our camper just in case we want to isolate even more than we are now. All I can do now is take a deep breath and go day by day, as this has to pass someday.
As an adult learner, I have to say I sure do miss seeing everyone at the school, but I am grateful that I get to see my teachers through video calls. Even though we are not in person, I still get the support and help I need as a student. My school and teachers are amazing.
My family has never been in a quarantine situation before. We are trying to make the best of it. We, as a family, are using this time getting to know each other a little better. We play games, tell jokes, watch movies and our newest pastime is fishing. When we feel down or need a good laugh, we watch some videos from our favorite group, Recycled Percussion, or my favorite comedian, Bob Marley.
During this time it has been difficult to grocery shop, as people are over-buying food. I don’t know how many times we have gone to the store and not been able to get meat, veggies, fruit or pasta. I think people have gone a little overboard with the hoarding of food, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies. My family did the best we could and bought what was left in the store. This is not a good time to be craving specific foods, as you probably won’t find them. I sure hope, with time, we can go back to a somewhat normal life. I know the mask will be our new fashion trend for a while. Right now, I wish everyone well and to stay healthy.
Note: Samantha is a student at Vermont Adult Learning’s White River Junction Learning Center.