Businesses are closed. Supermarket personnel are on the front lines. Our hospitals are near capacity. Those that sew are making masks. Children are being home schooled or zoom schooled. Most of us are home wondering when is the best time to shop for groceries. It feels like the rug lying beneath our lives has been pulled out from under us, rolled up and put away. Our world will be redefined when we emerge from this war against an invisible enemy that is taking lives, devastating our economy and truly dividing us in ways we could not have imagined and yet bringing us together in ways we have only read about from the bygone WWII era.
What will our lives look like when we reemerge and find a vaccine for this nasty hijacking RNA molecule? Many families have rediscovered the joys of dining together. Will the dining room table regain a place in our homes or will we jump back to eating on the run? Will families that have rediscovered the joy of doing 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles go back to finding value in having a game table setup with puzzle pieces anxiously awaiting placement?
Will gardening take on new meaning, not only providing nourishment and exercise but a way to get out and feel the beauty of the soil beneath your feet. When you are standing barefoot in the soil, no rug can be pulled out from under your feet.
Baking has regained its popularity. Flour and yeast are hard to find. Will that stay with us? The children that are now home will have memories of baking with Mom and Dad. Something that few families had the time to do just six weeks ago. Music is filling the emptiness of our rooms. CD’s I haven’t listened to in years are being dusted off and rediscovered. Books I haven’t finished are waiting for me.
I fear that restaurants, theaters, sport venues, travel, cruises, and demonstrations will take a long time to get back to where they were pre- Covid 19. Businesses that have retreated and adopted to a work from home policy may discover that they function more efficiently that way and continue to allow the majority of their employees to work from home. Will the home office become a necessity? Desks and file cabinets may become popular again.
What about the children, what memories will they carry into their future? Will this experience make it easier for the next generation to work from home or at a socially acceptable distance? Will the stay at home children who watched Mom and Dad make new and exciting meals decide that cooking is as much fun as video games? Will they learn to be self-reliant and disciplined? Chalk and paint have become very effective communication tools as you can witness from the message stones found everywhere and sidewalks filled with colorful messages. Walks in the woods, and on the beach and hiking trails have become routine. Will new fashion trends come from this relationship with nature accented with colors and messages brought to life from memories of rocks and sidewalks?
So much to think about and so much time to think. It’s raining. Our business is closed. Our fears are outweighed by our belief not only will we get through this, we will, for a time, be a kinder, gentler, more caring society. We are definitely all in this together and we will all get out of this together… changed.