pandemic plus one

Israel recently defined those born between 2016 and the mid-2030’s as ‘Generation C(ovid)’. I think I’m inclined to agree with a senior adviser at the United Nations Children’s Fund who suggests that the term be broadened to encompass all children who lived through the COVID-19 pandemic. I don’t have scientific research to back my assertion. I have raw experience as a parent of distance learners.

One daughter loved school-from-home so much that she has asked to convert to it permanently. She likes to see her peers, but doesn’t need that interaction to function normally. Her sister’s struggles are much more significant.

By contrast my younger daughter has fought fiercely for her success in a virtual classroom and virtual best friendships. She is such a bright little light and refuses to be snuffed out, even by a global health crisis that has forever depleted the meaning of ‘unprecedented’. She has sighed many sighs and shed many tears all for a myriad of emotional reasons. She has sharpened her reading so much this year that I actually contemplated framing her second grade spring parent-teacher conferences performance assessment.

Despite their academic and social differences, they both are desperately ready for life to stop requiring a mask. They are ready to put some distance between themselves and social distancing. They want to go to the pool. They want to get invited to and throw grandiose birthday parties. They want adults to worry less. They want to be kids again.

I can hardly blame them.

Spring is a hopeful season. In Minnesota, we survive winter more than other folks do. With our home stretch usually starting with a month of subzero temperatures followed by another couple of months of late-season blizzards that dump a foot here and there, we are beyond ready for spring when it arrives. Full disclosure: we don’t always bring our sanity along intact.

Maybe it’s being Minnesotan and annually subjected to some low-key emotional and psychological torture that the rest of the world calls ‘winter’ that makes COVID less bothersome at this point. Or maybe I’ve just found a ‘new normal’ — gag… I really would be okay if I never heard that term again. Whatever the case may be, this spring in particular feels springier.

Amanda is (hopefully) pregnant!!

Today was transfer day. I sat in the car. California is still mostly locked down, so no companions at doctor appointments and such. But that couldn’t dampen my overwhelming sense of hope over boldly trying to start a new life in a time that feels more determined than others to snuff them out.

Yesterday marked the anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a pandemic. So today, I’m really hoping, marks a new chapter; pandemic plus one.