Friday, March 13, 2020


(Nothing like a global pandemic to get me blogging again.)

As you all know, things really started to expand and intensify Wednesday night in my part of the United States. Sarah--who had already started her sophomore year spring break was off and on visiting the house. Then her college followed the lead of most others and extended that break for an additional week. The spring semester will start up again on March 23, but it will be digital-only classes through the first few days of early April

Then, on Thursday afternoon things really started to turn into a series of rapid decisions.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the whole state school system would close for two weeks starting Monday. Effectively this means that Grace and Hannah's Spring Break got started a week early and will be extended for an additional week. (They are at school today and will go again on Monday.)

Other casualties of all of this:

Grace joined the newly restored Westerville Independent Indoor Drumline group after Christmas has been working on learning drill and music for at least 10 hours per week in January, February, and March. WI had one brief preliminary performance for judges in February but was targeting two late March competitions as well as the Ohio Indoor Percussion Association championships on the 29th. Since Gov. DeWine closed school property to outside practice space usage, the kids had nowhere to continue their practices and finalize the show. Then OIPA officially canceled all remaining competitions in the season because of new "avoid mass gatherings over 100 people" rule that the governor put in place. It's such a shame since the kids put in such hard work and don't yet have an opportunity to perform. Maybe something can be worked out in the future, but that is very much to be determined.

As of Friday Lynda and I are working from home. MHE has asked people to work from home more frequently to help enforce social distancing. Luckily, our kids are older, much more self-sufficient, and we have laptops and digital file access and every advantage required to stay productive and remain in our job flow. SO MANY others have nowhere near this level of flexibility. I pray for small business owners who are going to struggle to be profitable in the near term and for all of the service workers who will be struggling to balance the reality of their economic life with the rising concerns for protecting their health and the health of their social network.

I truly hope that out of this, we have a more informed, more realistic, and compassionate national conversation about how our government safety net can be improved to address the realities of what are being experienced right now. I hope that our nation can move from the rhetorical and theoretical discussions about politics that we often swirl around in and acknowledge the truths of what is happening and what needs to happen in the future.

Lynda and I have also had a few tense arguments about all of this in the last few days.

Lynda--to her credit--has never wavered in taking all of these events extremely seriously, urging the rest of the family to do the same. And while I don't disagree with the seriousness of it all, I tried to express a bit of hope and positivity into the discussion . . . while being in support of caution. I just don't want every statement to be solely focused on the negative. That comes off as casualness or naivete and definitely is counterproductive. I'm going to try to be much more focused on dealing with problems full stop. My opinions are less important than my commitment to problem-solving.

More to come tomorrow, I think. Less listy and more reactive and descriptive. If you have ideas for how I can better blog through this crisis, leave me a comment.

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