So, time to start blogging about life during COVID-19.
Yesterday, Monday, March 16 was the first full weekday when the impacts of closures and staying at home were felt by the overwhelming number of people. Last week was one of confusion and increasing realization of what was happening and coming. Luckily last week I had gone to the grocery store on Monday for a normal grocery run but decided to go ahead and stock up. There was hardly anyone in the store and the shelves were still full.
On Tuesday night last week our Church Council made decisions related to the virus and how our programming might change in the weeks ahead. We didn't realize that the full plan would be implemented within days. I feel pretty good about live-stream we did pull off on Sunday, and we intend to get better at it as we go along.
Our Associate Pastor recommended people make signs to hang in their windows as ways to pass the peace to neighbors walking by. Sebastian liked that idea. Over time we plan to make more and fill our windows with fun messages.
Michael works for the Election Commission, and they were already into pre-primary overtime. The virus just added to that. He has been working very long overtimes the last week, including one twenty hour day.
Yesterday our church staff spent planning our next steps. Despite meetings and events being cancelled, we suddenly have more work to do, as we must come up with new ways of doing what we normally do and the pastoral care needs increase. So much of ones job becomes easy routine with time, but now all those routines are upset. There will be fun in experimenting and innovating. I'm excited to see the long-term benefits that could result from all of this.
I decided that one project of this season will be calling all my church members, a few each day, to check on them. Already yesterday in the few people I called I discovered a host of needs heightened by the crisis. Most poignant was the congregant on hospice care who now can't have visits from friends and family. I'm so used to us surrounding people in that moment, how sad to imagine not having that.
Sebastian largely spent yesterday tagging along to my office or watching TV at home. I told him that was the last day of that, as we would begin a daily routine on Tuesday. His preschool e-mailed me their normal daily schedule, so I'm going to adapt it for our use. Suddenly I find myself having more work while also becoming a full-time early childhood educator. Add on top of that cooking every meal and the extra household chores from being at home. And with the other parent working overtime.
For his first topic of study Sebastian selected Space and the Planets, interests of his for a while. Last night I posted on Facebook "Like many of you, I now have a second full-time job as the early childhood educator of my son. Sebastian has decided that our first topic of exploration is space and planets (an interest of his for a while now). Any suggestions on activities and resources is much appreciated." Within minutes the suggestions started rolling in. I almost cried.
So during my insomnia I researched those ideas and started working out some lesson plans. I ordered some supplies from Amazon. You know it's real when expected delivery times are in three or four days instead of next day delivery!
Beautifully there are many places offering services for free at this time. Also I saw that various authors and artists are now creating material from home for people to share. There will be some good things happening in this season.
I'm both looking forward to trying our new routine today and apprehensive about how it will go. Also worried about how soon I'm going to be drained.