Life in Isolation - Pt 1

It’s day 10 of isolation and I’m sitting in our third bedroom that has been converted to a home office.  I can hear my family in the other room doing some sort of arts & crafts project and frankly, that sounds way more fun than working.  I can hear the sounds of fun and laughter slowly give way to arguing and crying.  It was only a matter of time to be honest.

I imagine this situation is like most other families who are currently working from home with children around.  Constantly distracted and torn between what I want to do and what I need to do.  I take my job seriously as I take pride in what I deliver, but who doesn’t like coloring a Daniel Tiger workbook while drinking some chocolate milk (or beer)??  Honestly.  This is my current reality.  Working from home while trying to entertain, feed and educate our kids. Is it a challenge?  Yes.  OMFG yes.  I’m a stay-at-home parent normally, but even this is another level.

But it’s for good reason, the COVID-19 virus is ravaging the world and it seems like a minor price to pay to ensure that we stop it from spreading any further.  I feel terrible for the people, families and businesses affected by this pandemic, so hopefully we’re doing our part the best we can.

But this isn’t what I want to talk about.

We’re 10 days into the isolation order and I can already see our family dynamic changing.  A normal day, prior to isolation, was my wife heading off to work and I was either home with the kids or they were at daycare.  I would normally maintain the house, do the shopping, clean the kitchen and most of the things that keep a household functioning.  With me being a stay-at-home parent, this is what we chose.  But with social distancing in full effect, we’re re-defining how we interact and what’s normal…for the better.  Our family communication has improved dramatically.  The kids get to spend loads of time with both parents.  We’re finding more creative ways to interact as a family and becoming less reliant on television.  And, most importantly, we get to watch all the kids’ movies that my wife and I loved as children (except The Lion King as neither of my kids liked it – WTF?).

Working from home

Home Office and Appropriate Mug

“Sometimes there is
just not enough
coffee or middle fingers
to make it
through the day”

Possibly my favorite coffee mug…ever


Maybe that’s the silver lining with this pandemic – that families will redefine how they operate, what they value, what they see as essential and discover new ways to connect with one another.  I know this is happening with my family and, from speaking with others (at a minimum of 6 feet away), this holds true.  I know it’s only day 10 and maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but personally I’m excited with where this will take my family.  Maybe I shouldn’t use the word “excited” considering what’s going on in the world, but I can’t just focus on the negatives as there is always a silver lining to any situation.  I think from this fear and social distancing, my family (and likely others) will emerge stronger and more committed to each other, their relationships and what’s truly important in life.  Maybe it’s me being eternally optimistic, but a little optimism can go a long way right now.

But like I said, it’s only day 10 and who knows how long this will last.  Right now the lock-down in Chicago is set to run through April 30th, but I suspect that it will last much longer.  But, hopefully I’m wrong and the social distancing halts the spread of the virus more rapidly than expected.  This would be a welcome surprise considering 2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year so far.

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