By Lynn M. Lombard
I’m sad. That seems to be at the top of my list of daily emotions these days. I would normally chalk it up to hormones, but this time being smack dab in the midst of menopause has little to do with it. Instead, my sadness is wrapped up in this Covid-19 devastation.
First and foremost, I’m sad that people have lost loved ones to this virus or that they themselves have become critically ill. As a healthy and active woman with no underlying ailments, the fear of this disease has been low for me. My two daughters and husband are also healthy, and we have taken the necessary precautions to stay that way as best as we can.
I’m sad for businesses that have been forced to close their doors and entrepreneurs who rely on face-to-face contact to make money to provide for their families. All companies are feeling the effects of this pandemic, whether it’s losing employees due to quarantine or because they need to cut their staff for precautionary measures.
I’m sad for the health care workers, grocery store employees and the like who come into physical contact with the public on a daily basis. It’s not always easy to stop the spread of germs, even when you’re being conscious of it.
I’m sad for those workers who have no child care and do not have the option or ability to work from home. Or those who have been laid off with no compensation. Some people live paycheck to paycheck and do not have the luxury of dipping into a “rainy day fund.”
I’m sad for the teachers who have put in so much time and effort educating our kids throughout the school year and now have to witness as everything suddenly comes to a halt. With two daughters in school, I know how hard these teachers work and how much they care about their students. None of them want an additional vacation at the expense of kids not learning.
I’m sad for the students who are missing out on previously scheduled activities, performances, field trips and get-togethers. Once schools officially closed, I sat down and deleted the events that had been cut from our calendar. What once looked like our normal, busy schedule of two actively involved children now looked like we had nothing going on. Because we no longer did.
I’m sad for the parents of seniors, including myself. Each deletion to our calendar clouded my vision with tears. It was my daughter Amanda’s last chance to perform on stage; her last out-of-state orchestra trip; the last field trip she’d attend with her classmates; the last, the last, the last.
Where will it end? Will prom take place in June? Will Amanda get to walk across the stage to receive her diploma? Will she even graduate on time? We had a plan, but Covid-19 was nowhere on it.
We are all being touched by this, one way or another.
But this girl of mine, along with many of her peers, albeit bummed about these things out of their control, are finding the positives in it all. I am striving to be more like them.
“It’ll be OK, Mama,” Amanda tells me with a face that makes my heart smile. And that’s when I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Because one day, instead of talking about the Blizzard of ’77 like my parents did, she and her friends will share the story of how their senior year got put on hold.
And how we all survived it and moved on. Together.
Lynn M. Lombard, of Akron, has been wistfully clearing the family calendar.