March 14, 2020
The last time I wrote was on Wednesday, March 11th and things were just starting to get crazy with the first cases of the Coronavirus found in Michigan.
Thursday was a fairly normal day at school, minus the field trip and Mystery reader cancellations, on top of all of the after school activities. These were all cancelled until further notice. This was a big bummer for everyone.
I was feeling pretty cruddy on Thursday night and the school closings were multiplying. I was anxious, wondering if we would have school on Friday. Our governor had an address planned at 11pm, but I was way too exhausted to stay up for it. I stirred when hubby came to bed and he thought I was still awake. He told me that our governor closed all schools for three weeks. I was shocked, this has never ever happened before, and I had so many questions. I opened my email and saw a couple from our administration. The governor’s orders begin on Monday March 16th, but most schools weren’t waiting until then to close. My district closed for students on Friday, but staff still had to report. While the governor closed schools for 3 weeks, both me and my kids’ districts have spring break when we are scheduled to come back. Therefore, assuming the schools don’t move the planned break, our kids will be home for 4 weeks.
It took me a long time to get to sleep after that. I had so many thoughts and emotions running through my head. And I was worried, about everything. On Tuesday I had just participated in an IEP meeting for my most challenging student whose parents expressed how difficult the holiday break was for her. To have 2 weeks at home, unstructured was extremely tough and it had taken her a long time after the break to get back into the school routine. She would now be home for a month now, possibly longer if this virus doesn’t subside. Many of my students at school, including this one, want and need the routine of school. We had two snow days a couple weeks ago, and several of my students stated that they weren’t happy to be home for two days. Schools closing for a month is a very extreme thing.
On Friday morning, I woke up my son and nephew who are both juniors in high school and told them what was going on. They were both shocked, but pretty happy about the school closure. Their district had the students go on Friday, so they at least could say goodbye and have that closure that students in my district didn’t get. I dropped them off and headed to work, no one even batting an eye that it was Friday the 13th.
I had sad feelings going into work. I was anxious to hear what our administration would say. Since I have to drop the boys off before high school start time, I usually arrive at work way early. The lot was empty when I got there, more empty than usual and the air felt heavy and dismal.
Seeing and talking to coworkers, especially those few I consider good friends, helped so much. No one has been through this in history, not in modern times anyway, but we all had similar feelings and emotions. We were all feeling sad and heavy, not unlike the feelings that arose after 9/11.
We all gathered in the library for a staff meeting. For once, everyone was silent. Dozens of questions were asked, but none had a definite answer. My principal told us that he had an administrator meeting that morning and would hopefully get some more information.
There wasn’t anything to do while he was gone except wait. I could have worked on work, but I couldn’t focus. The school seemed way too quiet and empty. Liz and I were hanging out in my room. Todd and Shellie came in and it turned into a fun pow wow. My building has seemed so tense this past month with a lot of bickering staff. The entire day seemed to help us all remember why we do what we do and to not worry about the petty stuff.
We got an email that we had to go to a special ed meeting at 1:00 and then back to our building for a meeting at 2:00. We got a little more information as to what will be expected of us these next few weeks, but still so many unanswered questions.
Setting all circumstances aside, Friday was a really fun day with a lot of socialization and laughter. That was all needed, especially on a day like yesterday.
It isn’t easy to understand the magnitude of this– I can’t even wrap my head around it. What about all of the kids at home alone while their parents are at work? How about all of the places that are on pause, or shutting down, what about the employees who will lose pay?
I hate to admit this and think it sounds really irresponsible, but I haven’t even been to a store yet. We are running low on bread and a couple of other things, so I should probably venture out today. I told hubby last night I’m not sure I can emotionally handle seeing empty shelves right now. I have no idea how stocked the stores are around me, I am planning on making a few stops today to find essentials like bread and water. The bottled water I need is for my coffee maker, so if I can’t find any, we will survive without coffee.
I’ve been trying like hell to find a few hours to carve into stone time to write each week. I think I may have even asked the Universe for the gift of time last week. I will be spending these next few weeks writing as much as I can. Not saying this is my fault, but I am saying that I will try to focus on the blessings. I also am looking forward to spending some quality time with my kids, but acknowledge that I will be more than ready to go back in April.
I’m visualizing the day we return in April. Everyone will be so happy to be back to normal. Teachers will be in a good mood and kids will be ecstatic to be back. There will be lots of laughs! It will be springtime and the air will be light. We will be grateful that our government took extra precautions and prevented much sickness from spreading <3