“When did the quarantine even go into effect, March or April? I can’t remember.”
When the quarantine started in March, so many thoughts ran through my head. I thought the government was taking the right actions to prevent the spread, but what I didn’t realize at the time was how quickly my mind would go back and forth on if I did or didn’t agree with its actions. I knew the virus was serious but wasn’t sure it was serious enough to close down businesses and make people stock up on toilet paper and ground beef. By the way, I still don’t understand the need for THAT much toilet paper.
About a week or so into our state-mandated stay at home order, I was informed that I would be temporarily laid off.
I was disappointed but happy to know that it was only temporary and that I’d be returning to work at the end of June. I made jokes about my fiance (who is still employed) being the “breadwinner” for our family now, while I was unemployed and playing “Mr. Mom.” That same day, it hit me – we were going to have to raise a child during a global pandemic. That’s when the worry kicked in.
Side note: We had a couple parenting books we briefly browsed through before our son was born, and I don’t recall any of them having a section called, “What to expect when raising a kid through a global pandemic.” Maybe that’s what I can do with my free time now!
During the first month of being laid off and sheltered in place, it was very clear that life was slowing down a bit. We didn’t have anywhere to be, our schedules cleared up, I hadn’t filled my gas tank for a couple of weeks. I did some work around the house and we were able to spend more time as a family. I think this has been the most positive thing – slowing down and spending more time with our families. On the contrary, the hardest part for me was not being able to go see my grandparents as often as I would have liked to. This hit even harder when I lost my grandpa during week three of quarantine.
Month two of quarantine came at me like a wrecking ball.
This was the month that I was informed that I would be losing my job permanently. Those jokes I made in week one were now coming true. I started thinking of my family, my career, and the wedding my fiance and I are planning.
“Will we be able to maintain the lifestyle we have become accustomed to?”
“Will I be able to find another job in aviation? After all, the industry is kind of in the tank at the moment.”
“Will we have to postpone or cut back on our wedding plans? I’d hate for it to come to that since we are already having a super small, elopement style wedding.”
All of these thoughts ran through my head. This was the month when the stress of COVID-19 started to present itself in our friends and family as well. Friends being laid off, family members being stressed from working on the front lines, and friends trying to welcome new family members into the world while alone in the hospital.
Despite the obvious changes in my life, I’d say that overall, I am coping well.
I have a strong faith and know that God has bigger and better plans. Yes, I will miss my job, my co-workers and spending more time with my fiance and son. Yes, I will still worry about the recovery of our economy and the financial recovery of my friends and family, and yes, I will still worry about the health of myself and others. But overall, I think I am ready for things to start opening back up. I want to be able to reconnect with friends and other people I haven’t seen in two months. I want to be able to take my family to Price Hill Chili so we can sit down and enjoy brunch together. Oh, and I want to go camping – who would have thought that the luxury of being able to go CAMPING, secluded in the woods (or on a concrete slab), would ever be taken away from us?
Special thank you to our guest writer, Patrick Helton.
I was born and raised in Milford, OH, but I am now a west-side transplant. I’m a father to one fantastic little boy and engaged to my best friend. Aside from working in aviation, I enjoy off-roading, boating, camping and video games.