Today starts another week of our new normal.
On March 15, when Governor Reynolds recommended schools close for four weeks starting the next day, I never thought this is where I would be sitting. I thought it would be four weeks and we would all be back sitting in those desks, walking the halls with our friends. For me, those original words of “four weeks” meant lots of missed opportunities from tennis practices, hours helping in a preschool classroom, to sitting in the commons with my friends.
For others, it was the best news, as it was a four-week vacation from school. While I would have rather been in school, I also saw the bigger picture and the importance of social distancing.
Sports, prom, and graduation were all events I was looking forward to. I am disappointed to see them canceled but, when you put into perspective, some people are fighting for their lives, others are risking their lives by working, and still others are losing their lives.
These things make my missed events become minimal.
A few days into quarantine, I celebrated my 18th — and golden — birthday at home. It ended with my friends and families getting creative on ways to celebrate. Which leads me to one of my takeaways so far from quarantine: our country's ability to adapt.
I am still fascinated by all of the new things I see on social media, tv, or in our community. From Zoom classes and happy hours, to drive-by birthday parties and TeleVisit doctor appointments. One of the first few weeks of quarantine, I sent a message out to our student council members asking for them to join me on a Zoom meeting. Within 45 minutes of our meeting beginning, we had decided to donate $500 to our local backpack program. I am beyond proud of this group I have been able to be a part of and everything they have accomplished so far.
While I am not glad about the pandemic occurring, there are things that have come from it that I am grateful for.
First, it has slowed my life down.
I am one who does not find myself with a lot of free time. I am involved in multiple sports, student council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, my church, babysitting, and have a part-time job. This extra time has allowed me to spend time with my family. We have currently played 100+ games of 10-point pitch. Coming from a competitive family, we of course keep track of who has won the most games!
To keep everyone happy, I better not mention who is currently winning.
One of my favorite things that has come from this is I have been able to connect with some residents in local nursing homes through letters. I try to write a letter to a new resident every week, while writing back to others on the other days. The perspective and wisdom I am gaining is truly remarkable. I hope to one day be able to meet them and talk in person.
The thing I am most grateful about is that this pandemic has taught me not to take anything for granted. From bigger events like church and prom to simple conversations and hugs, you never know when these things will be taken away.