It's been a few weeks since my last stay at home check in so I thought I would do another one. We are still staying home and will continue to do so. The number of new cases of coronavirus continues to increase dramatically in Arizona. So much in fact that Arizona has been highlighted in national news articles. In the linked article Arizona ex-health chief Will Humble says that the governor "squandered an opportunity" to maintain the decreasing number of cases by letting the stay-at-home order expire and not simultaneously requiring people to wear face masks and to maintain social distancing. ARGH. It makes me feel more certain that we will not be sending the boys to school in August which makes me sad. It also makes me feel angry that an (in my opinion) irresponsible administration is putting my family's health at risk and prolonging the time that we'll be living in this altered state.
The combination of staying at home plus having a low-level of anxiety about coronavirus uncertainty makes for a strange state of mind. A lot of the time life feels pretty normal. But then it can also feel nearly suffocating. On the one hand life is really good for us: we have the sweetest baby plus two healthy, happy (if energetic!) boys, we have a comfortable home, we are healthy, and thus far we have not been financially impacted by the pandemic-induced recession. In fact we in a better financial position currently because we aren't paying for childcare, the summer camps I anticipated, the gym, date nights, and probably other expenses that come with being out and about. I do recognize the immense privilege it is to be unaffected financially by the pandemic. Taken together I have so many things to feel grateful for. And I do feel grateful for them! Just today we had the best family day including a family swim, (Maeve's first!) at my sister-in-law's, take out lunch, Maeve taking an epic nap while I held her, then a family movie night and ice cream. Life felt normal and also really happy.
On the other hand life can feel really hard being cooped up because of a pandemic that no one can fix yet. I want to know when we can feel comfortable being out and about as we wish. I wish we had more activities we could take the boys to do. I want to know when the boys can go back to school. I worry that they'll get behind academically and how hard it will be to manage distance learning for a semester and probably an entire school year. I want to know when I can get back to my workout routine that I love. I feel frustrated that numbers are spiking in Arizona and that our governor is not taking action to slow it down. I'm frustrated that there's not a "right" answer about best practices right now, or at least not one that our federal government will get behind, resulting in a patchwork response that is extending our time with rising cases.
I also feel frustrated because I don't know how worried I should be. People are out shopping and at restaurants. Could I be doing that too? I certainly would like to be but it just doesn't feel right knowing that cases have never been higher here in Arizona. If we sent the boys to school would they get coronavirus and/or bring it home to us and Maeve? Chances are probably small that they would and honestly think I would be happier and feel better about their education if they were at school. I know that so far children haven't been affected much but what if one of mine were the exception? Or what if they passed it on to me or Chris or Chris's parents and any of us had a serious reaction? We just don't feel comfortable with that risk. Is that the right choice? This article about what epidemiologists say they feel comfortable doing made me feel better since the majority align with the choices we are making.
This week I was thinking how little planning and looking forward to things I can do now. Or at least not as much as I could do pre-pandemic. We have things to look forward to like Maeve starting to laugh or roll over, family movie nights, or planning to make a new recipe. But we don't have travel to look forward to or a fun activity with the boys or even a date night. That's hard.
What really helps me is when Chris and I get a chance to have an uninterrupted conversation. It's harder than you would think considering we're both home all the time! Going for a morning walk is our best chance to get to talk and sometimes after the boys go to bed although we're both so tired at the end of the day we often go straight to bed. It really helps to say out loud that this is hard and to check in with each other. I'm immensely grateful that even without much quality time together our relationship feels so solid. I think Chris and I are doing a good job giving the other one time alone when we can and being appreciative of all that the other person is doing. This weekend we talked about what helps each of us feel better. We both agreed that having a clean house, getting to exercise, and having time to ourselves makes all the difference. So when one of use feels stressed we should see how we can achieve those things.
So that's the state of things. There are some frustrating and uncertain parts of life right now but I'm remembering that for the most part life is still so good. We're finding joy in having a baby and watching Maeve grow, in all the time we are spending with our silly, sweet boys, and of making the best of this uncertain time. What a crazy year it's turning out to be.