It’s the little things that are getting me through this lockdown. Eating chocolate. Making a chickpea curry. Teaching my daughter to write a paragraph with a topic sentence and supporting sentences. Being OK with my daughter and my partner playing too much Super Mario Odyssey because it gives them so much joy. Organizing my pantry. Talking to my mom on the phone and realizing anew how tough she is. Wearing the most comfortable sweatpants all of the time. And being grateful that I’m not drinking.
Drinking would make everything so much worse right now. How would I get enough? We can order wine (and, incredibly, mixed drinks) to be delivered here, but I am sure it is insanely expensive. Do I think about it? Sure, but then I think that it would be incredibly hard to homeschool my daughter with a hangover. I don’t think I could actually do it.
For me, homeschooling is the hardest part of this so far. Knock on wood. My kid’s teachers are attempting to recreate the entire school experience and activities online, and it is impossible to get through all of it. Actually impossible. They say they understand that, but I know they really want us to do it if we can. Which I can’t. Somehow, I know there are other mothers, with always-eager-to-learn children, doing it all out there somewhere (sigh), but I’m trying not to think about that too much. Oh, and did I say that I’m ALSO supposed to work from home? Thank goodness for my understanding boss.
But enough complaining! I’m incredibly lucky.
What is really hard about all of this is knowing how many people are not as lucky as I am. We have thousands of people experiencing homelessness in our city. The city is making an effort to get everyone sheltered inside, but there’s no way it is actually going to happen (and makes one wonder why the daily horror of people sleeping on the street wasn’t enough to make these efforts earlier). Even if we were successful at sheltering everyone, people that aren’t obviously sick are going to be crammed together in shelter spaces by the hundreds. Not a good plan. A lot of people are going to die, I think, because we live in this fucked up dog-eat-dog economic system (I can’t even call it capitalism because we all know who gets the bailouts) where a few have more than anyone should ever have, and to hell with the rest. And what is going to happen now that so many have been laid off?
Yes, it is heartening that many are helping each other in this time of crisis. But, I can’t help wondering if some of the folks that are volunteering to go shopping for seniors are the same people that make nasty, heartless comments online about people without homes living on our streets. Because, in their heart of hearts, they think some people are more worthy of help than others.
Or, maybe so many kind people are always there, but in regular times, their voices are drowned out. I would love it if, somehow, the silver lining in this is that we make a long-term shift to a system that doesn’t let children go uneducated, everyone has quality healthcare, and housing is a basic human right. We’ll see.