In February of 2020, our biggest COVID-related problem was the unreasonable price of hand sanitizer. A small bottle of Purell, if you could find it, cost as much as a month of Netflix. We hadn’t budgeted for that.
In March of 2020, we had to pay a much steeper price. The pandemic shut down cost us our hellos and hugs. It cost us our routines, our morning coffee, our social lives. It cost us our mental health and our inner peace. We had not emotionally budgeted for this.
For millions of us, it would end up costing jobs and income, housing, entire support systems. For millions more, it would cost the lives of friends and family members, more than any war in our collective memory.
Compared to many, my March was not so bad. But I wouldn’t call it easy.
Here is what a mashed up day in March 2020 looked like for me.
Friday, March 13th, 7:00 am
I’m loading up the car to head out to a small Pre-K program in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, for one of our Pre-K in-school field trips. It’s Water Unit time in NYC and we’re going to do some hands-on exploring. We’ve got a large sensory tub, cups, toy boats, food coloring -- the works.
Today, I pack extra dish soap to put into the shared water tub, and disinfectant spray and wipes to clean every material between uses.
On any other day, there would usually be 15-20 children in the class; on this day, only nine kids are in attendance. Parents have started pulling them out of school.
We are scheduled to return the following week for another session, and 18 more at various schools over the next three months. We never get there. This is our last Pre-K Workshop of 2020.