April 13, 2020, was a difficult day for me as an educator, mother, and scholar. I have spent the past month encouraging and consoling students, my children, my colleagues, my family, and my friends. Yesterday I admitted to the chair of my committee that I had not written anything on my dissertation for more than two weeks. Although she was very understanding and kind, the idea that I had put that part of myself on pause was difficult to accept.
Since I was done homeschooling for the morning (my husband homeschools in the afternoon), I escaped to “work” to confront the inbox full of essays I had to comment on. As I closed the door, I heard my 11-year-old daughter ask her twin sister if everyone was going to die from “Miss Rona.” I went back into the room and spent an hour talking about viruses, disease transmission, and mortality statistics.
Checking my email, I found a message from the nurse at my university asking if I had managed to sew any more fabric face masks, as students were still requesting them, and she was out. I had to tell her I had not had the time. Another email contained a video speech from a student about how frightened she is because, as an “essential worker” checking out customers in a grocery store, she is still going to work and does not have any protective gear.
I decided then and there to put off the essays, went to my kitchen, and started sewing again. My eldest came into the room and told me she thinks she may fail one of her “suddenly switched to online” college computer science classes; she never wanted to be an online student. Crying, she told me she does not have any time management skills of self-discipline. After she calmed down, I thought about my 17-year-old son, who has done little more than eat ramen noodles, watch YouTube, and play games on his phone for the last month. Have I failed him as a parent? What will be the long-term implications of a lost semester on his life? Am I worrying too much, or should I try to make him do more?
My phone beeped; it was a student asking me if I had had time to comment on her essay again. I sent her an apologetic response and kept sewing. At 6:00, I texted my “essential employee” student and asked her where I could send her a mask. Then, I quit sewing to make dinner. After dinner, I cleaned up the kitchen, made a video on how to format papers in APA style, and uploaded it to YouTube. I drank a glass of wine. I climbed into my shower and cried until the water turned cold. I dried myself off, got into bed, checked to see if the world had hit 2 million cases yet, and thankfully fell asleep quickly.
Every day now feels like that day.
Recommended Citation: Anonymous. (2020). Life in the Corona times. the Western ABC Bulletin, 2.1.