So much has been seen, read, or heard by all of us since the coronavirus put a halt to normal daily activities.
The boundary line between rational behavior and uncontrolled emotional behavior is becoming more and more blurred as the “stay at home order” remains in affect, and plans for reopening whatever, whenever are being made.
Last week I noted things would start reopening sooner than later, and that is obviously coming to pass. The President and our Governor have laid out guidelines for doing so, and of course, depending on one’s particular situation, the responses are ranging from, “It’s about time,” to “Don’t do it … everyone is going to die.”
I don’t like our current situation any more than the next person, but its clear there are only a few things over which I have any control.
First and foremost, my situation is different than anyone who has kids still at home, college expenses staring them in the face, weddings to plan, etc.
Last weekend I read the following post on Facebook, which is apropos for our current situation.
We are not in
the same boat!
I heard we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.
For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip-flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial and family crisis.
For some that live alone they’re facing endless loneliness. While for others it is peace, rest and time with their mother, father, sons and daughters.
With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales.
Some families of four just received $3,400 from the stimulus while other families of four saw $0.
Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk and eggs for the weekend.
Some want to go back to work because they don’t qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.
Some are home spending 2-3 hours per day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours per day to educate their children on top of a 10-12 hour workday.
Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don’t believe this is a big deal.
Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come.
So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.
Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.
We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different journey.
This stay at home stuff is really something else. I’ve been married to my wife for more than 35 years and now I’m really getting to know her!
We go to birthday parades for people we don’t know just so we can get out of the house. Who would have thought such a thing would become so popular. Out in Lamar last weekend we ran across a big gorilla statue similar to the one on U.S. 77 on the south side of LaGrange. If you’ve ever traveled that way (through LaGrange, not Lamar) you’ve probably seen it. The owners dress it up to reflect the season. I’m not going to tell you were the gorilla is in Lamar … it will give you something to do if you’re out driving around to get away from Netflix or cleaning house.
Speaking of cleaning, last week I mentioned about how we cleaned up our closets as a “stay at home” project.
I also wrote, “I encourage everyone to do a little ‘cleaning up’ around their homes during this forced “down time” … and flood Castaways with boxes as soon as they reopen!”
That was written with good intentions, but I was quickly alerted about the problems such action will create for Castaways’ volunteers, especially since many of those volunteers are Winter Texans and will have left town by the time Castaways reopens.
I still encourage you to clean up around your house, but maybe store the stuff you will give to Castaways in the corner of your garage, and wait a bit after Castaways reopens before delivering your goods to their door.
If you regularly read this column you know my parents live in a nursing home in New Braunfels. On Monday my older sister sent me a picture of my parents having a conversation through the front door of the facility. My parents live in different units, but on the second floor. They can look out and wave to each other across the parking lot that separates them before going to bed each night. What made their Monday conversation with my sister so special is it was the first time my parents were allowed access to the first floor, which made the face-to-face contact possible.
Thinking about this virus, and the wellbeing of my parents, I’m reminded again how little we control in our lives.
Less than three years ago, about a month before Hurricane Harvey, my mother had a major stroke and was taken by helicopter to a San Antonio hospital.
Then Harvey hit, turning our lives upside down, never thinking any other experience would come close to it.
We ended up admitting my father into assisted living shortly after Harvey.
And now, the coronavirus.
At 60 years old I miss giving my father and mother a hug, not to mention our kids and grandkids.
At least with Harvey we could see with our eyes why our circumstances had changed.
Until next week, have a good week, and don’t cough on people.
Mike Probst can be reached at email@example.com.