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Spring in Upstate NY

This is the new normal.

We wake up- read the news and see how many new cases/deaths have happened over the past 24 hours.

We check social media and get notices that our favorite restaurants and businesses are closing.

We share requests for face masks and protective gloves for our local hospital–because the staff doesn’t have enough.

We hope that hair stylists, tattoo artists, or spa employees have some stashed away to share. Their businesses are closed for the foreseeable future.

We get menus and dinner specials from local restaurants trying to stay alive.

We plan meals. We keep track of supplies. We are grateful for hand soap and paper towels and enough food to last a few weeks.

We worry about others who aren’t as fortunate. We set aside some staples to donate.

We try to stand in for our children’s teachers. We take the scheduled work and try to stay on top of assignments throughout the day.

We are grateful that our schools keep a few traditions in this “new normal.” FaceTime morning announcements and silly P.E. exercises…virtual classrooms where the kids wave and smile at each other.

We try not to think of all that they are missing. We try not to think of all that we are missing.

Life is quiet when you cannot see your friends. My hair is going gray with the salon closed. My husband had to shave his beard to fit a protective face mask at the hospital. I miss going to the gym or meeting friends for coffee. Limbo is a strange place to be.

We take solitary walks and bike rides…our kids cry when they can’t have play dates or reach friends on the phone. It isn’t easy.

We check on our parents. We check on friends and loved ones. We share silly jokes and Corona memes. We curse this new normal while also praising this time we have together.

Everything feels more precious…more fragile.

We notice things that we might not have paid attention to before.

We eat meals as a family. Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we are a bit sad.

This is our new normal.