Brief Reflection: South Florida
Day 30 of our self-isolation here at the Bean abode and although our household has been apart from everyone else physically in our Palm Beach County community, we feel as though we’re close to so many others given the collective circumstance we’re all experiencing during this COVID-19 global pandemic.
The first time I wrote on this subject of Covid-19 and most U.S. students’ lives being drastically changed we were having a full moon here —last week we had another full moon, and so life continues for the planet even while it seems it’s in an uncomfortable stasis.
Based on what I read in the news and social media coupled with communication between family and friends, it seems we are all in a fog of recognition that a great deal of change to our behavior has occurred in most everyone’s lives in the last several weeks in our American Republic.
Our social media feeds include random posts of photos to help distract, memes for medicinal laughter, media links to help educate, invitations to gather virtually—and then sometimes, for some of us like myself, we end up turning off our phones and other electronic devices to just take a break from it all.
Right Now: April 15, 2020
It’s Wednesday, “hump day”, the day that most workers during the week would herald as one to push on through and afterwards enjoy the “downhill” slide to the end of the work week. Today Wednesday is the day that most parents and caregivers woke up and could hardly see straight or move their broken bodies to keep up with the frenetic pace that their little ones (or even teenage ones) began this day with–ah, to be young again.
As a homeschooling mother of three children: respectively aged 11, 9, and 5 years old, I would like to take a quick moment to tell you that if you are a parent/caregiver to any child(ren) during this time and are having to deal with having them home when usually they would be at school: You. Are. Amazing! Please, give yourself grace and hug them as much as you can every day. This is a temporary period and there will come a day when the old routines will return.
Truly, there is no playbook for what is happening these past few weeks, and no matter if you have a background in education or have kids at home for your own curriculum or virtual school anyway— this collective arrangement is completely new to us all. It’s an overwhelming, bittersweet blessing in some ways and we cannot judge each other for however we manage our homes over the matter.
It’s Tax Day too. Good thing there’s an extension for those who haven’t filed yet!
Trying to Look Ahead
Our nation is united in a state of suspended grief and continuous exhaustion. We’re all trying to find our new normal after altering our habits. It’s said that it takes humans about 30 days to break a habit and about 30 days to make new ones—so here we are.
Unfortunately, as the coronavirus fatigue wears on, our federal and state elected officials are having a challenging time with how to coordinate efforts to help our healthcare and first responder workers along with trying to balance the adverse effects on our economy as a whole.
There is article after article citing the difficulties that American families are facing economically, mentally, and the long-term effects expected for our children. How can we as parents/caregivers see straight some days as we collectively squint ahead on what our new normal routines will be going forward?
There is a feeling of helplessness that can take hold and yet thankfully we can take stock of our immediate surrounding as well as our greater community to see if there is anything we can do to help. Obviously, staying put has been most helpful in areas trying to “flatten the curve” as we’ve all learned—but we need to be more active and there are ways we can do more with all the 21st century tools we have.
No Time for Politics and Yet It’s Time for Politics
For those of you reading that know me, I have worked for congressional Republicans on Capitol Hill in the past. For my last paying job before I gave birth to my first child, I was honored to serve as a political appointee in the George W. Bush administration as a worker for Secretary Henry Paulson’s office. Watching from afar the respective Obama and now Trump administrations has been a rollercoaster ride for folks like me who were once part of the inner-workings of our federal government.
I’ve often defended both Democrats and Republicans in the various federal offices because I trust that many mean well for our nation, even if I don’t necessarily agree with their political stances. Then there are moments like this Covid-19 global pandemic that serve to fleece all those in elected positions of power and reveal who among us are the compassionate leaders and who are the consistently inconsistent ones that voters need to re-examine closely should they run again.
Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee for the Democratic party in the run for President of the United States this year. Both Senator Bernie Sanders and former President Barack Obama have come out publicly to endorse him in the past week or two (hard to keep up during coronavirus timeline).
I have made tentative predictions in the past when it comes to presidential elections and although they’ve not been popular ones with some of my Republican counterparts, they’ve stemmed from my assessment of where the American public seems to be emotionally.
Where are Americans now emotionally-speaking?
We are united in fatigue. We’re fatigued from the constant bickering between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration from the moment he was sworn in as President of the United States. We’re fatigued from the media’s energies and tax-payers’ money spent on investigating hacking from foreign sources like Russia when it comes to how our 2016 presidential election played out. We’re fatigued from the conspiracy theories that the Earth may actually be flat and that former President Bill Clinton had an active friendship with now-deceased Jeffrey Epstein. Finally, 2019 closed with impeachment hearings and votes by the U.S. House of Representatives and a drawn-out affair in the Senate that yielded no true outcome in President Trump’s “impeachment”. All while Covid-19 had likely already reached our American shores and sickened many without knowing what it was.
If Joe Biden wins this upcoming fall over President Trump, it will be most likely attributed to how tired the American psyche is as a collective and particularly because of who Biden agrees to have surround him in governance beginning with his selection of a running mate—preferably a female for his Vice President selection. While I grant that I’m biased as a woman myself, I don’t believe that women need to run the world entirely, rather that a balance in governance must be struck. 100 years ago, this August we’ll recognize when our federal government said women can vote (but that unfortunately didn’t include women of color). We need both men and women, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents…we need everyone to find a way to balance having constructive debates and at the same time keep our states and nation as a whole moving forward with productive compromises to thrive and grow as the United States of America.
Divided by Dysfunction
There’s no point in my writing about what we’ve all been witnessing as the Covid-19 crisis has unfolded in the last month or so here. Most of us have had much more time to read, research, and simply watch press conferences daily from all sorts of sources.
My prayer and hope as a private citizen today is that we can overcome our division by dysfunction and continue to work toward a better future for our nation and to leave a legacy that our next generation can build on.
In the meantime, I wish good health to anyone reading or a safe recovery to anyone still battling this virus or any other illness for that matter. May we all find ways to make the most of this bittersweet “Pause of 2020” due to the Covid-19 crisis and be able to move forward filled with hope for better days instead of fearing days ahead.
Some of my past related blog shorts: