Spring Break in the Corona Era…
It was at the beginning of Spring break when we realized that our lives will not be the same anymore. Our life stories from now on will be labeled “before Corona” and “after Corona”!
This was supposed to be our special vocation! Our spring break was the first week of March. We haven’t been in a vocation for a long time, so for this spring break we decided we’re going to spend a little bit more money and have a lot more fun! We’ve been planning for this for a couple of months. Little did we know Corona had something else in mind. For days now, Corona has been spreading in the USA, it was serious enough for us to follow the news, but not enough I guess for anyone to change their booked plans! I guess deep down we all thought it’s going to be Ok, and this shall pass too!
Our trip was to South Padre Island! We arrived at night and couldn’t wait for the morning to come so we can go to the beach! The next day we woke up to the news that Houston has decided to cancel the Rodeo! That was a big shock to us! What happened? We haven’t lived in Houston for a long time, but we lived long enough to know that when the Rodeo is in town, nothing, and I mean nothing is as important anywhere! That’s the only thing everyone at work, in the streets, grocery stores would be talking about for weeks! So, when the Rodeo was canceled, we knew our fun time is coming to an end, even though we are miles away from that action!
Next day, universities and schools announced they are closing for two weeks at least. Third day, the NBA and all major entertainment events were canceled… Everyday the number of patients having Corona is getting higher and higher. My husband wanted to cut our vocation short and go home, but I didn’t agree. In South Padre teenagers were celebrating Spring break like there was no tomorrow. I know we were not part of that celebration as we were mostly playing on a far away part of the beach… and I know that we canceled our fishing cruise and Turtle Discovery tour… but at least I felt that somehow we are safe there. But then eventually it was time to go home!
Time to go home…
So vocation is over, everything is canceled, kids will stay home now for at least two weeks, and now there is a shortage in almost all necessities everywhere. But I decided I’m not going to panic yet! I’ll close my office for two weeks and stay with the kids till their school opens again. I’m going to rock this homeschooling like no other mother did in the past! I’m going to use this time to remodel my house, work on my new website for the office, and work on my garden.. I need to catch up on my Zumba too! I’ve gained few pounds last few months and I think this is the perfect time to do it. Shopping will be done online, everything is available online right?
On the way to the house, we stopped at two HEBs, one Walmart, and one Walgreens. And from these four stores we were able to find two gallons of drinking water, 2 small bags of flour, and one bag of sugar. No rice anywhere, no hand sanitizers, clorox or lysol wipes, and NO TOILET PAPER anywhere!!! But it’s Ok, I will order some online and it will be delivered tomorrow with my Amazon Prime membership.. Wrong! all these materials are on back order, and Amazon no longer promises two days deliveries due to the high online demands! Ok… No problem.. Thank God, we have a lot of supplies at home! I’m a loyal Sam’s customer and I buy things in bulks even before Corona!
We get home, and somehow it feels different! This time, it feels more like a hideout! We sanitized everything we got from the stores, gave the kids a bath, then we all went to bed. Well.. not all…
Time to Get to Work!
My husband had to go to work next day. My husband is a doctor too, and I was worried about him going back to the hospital now… What if he catches the virus? What if he brings it home with him?!… But then again, my husband is probably the most careful person in the world.. He already washes his hands about ten times a day.. And already sanitizes them before and after seeing every patient.. He rarely touches his face (except his eyebrows when he’s thinking!) so I’m sure we’ll be Ok.
I woke up, got the kids up at 7:30 am! Of course! It’s school day and I’m going to rock this homeschooling! I opened the links the schools sent for the girls. Google classroom for Kenda, and google classroom for Naya… not a lot of homework yet, but lots of places they need to sign into to make sure they are counted as “present”! So after 43 minutes of doing that for both, I guess we are ready to go! Kenda gets the laptop, and Nay gets the iPad… I’ll reserve the desktop for myself, because remember, I have a website to work on!
But before that, Jad needs to eat! Sounds like a great idea… But wait a minute.. What’s that on my face?!!
More important things…
Not a big deal… There was a small pimple on my face.. So what? I’ve always been one of those lucky people who had relatively good skin. I would get a pimple every now and then, but it would go away with no problems. So now it’s not the time to worry about this trivial thing and I need to focus on more important stuff.
Speaking of more important stuff, Kenda and Naya are watching TV!! Why? Are they done with school already? Turns out they think they were! But being the supermom I am who rock at homeschooling, I was able to redirect them to what they need to look at, I emailed their teachers with my recommendations on how they need to direct the kids on homework, and found extra homework for both of them!
