Friday, July 3, 2020

...whoa, 2020

Now that we're halfway through the disastrous year of 2020, this is a good time to pause and reflect. On January 31, 2020, I wrote for my expectations of 2020:

I don't expect huge changes. 

 Um... 😳



I did not see this *gestures around in reference to the massive global disruption due to covid-19* coming on January 31, even though I was already following the news about the novel coronavirus at that time.

I was first warned about the then-unnamed disease spreading in China on Friday, January 3rd via email from a nurse responsible for advising me and my colleagues on travel happening later that month. I was warned again very seriously in person a few days later and told to cover my mouth and nose with "anything you have" if anyone around me coughed or sneezed. I listened but wasn't particularly worried.

But we did talk about it during the trip, and what it was like for people during SARS (1). Another person on the trip had been quarantined apart from his family for 10 days during that time due to a mysterious fever. That seemed like such a long time, and so serious. So exceptional.

As my trip was wrapping up, China was shutting down. People I collaborate with across Asia were taking it very seriously by early February. I came down with a cold in the middle of the month (about 3 weeks after returning) and was definitely paranoid that maybe I'd picked it up during my travels and it had just taken a much longer time to develop, but I wasn't that sick and from reading the news I was unconvinced that anyone would even test me because I didn't meet the criteria.

I spent a lot of the second half of February reading about it on Twitter, watching the science community react, and reading the news. I got more and more anxious with the lack of preparation and seriousness in the US. It was like watching the news of a hurricane leaving destruction in its wake and tracking this way, but every town and city in the path just planned to carry on.

Everything came to a head in March, of course. Jon was supposed to leave on March 14 for a much-anticipated week long trip with a friend. Based on everything I was reading, I did not think it was a good idea and we had several tense conversations leading up to the day when the shit actually hit the fan and everything was canceled, including his trip (much to my relief).

Adele's last day of school at school was Friday, March 13. I could see the writing on the wall and was sort of conflicted about even sending her the last couple of days that week, but it seemed like it would be a while before she went back so she went.

Do you remember those early days, when we had hope that it might be a month or two and then the kids would go back to school? Ha! Here we are, 3.5 months later with no school and no summer camp. I was so pleased with our proactive organization this year—we made all the camp plans and paid in February! So organized! So privileged to even be able to do that! Sigh.

We've taken the isolation seriously, and still are even as some things are opening up. We are incredibly fortunate to have our jobs (with pay cuts) and the ability to work from home, so we're doing the best we can. It sucks, but know it could be so, so much worse. I am thankful for everything we have during this wild 2020 ride.

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