I spent part of the weekend re-reading my blog posts from exactly one year ago. How naive I was, thinking that the lockdown would last two weeks and we would be back to school by the end of March 2020. The directions from school were to pack up for two weeks worth of working from home. Here we are, one year later, and we are still remote.
It hit me how unprepared we were. Looking back, I think, was I not paying attention? It feels like it all happened suddenly, with little warning or notice. But then, when I looked at it from a broader lens, there were warnings and news reports beginning in January. Moving forward, I will keep my blinders off and be more mindful of global public health issues.
I recently heard Dr. Richard Besser talk about how he doesn’t like the term “lessons learned.” He prefers actionable steps because as he explained lessons learned, are just that, and don’t often have substantive corrective actions associated with them. Food for thought for sure. In the spirit of actionable steps, I will remember this COVID year and move forward with intention.
On a positive note, my school district is planning on returning to hybrid learning in mid-April. We have spent the past months creating safety plans and addressing the numerous concerns that parents, caregivers, and school staff have raised. The anxiety about returning to face-to-face learning is high, but as more school staff become fully vaccinated, that stress level should ease.
I know that returning to a more predictable schedule, where every day is not Blursday is important for both children and adults. The longer the pandemic has dragged on, the harder it is to feel going back to work is even possible. But today feels a bit more hopeful with the new CDC guidelines for vaccinated adults:
We collectively grieve the unnecessary losses we have all suffered, including loved ones, friends, and colleagues. We have lost the normal rhythm and flow of life as the calendar months flew by, but the days dragged on endlessly blurring together. Even the seasons of COVID seemed like one long day, barely being able to distinguish a holiday or birthday from any given Wednesday. But here we are, on the verge of having this COVID laden life more in our rear-view mirror than in front of us on this long highway of a journey no one ever wanted to take. That does feel hopeful, an emotion rarely experienced during this year of a global pandemic. Here is to turning a corner on the death and despair and reaching a space where hope is possible.