Covid19 is one of the scariest things that has happened to the world during my lifetime. While medical staff and scientists are fighting the big battle to beat this virus, most of us are fighting our own battles to stay healthy and afloat at home. This post is about the latter – it’s about my own experience. It’s about what keeps me up at night. It’s about where my head’s at week five of quarantine. It’s about the future.
In the beginning, I laid awake worrying about things like how my loved ones would stay safe, our business would survive, bills would get paid, schedules would coordinate, essentials would be made available, and the kids’ brains would be saved from turning into mush.
I worried that there would be no end. That this was our new reality.
But slowly (and after many pep talks from Beto, my partner in everything), a new set of worries began to form. Unexpected thoughts that felt uncomfortable and grew larger with each passing day.
What I worry about now is what happens after this is over.
Let me explain.
To ensure I am able to continue running Gallardo Labs smoothly while the kids are home, thanks to Beto’s architectural skills, we were able to finally build my private office…like, it has a door. With a lock! My kids are also completely set up to learn online and because of our incredible Broward County Public School System (which I know we are VERY fortunate to have), and some might dare to say they are thriving. Our 13-year-old (Mr. Too Cool for Everything) is laughing at my jokes and participating in family game nights. Our 9-year-old (the trouble maker suffering from a classic case of middle child syndrome) is actually focusing on his schoolwork. Our 4-year-old (the baby girl who could do no wrong) is back to being attached to my hip – the best place I could ever imagine her to be. Beto and I have gotten more quality time together then we have had in months and it didn’t involve expensive date nights or babysitters. Our distant loved ones around the world are in their homes as well, so we’ve been able to have more frequent conversations with them than usual.
Yes, there are the obvious health and social problems that just plain suck, and yes the uncertainty of not knowing how much we will lose is enough to drive anyone crazy, but I began to stop dwelling on these thoughts and in return was able to find some solid doses of peace and gratitude for what I still had. So after logistics were handled, my parents and grandpa promised to stay inside, Beto organized our work stations at home, and a new family schedule was loosely put in place, I felt more prepared to weather the storm. I also started spending more time thinking of and empathizing with other human beings, strangers really– how were they faring? Would they survive this? What things can I do to help? I began wondering what was next for all of us.
When this crisis is over, will we go back to the way things were before?
Will I want to take my kids back to school? Will they be okay? Will I miss the chaos and the craziness that comes from working full time while managing online video lessons, at-home school lunches, and multiple computer login issues? Will my neighbors still hang out on their patios to chat with me over the fence? What will our clients think? Will they remember how efficient and beneficial working remotely can really be? And what about our country’s leaders? Will they finally begin implementing real improvements to our health and education systems?
I worry that strangers passing in the street will stop smiling at each other and saying hello. I worry that we will all go back living our ridiculously materialistic, self-centered, overly-complex lives…and forget what humanity is all about – caring about each other.
What was considered normal before clearly wasn’t working.
Things needed to change and if our wake up call consisted of the world being forced to a standstill, so be it. Each of us is experiencing our own set of difficult, stressful, and unimaginable things right now but I know the one thing we ALL collectively share is the desire to work towards and hope for a better future. We have proven time and time again to be resilient, courageous, and resourceful creatures. By surviving this pandemic, we are awarded the sacred opportunity to reset our lives and make changes to ensure a better tomorrow.
What lessons will you take with you? What things will you no longer take for granted? What and who will you fight for? I encourage you to think about your answers to these questions and share them with as many people as possible. Together, we can shape our future for generations to come.