I am in the acceptance stage of this pandemic. I thought I was for a while BUT turns out I was in a bubble.
I found out this week that my kid's daycare is closed INDEFINITELY. Those words INDEFINITELY rang like an echo in my mind as I read the email from the daycare. I have been preparing for blog launch which has given me a much needed break from COVID19 doom and gloom news and all the implications. I needed an escape especially because schools in Quebec (where I live) are supposed to open progressively starting Monday May 11, 2020. We also have the highest number of Cases in Canada. Yes - doesn't make sense.
Like most parents and friends I have spoken to we are on wait-and-see mode. See how it goes, give the school/daycare sometime to adjust before deciding if we are sending our littles out there. For my grade one-er it is mostly straightforward. Theres the school which he will return to at some point and he will be there for at least another 5 years.
For my preschooler twins though, the blow of learning that the daycare is closed INDEFINITELY broke my heart. We have been cautiously waiting this pandemic out. From March 15 when we were all thrown into the deep-end of two parents working from home with 3 kids running around. Trying to come up with some semblance of routine. It has been challenging BUT I have been kept sane by the thought that we will someday "return to normal"
BUT as the schools have began to provide a sense of what life post-COVID19 is going to be it is far from normal. Children will not be allowed to touch, no hugging, no playing tag. They will have to keep 2 metres distance. Yeah good luck with that for elementary kids.
Teachers will most likely be wearing masks. Children may also be wearing masks.
Up until now, I hate to admit it but I have been in a bubble. We have coped as best as we can BUT the impact of COVID19 has been somewhat distant. We read the statistics on the news, we follow the Federal and provincial updates daily as part of our routine. Our panic has been manageable - both my husband and I have public health backgrounds so we have taken an almost academic approach - we look at the numbers we analyze and we manage our emotions.
Until this week. When we found out about our daycare.
I realize how privileged I have been. I am launching a blog in the middle of a global pandemic.
Maybe this pandemic hit you from day 1 when your hours were reduced and you immediately had to manage the financial pressures of COVID19. Maybe you're a front line worker and you're dealing directly with sick patients, while praying and hoping that you don't get covid19 or worse still you worry that you don't pass it on to your family.
Maybe your studies have been disrupted and you've been scrambling to finish coursework for a degree for which you will never attend graduation. Perhaps your parents were looking forward to attending your graduation because you're the first in your family to get a university degree.
I am thinking of you this weekend
And I am thinking about our daycare owner and other business owners
I am thinking about her staff and how they were preparing to open the daycare up this coming Monday. She's a mother herself so I am thinking about her trying to put every effort in place to ensure the safety of her staff and the children in her care.
And I am thinking about her having to make the difficult decision NOT to open up and to stay closed INDEFINITELY and the other business owners who have had to close shop.
And I am thinking about her informing the daycare workers that they will be out of work - INDEFINITELY. Many of them are mothers. Many of them are immigrant women.
So I am thinking about them receiving this news just days before Mother's Day.
And I am thinking of them being heartbroken because they won't see their daycare children INDEFINITELY. And also worrying about how they will take care of their own children.
And I am thinking about the other parents like ourselves who were hoping to get some respite once daycare was open.
And I am thinking about my kids who may never see their daycare friends again.
INDEFINITELY has an eerie permanence to it.
So I as am reflecting on the true impact of COVID19. I know some of you were forced into this state of realization much earlier than I was - bear with me. I am catching on or shall I say I am forced to accept how our lives have forever been changed.
There is no return to normal after COVID19 - Career Slay Mama
There will be no birthday parties like we did them before blowing out the candles and spitting on them before everyone proceeds to eat the same cake (sounds so gross now that I think about it - how did we do this?!)
There will be no going to the work and having 5 colleagues in the elevator breathing the same air unless we all have masks
International travel will forever be changed. Airports, planes, trains, busses.
There are so many more examples of how life has and will change post-COVID19.
We will have to build a new normal - which is both scary and exciting - but mostly scary. We haven't even began to understand the full impact of this pandemic. BUT in all of these we have an opportunity.
There will hopefully be no employers arbitrarily refusing telework because the past few months have proven that it is doable,
Which I hope means there will be no more commuting for insane numbers of hours to a job that could just as as successfully be done from home,
And which I hope means that there will be less running around like a hamster on overdrive,
Which I hope means there will also be new technologies which come up to facilitate remote work/life,
And I hope that it also means that we continue to use technology to facilitate friendships and relationships with family members who are on the other side of the country or on the other side of the world.
We have an opportunity to change things and to create a new normal.
But for now, I am mourning the fact that there is no return to normal. It's ok to mourn that because our lives have been disrupted and will never return to how they were before. I'm giving myself the space and room to feel the sadness. I wont stay here long. But I am giving myself the time I need.