Coronavirus. COVID-19. Today is Monday, the 30th of March. Most counties surrounding mine have been issued a curfew or “stay-at-home” order. Sam works for a global organisation that has placed employees on furlough through April 17th … The Walt Disney World Parks in our area are shut until further notice … schools are closed. I am still in awe at the facts … and yet here we area, an open state: The Destination Coronavirus Quarantine Hub. Do not tell me about the coronavirus with an intolerance to heat, bullshit. Hello, Louisiana. Hello, Florida. We now have five-minute rapid tests available … this is about to explode. What a year for an election. Sanders has been quiet. Biden will have a big mess to clean up. (Not to get political, but my presumption is that Biden will be the next person at the helm of this country.) This is not a blog about politics. Or pandemics. So, here is my story instead.
For Those Essential Employees
I feel terribly grateful to be employed at this present moment. I do not know what the future holds, but today, March 30th, I still have a job. I do work in hospitality and tourism and it has been a whirlwind. I have had many friends lose their jobs; even my own company was forced to make cuts. It has been an emotional couple of weeks. I do not feel as if my job is important enough to qualify for the category grouping of “essential” compared to the other essentials, who are truly essential in this time. I maintain vacation rental homes. Our occupancy has depleted; but I still have occupancy to care for. Homes with smart technology; guests who are renting these homes are sometimes here for four nights, now, some are forty nights. I have soap, hand sanitizer and I was even fogged down with hospital grade something-or-other the other day. I am doing all that I can, to prevent picking this COVID-19 up from anywhere. I was already a germaphobe before, guilty, but now, I worry about being in a state that is not closed to those fleeing their hot spots. Please do not make us a hot spot too. I worry for my parents, both approaching 70. I worry for my child. I worry for my in-laws. I worry for myself and my own health. I worry, but what’s the point? Fear and worry will not win this for me. I will take one day at a time. Hopefully tomorrow I will still have a job. If not, I cannot worry. Millions of others have lost their jobs. Sammy and I have been dreaming of starting our own business for years. This may be the moment. This may be the time. But we can’t make plans … who can make plans when the world has hit the pause button? (Except, Florida.)
Having shared custody during a global pandemic with school closures and online learning … is also a new way of life. How much adjusting do the kids of this generation have? And for someone like Ben, whose anxiety about death and his fears of the unknown might impact his mental health for the rest of his life. Em is much more go-with-the-flow, but think about it. This generation is going to grow up in an entirely new world. I hope, for both of their sake, that they understand that this is just a bump in the road. I hope for their little minds to be able to overcome this and move forward without fear, but also to move forward with a deeper understanding of community and care for the world around us.
I am grateful to have a job; I am grateful to have a day off (today) where I am laying on my bed, Kona on my leg, Sammy to my left … listening to the new sounds of construction to my right for the $35k playground the HOA broke ground on this morning … nonetheless, grateful for some quiet time to breathe and slow down. (If you’ve never watched a bulldozer take down a set of swings, try to catch that once in your lifetime.)
So here is to today, one day at a time, and here is to tomorrow, when I return to work for business as usual, with my signed letterhead proving that I am driving to an essential business in a county with a stay-at-home order. I pray that we are able to maintain our jobs, but now more than ever, to be let go from a workplace would be the most understandable and forgiving time. Therefore, I mustn’t worry. (Sammy, see what I did there? Ben is working on transitional words and Em on contractions. LOL, I’m such a nerd.) Sammy has been a teacher for a week and I think he’s pretty amazing.
And so my QOTD for this world, from one of the brightest minds in our history:
AND STILL, I RISE.MAYA ANGELOU