Jad needs attention too! And now that he’s out of daycare, I need to stimulate his brain too! I think reading books is the best way! I read one, two… twelve books to him! Ok, I think this is enough teaching for today. Time to play with your cars! But he wants to play with mom! Mom has to scan Kenda’s math homework to send to the teacher, and Naya needs help with her reading website not working.
The door opens, my husband is back! ALREADY?! It’s 5 pm!! OMG! I haven’t cooked dinner, I didn’t clean the house, I didn’t do Zumba or look at my garden, I didn’t work on my new website, I didn’t even check my email!!
My husband took his clothes off in the garage! He asked me to wipe all the doorknobs with clorox wipes while he jumps in to take a shower! We do not need any evidence of Corona in this house!
Corona is among us…
Over the next few days we learned that school will continue to be off, probably till the end of school year. The government announced shut down on some businesses which included my office, and the garage has become our new closet! We need to think long term now! What am I going to do with the kids when I get back to work in the hospital? should I get a babysitter? What if she’s a Corona carrier? What about my office? I have a lot of expenses, the rent, the payments on the machines, the utilities, the payroll… I need to call all those people and see if they can give my business a break! And what about the school? there isn’t enough Zoom meetings? The girls would not commit without direct supervision! Zoom meetings… We need more zoom!! What about Jad? He’s been watching more TV recently! That must be bad for his brain… he’s not learning anything of value! My website is way behind, and my web designer is waiting for me to finish the contents! My molar crown fell off and my dentist can’t see me yet! My email and WhatsApp is flowing with recommendations my colleges send me about how to deal with Corona but I can’t read all of that! The teachers send me texts about unfinished homework for the girls! And my garden needs work!
One day, I called my mom as I do every day. I open the video and as soon as she saw me she yelled: “What happened to your face?!!”.
Remember that little tiny pimple I mentioned before? Well, it’s not alone any more! I woke up one day to find seven other pimples all over my face. And these are not tiny any more! They look angry and ugly! My skin was getting drier, and my face was looking tired overall.
“Nothing mom! I guess it’s stress!!”. That day, I had a big fight with Kenda for a homework that wasn’t done on time. Jad was crying because I wouldn’t let him watch cars for the third time, and Naya wants to play instead of helping me with the dishes…It was a bad day!
I realized right then that we are already infected with Corona! Maybe not in the upper respiratory virus way everyone is talking about, but rather like a computer virus that goes into the system to ruin it from the inside! Corona was living with us since the beginning, and my face was the first to know about it!
It’s Treatment Time…
So all this time I was trying to stop Corona from infecting us, turns out it already has! And just like it changed lives outside my house, it will change lives inside! No one is doing things the normal way any more; people are staying home, stores are empty, restaurants restricted to deliveries and takeaways, people meeting through screens, etc. So why should I keep all my superpowers; why do I have to rock at anything? Maybe it’s time to stay home, empty my to-do list, restrict my worries to necessities only and let this Corona just pass through! And that’s what I decided to do..
First, I made a list for my daughters for their zoom schedules, codes and passwords and gave it to them. Now, it’s their responsibility to keep up with it, if any of them misses a meeting, she’ll catch up with it next time. Jad is allowed to sit longer on TV, just enough time till I finish a page of my website and 30 minutes of Zumba. I cook dinner while checking on my email now. I don’t really open all my massages, and I don’t think I have to!
Next, we need to release some stress, all of us! My kids used to spend every day with their friends and have not been out for over a month now! We are blessed to have a big back yard and now it’s the best time to use it! We started more outdoor activities and games and I got my garden going! My poor garden… All it needed is some love and it was ready to love me back!
My pimples started drying out! They still show as hyperpigmentations, but that will go away soon as I’m starting to take care of my skin again. My skin that warned me about the Corona spreading in my house before anything else did! I started cleansing, polishing and toning again. My vitamin C feels wonderful on my skin again, and I can tell the eye cream is working it’s magic! either that or the extra two cups of water I drink every day are kicking in!
I know I didn’t find a cure for Corona; not even close… We are still losing money, my kids’ learning is less than optimal, and my productivity is close to none. But I’m here, counting my blessings, enjoying my family and waiting for this to pass too…
Stay Home … Stay Safe
You are strong… but not a superhero!