One of my mom’s favourite sayings is “this too shall pass.” And of that there is no doubt. The question is what will the new normal look like once we are on the other side? Another favourite family quote is “most things you worry about don’t happen anyway.” But sometimes they do … and then what?
Well, at the very least I hope to write about it so that years down the line we can look back and laugh, cry, or shake our heads and wonder why. So I guess I’ll just have to give this memoir a try!
March 14 (Saturday): Why the rhyme? The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet I say! I only watched it three times in two days! My son J was Mercutio you know and oh did he put on quite the show. But, oh what a story – the last two performances were not very certain. It seemed like they might have had to be cancelled because of Corona. But in the end happen it did, the Middle School put on quite the show – yes they did! And now here we are …
March 15 (Sunday): What’s changed? So far for us in Kuala Lumpur not much really as of today. People seem a little bit more nervous, more guarded, keeping their “social distance” but supermarkets still have items on the shelves and there doesn’t seem to be the mass hysteria we read about on the BBC. However today was supposed to be J’s birthday party and those plans did have to be changed. From a big outing in town to a smaller gathering at home instead. As of today my sister is working from home in the US, my brother is forced to quarantine in Majorca, Spain, and my mother is basically hanging tight at home. All flights to Spain and Germany have been cancelled and flights from Europe to the US as well. But here in KL, we carry on … mindful that it will likely be a matter of when and not if the situation changes and school will have to go ‘virtual’ and we will have to spend extended periods of time at home. So looking on the bright side we have been preparing art and craft supplies, getting new strings for my Uke, and from today starting this blog post/diary/memoir. Right now I have to get ready for my customary Sunday morning tennis match, then a Sunday as usual so far it seems. With another week of school on schedule until our Spring Break. And then … let’s see …
March 16 (Monday): And just like that it happened. What seemed like the start of another ordinary week turned out to be anything but ordinary. Around mid-morning we get an email saying school will close until mid April sometime starting tomorrow (Tuesday, March 17). So as I type this I am basically in virtual learning mode countdown. The day had a crazy energy about it. This urge to do something, everything, but not sure quite what. Most of all to make sure my students knew what they would be expected to do and how to do it. Thankfully Seesaw came through earlier in the week with home learning codes and those are now up and running with a few families already connected. The stores seem to be having long lines of people bulk buying things, all a big change from just days ago.
On a more positive note, I messaged with my friend Erika who told me that I was still in time to join the Slice of Life challenge (only a half month too late;) so I jumped at the opportunity – also to model for my students what it means to be (or attempt to be) a writer.
What most resonates with me about the whole situation so far is the apparent lack of logic or common sense reasoning. It seems like man versus world with everyone reverting to their most primordial instincts. Most of which aren’t all that pretty (try a Google search for fights breaking out at shopping centers) In my brief life I have seen a lot: two revolutions, people hanging on the street, tanks rolled up into my front yard (yes I know all great slicing topics). I also remember listening to the stories of both my Grandmas during the wars and all the troubles they went through. Thankfully we are nowhere near those scenarios. However it feels like something intangible has changed. The air is thick with doom and gloom. And maybe what’s changed now is that I’m not a kid anymore. This is my life now. It is my story to tell. My memories to make. I’ll try my best. More than anything so many years down the line my son can look back on these ramblings and try to make sense of it all. Onwards … I hope
March 16, 2020 at 9:48 pm
Yes it sure is a problem that no one would have guessed at this time a year ago. It’s also madness and I am in a little remote town in north east India and our kids have no access to virtual learning as they’re all poor, but our school (of only 60 students) has to close from tomorrow. We will try to find ways and means to meet with them (only ten per class), otherwise they’ll roam the streets, not stay home, it’s what they do as their parents are out working all day.
I hope KL continues to remain calm and that we can pass through there in just over a month to our daughter’s wedding in Australia. Who would have thought?
March 16, 2020 at 9:51 pm
So glad you turned to writing. I think years from now this will be a great resource of on the ground reporting.
March 16, 2020 at 10:02 pm
Smart move, to begin documenting the effects of COVID-19 on your daily lives. Sad that it has reached such areas as Kuala Lumpur. And yes, you really do need to Slice about the other events from your past; you have been a witness to historical events!
March 16, 2020 at 10:47 pm
Welcome to Slice of Life! Corona Memoirs sound like it should be about lime wedges and sandy beaches, but alas. It is amazing how in the span of a day preparing for the week ahead, it can change so drastically once that announcement is made. All the best in slicing, remote teaching, and reciting the mantra “This too shall pass.”
March 17, 2020 at 4:23 am
I like the way you have documented this in several short diary posts. It does indeed change day to day. The Canadian border was closed to international travel today. I was completely expecting it, thought it would happen sooner, and yet it still feels like such a shock! I suppose 50 years from now we’ll all be putting this in perspective and it won’t seem like such a big deal in comparison to other things we have experienced, but right now it feels really hard.