We can all agree that the current state of the pandemic we are all facing is in a nutshell, scary.

Mount St. Joseph News


We can all agree that the current state of the pandemic we are all facing is in a nutshell, scary. An enemy you cannot see is trying to invade your life and possibly make you very sick or worse. Experts say that one of the best, if not the best way is to avoid public spaces, follow social distancing guidelines and, to the best of your abilities, “shelter in place.” I have many friends whose children are at home now, both parents are working remotely from home and in some cases (like my home) down to a single income due to furloughs from Covid-19.


I know that the virus is a serious pandemic and staying put is the best option for my family’s safety. With that being said, I am the only one who has ventured outside to get needed groceries, and the occasional movie from a Redbox. Parents are being forced to not only do their regular job at home to keep a steady income, but they are now being asked to become a teacher to their children. My young 7-year old twins are usually at school 7 hours a day. Now they are now home and need to have their minds and bodies stimulated with activities. To put it lightly, a lot of parents are going nuts. They have many things to juggle as it is then, because of this pandemic, as they add more and more and more things, eventually they are going to drop one responsibility.


The goal in this piece is to try to give you, the reader, a different perspective. I love my family more than anything on this planet, but this pandemic has been such a perspective shift. The word “privilege” is too often used to invoke shame and that is not the intention of this letter. It is simply for each of us to more fully recognize that what might be more available to us, is not available to everyone and, out of recognition and gratitude, to see if/how we might use our privileges to benefit others and help improve our world.


With that being said, social distancing is in fact a privilege. It means that you live in a house big enough to practice it. Hand washing is a privilege too. It means you have access to running water. Hand sanitizers are a privilege. It means you have money to buy them. Lockdowns are a privilege. It means you can in some cases afford to work from home. All of us who are practicing social distancing and have imposed a lockdown on ourselves must appreciate how privileged we are. This is a great time to slow down the busyness of life, reach out to those around you and tell them you love them. We have that privilege. A text takes 10 seconds, everyone has 10 seconds.


Being at home with my children has been an absolute joy. A privilege, if you will. This lockdown will end, like all things do, I believe the saying is “This too shall pass.” And when it does, my kids will go back to school, my wife will (fingers crossed) return to work and a routine will be re-established. Until then, I will allow the kids to miss the hamper with their play clothes, not pick up a toy or two, or maybe even have a few extra cookies, just because. We don’t have a “quarantine” schedule like you see people have on social media. They are getting their school work done of course, but outside of that it’s just been one long Saturday at our house. And I love it. My house is filled with blanket forts with secret passwords, the Barbies are half naked, and the Hot Wheels tracks are going up and around the stairwell. Batteries on remote control cars are being replaced more than usual, and that’s ok. The bedtime routine is filled with longerlasting hugs and more stories than usual, and the “Dad, will you snuggle on the couch with me?” question/time feels like an earned badge of courage that even the cowardly lion would be jealous of.


One of these days my daughter Violet isn’t going to snuggle into my ribs and place my arm around her to watch a movie at night. One of these days her twin brother Lincoln isn’t going to call my name from upstairs to show me that he built the “greatest hide and go seek spot in the history of the world.” Around this house we are slowing down the busyness of life, we are taking this as an opportunity to connect, create, and really love each other. My assignments will get done after they go to bed and my goal of summa cum laude will probably take a hit, and I’m okay with that. Watching them use their imagination to play is worth more to me than three words on a diploma in an overpriced frame. This time with my children has been an absolute blessing, and I wake up every day thankful for the privilege to hang out and be their Dad.


I understand fully that some people are being so affected by the virus that it is changing the course of their lives forever. I get that, I really do. I just prefer to try my best to control the controllable. Isn’t that all we can do? I am not going to get upset when the kids interrupt me writing a paper that is due in Blackboard by noon even though I was up late writing for what is now an online class. Their routine is just as jumbled as adults’. Imagine the teachers and professors of the pandemic. Some of them have never done online teaching, but here we all are.  


The pandemic should prove to all of us that everything around us in temporary. Things our lives usually revolve around--movies, work, gym, malls, society—have been thrown out. We are learning to live without them. It should teach us that in the end, it’s our own home and family that keep us safe.