I know I’m not stating anything new to anyone, but we are living through a very unique period of time right now. It is almost a surreal experience, knowing that this Covid-19 pandemic will be forever etched in history. The only other world history making event I have lived through was the 9/11 terror attack.
I was a freshman in high school and remember an announcement coming over the speaker that teachers were allowed to turn on the TVs if they wanted to. Unfortunately my personal family life skills teacher (yes, the class was as pointless as it sounds and was required for all freshmen) thought that playing bingo was more important than turning on the news. I didn’t find out what was going on until I went to my next class, English, and our teacher had put on the TV. As shocking as it was to watch that second tower get hit and then both towers fall, the entirety of the event as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan after it, didn’t personally affect me. It saddened me of course, but I had no connection to anyone in NYC nor in the military at the time.
Covid-19 is a different story. It is impacting nearly everyone in the United States as well as much of the world. From job losses to stay at home orders, shortages in grocery stores to cancelled events, I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been affected in some way by this virus. Sometimes it seems the scariest and most unnerving part of it is not knowing when any of it will end.
Anytime Jason complains about work I’m quick to remind him to be grateful that he’s working when so many others aren’t right now. Even my sister who is a medical assistant at a doctor’s office for the healthcare organization I work for may soon be laid off on a rotational basis. Offices are closing their doors to non-acute appointments or are having as many telehealth visits as possible which means fewer in office staff are required.
I feel very blessed to have a position that seems rather secure. Time cards still need updated, payroll still needs submitted, schedules still need completed and various reports still need ran. It does make me reflect on my desire to pursue a part time position in the fitness industry. While many personal trainers are turning to online classes, there are likely a fair amount who are unemployed until their gyms open again. I know one shouldn’t hold back on pursuing a goal due to “what if’s” but it does tend to give me pause.
My job as a track coach is on hold indefinitely per the governor’s order for all schools in PA to be closed indefinitely. I’m fairly certain that means for the rest of the school year as even if kids were to return to school in May I don’t see how a season could be held. That being said, PIAA and District III are taking a “wait and see” approach and haven’t fully cancelled spring sports. I find that a bit frustrating as it makes me feel that as a coach I’m to continue holding out hope and encouraging my kids to keep up with workouts when everyone is beyond wanting to just throw in the towel on the season at this point.
While many runners are lamenting lost race opportunities as more events get cancelled, it became a blessing in disguise for my dad when the Run for the Red Pocono Marathon was axed last Thursday. He’s been dealing with some worsening shin splints, and we were both concerned the downhill pounding of the course would tear up his legs. Given he was trying to run a Boston qualifying time there wasn’t going to be an option of taking it easy and just looking to finish the race.
Jason and I had a 2 hour zoom chat with our friends in Chicago over the weekend. I’m glad we ended up scheduling our trip to see them for August instead of May as we originally wanted. I can only hope this virus doesn’t continue that far into the summer, so that we’re not forced to cancel.
It is quite astonishing what can change in a month. March 1st I was gearing up for the first week of track season going about life as normal. March 31st I am now wondering if I am ever going to locate a pack of paper towels. This month has felt like a year with days feeling like weeks and an onslaught of news updates. I am trying to take it one day at a time like most people, remembering to be grateful and to think of others.
It seems that a little girl in the area is thinking of others as well. Jason saw her leaving these at each house on our block yesterday. It’s a good reminder to take a minute now and again to breathe and just smile at the little things in life.