Keeping Busy While Social Distancing by Andrew Lewis

As a teacher at a local school district, I was floored when the governor made the surprise announcement to close all schools for two weeks.

Most of my colleagues and I were waiting to see how our district would handle the crisis.  We had a staff meeting, they gave us the information the Pennsylvania Department of Education gave them, and then our administrators were just as surprised as we were when our phones all gave us the closure notification.

But that does not mean I have been sitting around and doing nothing.  I have weeks worth of lessons prepped and ready to go if my superintendent gives the word.  All school districts in the state are waiting to make sure their plans get the Department of Education’s seal of approval.  Hopefully, your kids are enjoying this surprise break and they’re able to have fun in the crisis.

My son sure is. We set up a messenger thing with his friends and he’s now video chatting his friends and texting me when he’s hungry.

He’s seven.

The program is through Facebook Messenger, and it’s very secure for little kids. He has a tablet computer, so that’s what he’s using.  And I tell you what, I wasn’t ready to get texts from my son so soon. I figured I’d have until he was 12 or so.

But that’s the way this whole COVID-19 thing is going.  The unexpected becomes the almost-expected and life has been turned upside down.

What amazes me about my son is how easily he’s adapted to the quarantined life.  I’m going stir crazy!

I like my job, and I like working, so when this thing happened, I found myself in a downward spiral, trying to figure out what to do with myself.  I came up with lessons and posted them to Google Classroom.  Then I realized that I shouldn’t create too many in case we go back next week.  Once they go live, I intend to film a bunch of video lessons in a row, just changing tee shirts in between each one.  I have been sending queries out to expand my freelance writing career.  I started blogging on this website, and I intend to start my own independent blog, too (#shamelessplug).  But I’m keeping busy.

Perhaps too busy.

For those of you, like me, kept out of work by this virus, I hope you find a chance to rest.  There are a million things to do in this modern world! (I always tell bored people to read a book, but you should also stream the new DuckTales on Disney+. You won’t regret it!) (Oh, and if you read this, Disney, my rates are negotiable.)  I’m also hoping for some nice weather so my son and I can go play in the back yard.  At some point, I intend to call the older people in my life and make sure they’re doing okay.

There are things to do, sure.  But the one thing we shouldn’t do is panic.  We’re Americans.  We got this.  And when we get to go back to the way things used to be, we’ll pick up the pieces and make our country even better.  But we’ll all need to be rested and ready for that.

And those of you who are still working, you’re the backbone of the country now.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not important.  Maybe they should give you an extra toilet paper ration, too.

I don’t know what these blogs will be like moving forward, but I thought I’d start with a positive note about COVID-19.  If I’m shouting at the void, I might as well shout positive things, too.