I was talking with my sister the other day about how quickly things in our world have changed so drastically.
When I watch TV now I notice how
often people touch their faces or hang out in close proximity with large groups
of strangers, without a care in the world.
It’s like watching footage from ’70s
with newscasters smoking on the air or movies from just a few years ago where
people are talking on their phones and driving.
Things are always changing, but
this pandemic has brought sweeping changes at a rapid pace.
As strange as it’s been for us
adults, I can’t imagine how it will affect our children.
I wondered aloud to my sister what
my 4-year-old niece, Maggie, must be thinking of it all. Living through this as
a young girl (I had changed it to “young girl” because she had taken offense
when I’d called her a “baby” earlier in the conversation) would be such a trip.
Maggie corrected me, “I’m not a
young girl, I’m a quarantine girl,” she said.
It’s already a part of her
I was about her age when I got the
chicken pox. My older sister had them, so, as was the custom at the time, my
mom and aunt threw my cousin and I in the bathtub with her so we’d all go
through it at the same time.
I remember hearing them talking of
exposing us all and their reluctance mixed with resolve to do what was in our
I knew something big was
happening. Then I started breaking out in itchy red spots and came down with a
I was miserable. For what felt
I have no idea how long I was
sick. In my child’s mind, I thought this was my new life.
I do remember after the bumps went
away and the itching stopped, I was left with a divot in the skin on my temple.
I remember marveling at the pock
mark, knowing I was changed forever from this experience. (I was a weird kid
who thought too hard about things.)
Today’s generation of kids will
have their own memories of this time. A definite line between the before and
We are planning a birthday party
this weekend for my step-daughter’s 19th birthday.
Normally we would have gone to
dinner and maybe a movie or a puzzle room. Now, we are preparing dinner at
home, and we’ll all watch a movie in the living room. Or maybe play a game.
It will be a fun celebration. We
always enjoy spending time together. But it will stand out as a birthday in
As restrictions begin to ease
starting today, we will all be charged with finding a new normal.
There will be some old habits we
can’t wait to pick up — like greeting people with a hug or a handshake. And
there will be others best left behind.
We will all emerge from this time
with some scars, but, hopefully, we will have a new perspective as well.