Universal Truths of Ushering Your Family into Month Six of Pandemic

We are all in this together, right? Isn’t that what they said? They left out the vital part where we were “in-the-same-house-in-a-rotating-wardrobe-of-yoga-pants-with-limited-options-for-entertainment-and-outside-socialization-month-after-month-into-infinity” kind of together.


Yet, here we are.

We are all in this together….and that has been a LOT of togetherness these last few months. (Twenty20 @klovestorun)

Here is what’s going on at our house

Some things have become abundantly clear during our lockdown here at Chez Stiles and I think what we are experiencing is universal:

  1. Our brains hurt–Every move my family makes requires Mensa-worthy intellect to navigate. There are no automatics anymore. I think I severely underestimated how much I accomplished every day on auto pilot. I miss that. Now, I can actually feel my thoughts marching across my forehead like fire ants stinging my brain and torturing me every step of the way. The constant weighing of the pros and cons of something as simple as carry-out for dinner is really more than I bargained for. I am beginning to worry I am not smart enough to survive a pandemic let alone lead anyone else through it.
  1. We are creatures of habit–The first few weeks of lockdown, we all wandered around shiftlessly in our new apocalyptic world. Without our daily routine, we were nomads trudging through the barren desert of unscheduled days. We were thirsty for our old world making us a little woozy. But then we snapped out of it and got down to developing a new schedule and habits. And by schedule I mean, trying to maintain basic hygiene and stepping away from the video games periodically throughout the day. With any luck, forcing ourselves to wear clothes with buttons will come along any day now.
  1. Time is tricky—If you know what day it is—congratulations. But does anyone really know the actual date? I hit a high point the few days before and after the July Fourth because it only took simple hand math to calculate the date. Honestly, when the Christmas in July promos showed up, I had a little Rip Van Winkle moment; thinking I had missed six months in my Covid fog and it was actually Christmas. Fortunately, it was just a ploy to have sales and make money just like every July which was a small victory in the normalcy camp. The date has become insignificant in these pandemic times because every day is Ground Hog Day. Crawl out of our dark hole, see our shadow and hope for only a few more weeks of our figurative winter. Repeat.
  1. Masks are elusive–Masks are like my reading glasses or charging cords. I have tons of them, yet can never find one when I need one. Is it around my neck? In the car? Purse? As the only girl in the house, I have taken the bold step of acquiring hot pink and patterned masks that no male in his right might would covet. Sadly, that doesn’t make it any easier to keep track of them; it just gives me fewer people to blame. Pretty soon someone will develop an app or tile so we can track our masks like our keys. In the meantime, we have to add five minutes into the schedule of every departure for mask round-up.
  1. Speaking of masks–I miss my mouth. Attempts to look friendly in a mask are grueling. My eyes are not up to the challenge of conveying all my emotions. I can’t count the number of times I have reflexively lifted a straw to my mouth only to be met by the fabric barrier. And like Goldilocks, I am constantly in search of the mask that fits just right. Not too big, not too small, not to hot, but sturdy enough to protect me, covers my nose but doesn’t fog up my glasses. No wonder Goldilocks fell asleep…the elusive search for comfort is exhausting.

And lastly, and most importantly, this disease will touch us all personally at some point. If you don’t know someone diagnosed, hospitalized or who has passed away from Coronavirus, you will. And the seriousness of it all makes the inconveniences just a slightly unbearable means of weathering this storm.

All we can do is our part to be safe and keep a sense of humor—together.

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About Maureen Stiles

Maureen Stiles is a Washington DC based freelance journalist, columnist and editor. With over a decade of published work in the parenting and humor sector, Maureen has reached audiences around the globe. In addition to published works, she has been quoted in the Washington Post and The New York Times on topics surrounding parenting and family life. Maureen is the author of The Driving Book for Teens and a contributor to the book Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults as well as regularly featured on Today's Parenting Community and Grown and Flown.

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