I can’t be the only one who, when first hearing about the coronavirus COVID-19 thought a two week quarantine wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. As an overextended mom and introvert, putting pause on my life to stay home for a while is the stuff of dreams.
But as the virus has spread and scary news coverage has continued, I’ve changed my tune and realized it might be more of a nightmare. Our family has actually had a couple weeks of actual non-coronavirus illness hit our house. Being stuck at home is not as shiny as it seemed to me at first glance. (Although, it surely wouldn’t be better if we were all healthy.)
My first thoughts were of all the TV we could watch. Screen time limits could go out the window, and what a joy that would be for my girls! I’ve been wanting to watch Anne with an E–the Anne of Green Gables remake on Netflix. The episodes are more than an hour long each, and when screen time is limited my eight year old isn’t interested in watching something I’d like too (hello, My Little Pony and Miraculous). I also thought I could get a lot of organizing and tidying up done around the house that I seem to keep putting off until there’s “time.”
As we’ve been home fighting off whatever non-specific virus this is, reality has had a way of crushing those ideals. One kid or the other has been sick for the past couple weeks, meaning our balance has been thrown out of whack, and at least one parent must always stay home. As a work-from-home mom, that’s most often me, but it hasn’t been relaxing or productive.
However, during Mardi Gras break, my girls and I had travel plans to celebrate my mom’s birthday with family in Dallas. My three year old was so sick that she had to stay home with her dad (he never planned to be part of the girls weekend). My older daughter and I had a good time, but it wasn’t the same. For the entire trip, I was anxious about when she would get sick (I’d already had whatever the pox is–it seemed to hit me first, at least I hope it’s done with and I have no chance of a repeat illness this time around!)
It wasn’t until halfway through the school week after the long break that my second grader went down, and she’s stayed sick for several days so far, missing piano and swim lessons in addition to school. Thankfully, her class is in a review period and she’s on top of everything. Plus the school is anxious about keeping sick kids home–even more adamant than usual I’d say–so there are no worries there. It’s still tough, and we’ll miss even more activities over the weekend.
We’ve always been a handwashing family, and our catchphrase or family motto on arriving at the house is “Welcome Home. Wash Your Hands.” My sister even gave me metal signs with the phrase for Christmas–my favorite gift last year! As part of the coronavirus coverage, I’ve enjoyed reading which song choruses last for approximately 20 seconds, the ideal amount of time to scrub. “Happy Birthday” or “Twinkle, Twinkle” twice through are fine, but how much more fun are “Truth Hurts,” “Crazy in Love,” “Jolene” or “Landslide” choruses?!
We are stocked up on soap and cleaning supplies, and our pantry and freezer are full enough that we could survive social distancing if community-wide recommendations are put in place for our area. Maybe our immune systems will be stronger after fighting off this junk, too. After this experience of being stuck at home without everything else in the world stopping, too, I’m thinking I wouldn’t actually be so keen on being truly home bound.
I do hope we don’t have to find out. Stay healthy, everyone!