Life: Spring Break in a Pandemic

It is a strange, strange time in our world right now. While we remain largely unaffected in our community, we know that we are not immune to what’s happening in the world and we know we can’t quite continue life as normal. Spring Break for our family began this week, as planned, but it is looking rather different than expected. We didn’t have big or exotic plans but we’ve cancelled the small trips we were going on and are staying close to home. Peter is already off work for the break and most of our activities are on pause. We’re really, really fortunate to not be in any high risks groups but we also live in a town with a higher than average population of elderly people and we are doing our best to be careful for the sake of those around us.

I’ll be honest, the first few days after we learned that COVID-19 had reached British Columbia, I walked around with this heavy sense of dread. A ball of anxiety in the centre of my chest that I couldn’t shake. I found myself looking at strangers and wondering if they were going to die soon. Obviously that’s an extremely unhealthy and morbid way to function; I’m generally a very optimistic person but this has felt like such a dark time. Every day I think about how thankful I am that this doesn’t seem to be affecting children much. But that doesn’t contain my worry for those around me who are vulnerable.

As a Christian, when worry consumes me, I turn to God and to His word. I’ve already been making an effort to read my Bible more regularly and part of that has been reading a Psalm each night before bed. Needless to say, this is way better for my peace of mind and my sleep than scrolling social media! Our family is praying a lot, trusting in God’s eternal grace and power, and using the scientific wisdom of those around us to make our decisions. My hands are raw from how much I’ve been washing them and we have friends we may not see for weeks or months.

So far on Spring Break we have made an effort to get outdoors each day. We started Saturday morning with a hike to the top of Pender Hill. The weather has been clear and cold and sunny and beautiful.

Sunday we opted to stay home from church and we hiked to Crowston Lake. We feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful area where it’s easy for us to stay away from crowds and be outdoors.

We are also fortunate to be in our own home. We have a big backyard where the girls can play and a quiet street where they can ride their bikes. We have plans to do some planting in the garden and Peter hopes to build a playhouse over the next couple of weeks. We’re doing art and crafts and reading books and trying out a week’s free trail of Disney+. We are waiting to see how this situation affects our town and how we might be able to help when the time comes.

I hope that wherever in the world you are that you are well. That you are finding hope in the bloom of spring flowers, the return of the robins, the kindness of a friend or stranger. May you have health, happiness, and plenty of toilet paper.

10 thoughts on “Life: Spring Break in a Pandemic”

  1. I saw on the news today that it is recommended that adults be careful yet factual with the vocabulary around the virus. About age ten and older they said kids should be able to research viruses online and learn about them to quell fear. I went to my hometown this past weekend in the next state over. As a few of us were sitting at the table, I noticed my niece, whose 10th birthday would be the very next day, had marks and purple skin on her hand. Very carefully, I asked her about it. She had been pinching and clawing her own hand because she is so scared. I could have just fallen down dead with sadness right there. Fortunately, I’m a person who understands that behavior and talked about moving it to something else, like spinning a bracelet or fingering a necklace. We found her a bracelet and I asked her about it every so often over the weekend. As I kept an I eye on her hand, I was reassured that the color went back to normal and the marks faded a bit. I’m not sure why I’m telling you all this other than you’re a nice mom and I’m a worried aunt. πŸ˜”

    1. Oh, that’s so heartbreaking. You’re a good aunt. It’s a hard balance between being honest with kids but also guarding them from the worst of it and making them feel safe. I have had the thought that I’m fortunate that my kids are still so little. I think Pearl has picked up on the fact that things are different but since they already knew dad would be home for Spring Break it doesn’t seem that different. We haven’t specifically told them which activities are cancelled and we’ve been doing stuff outdoors every day so I don’t know if she even quite realizes she hasn’t seen anybody but family since last week. We’re being more diligent with hand washing for the kids and when Pearl asked I told her that there are germs around and we want to stay healthy. Which is basically what we say around flu season anyway. This all feels like uncharted territory.

      I hope your niece (and your whole family) is able to find some peace and that you’re able to stay connected with them during all this.

    2. Of course. I keep thinking how fortunate we are to be going through this with modern technology that makes it all a little less isolating.

  2. This is a nice post to read right now! I’m trying to carefully choose my words around my almost 5 year old, she keeps talking about the coronavirus and people getting sick, luckily she doesn’t seem concerned, she’s more excited that she gets to stay home from school (her break was in February, so it’s not normal for her to be home right now). I’m jealous of your warm weather! Still lots of snow here, but I’m bundling up the kids and taking them outside anyway πŸ™‚

    1. It’s so hard with kids. I’m not sure what Pearl has picked up on – since it’s spring break anyway it isn’t out of the ordinary that we’re all home all the time. We hadn’t told them about any of our travel plans so they’re not disappointed. I’m so, so thankful for the nice weather. Letting them run around in the backyard and going for walks every day is keeping us all sane. We’d be out even if it were raining but it’s definitely nicer in the sunshine!

  3. Ah, it looks like you’re making the most of things! It is a strange time for sure, but definitely important to keep looking for hope and beauty in the world and do what we can to stay sane. I’m also lucky in that I have a lot of open outdoor space around where I live so that I can still go outside and get a change of scenery without worrying about contact. It’s definitely not as pretty here (very flat), but fresh air is so helpful to de-stress. Wishing you and your family healthy and well. πŸ™‚

    1. Getting outside every day and limiting social media are the best things for my mental health right now! We’re very fortunate. I’m glad you get to be outdoors too!

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