Living in Interesting Times

Such a strange feeling to stand upon the precipice of everything being different, while knowing that sometimes taking a step forward will reveal a chasm and other times it will reveal a slight down slope in the hike. So many things are canceled because of the Covid-19 virus, some (like church) were part of the regular patterns of my life. I read notes from a Biohub panel at UCSF from infectious disease researchers that it could be a year before things fully settle out. I do believe that life will return to normal, but I also believe that normal will be either subtly or drastically different than what it was before. Passing through this will change all of us.

Today I sent my teenager to school and wondered if that was the right choice. We’ve worked so hard to get him back to being at school all day every day. We’d finally reached a place where that was working for him and there was the possibility of school personnel helping him re-engage with education. Monday and Tuesday the school district is having short days so that all the teachers can be trained in how to take school online if classes need to be canceled. We might be headed for home school again. Everyone is scrambling and no one knows if their cancellations are a smart move or an over reaction. All public announcements of cancellations cling to the phrase “an abundance of caution” as a life raft, a thing to cling to while they make choices that have real financial and emotional impacts for people.

In my house, we’re washing hands more. We’re cleaning more. We’re very aware that Howard’s health history relating to respiratory issues means he’s likely to require hospitalization if he catches this illness. Or when he catches it. Because there is a possibility that catching it can’t be avoided. (A possibility of inevitability, such a strange conjunction of words.) So we follow health instructions and local health guidance. We try to maintain business as usual as much as we can, because even while we’re trying to flatten the curve and slow down transmission, we also need to maintain society functioning.

Interesting times.