Tuesday, March 31, 2020

High School, Past and Present

I've been thinking about high school seniors this week. I have a couple of friends who kids are due to graduate this spring, and they don't know quite what's going to happen.

There is so much in your senior year of high school that matters to you then. It doesn't matter if later in life, you don't care... for a lot of kids, those moments are what matters to you completely right now.

Prom, honors night, graduation... not for every kid, but for a lot, those are really important events. And once they are gone, they aren't coming back. You can't send kids off to college this fall, and then NEXT spring have them back for graduation. They miss out permanently.

We have to be ok with those kids being sad, mad, devastated and angry. We can expect them to behave appropriately while having feelings (e.g. no hitting), but we have to let them have their feelings and not try to moderate them for them, excuse them, or dismiss them with "none of it really matters," or "you aren't going to see any of those people in the future anyway."  

Do you remember being 17 or 18? IT MATTERED.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Mysterious Penpal, Possibly Retired

I am better now. I had a nap and a call with my oldest friend (the pictures of us as babies together prove it. Of course, she was tiny and adorable and I looked like I wanted to eat her.)

In non-Covid, non-panic attack news, we had a Christmas card returned to us in the mail this week. Now, I know I got the Christmas cards out late this year, but it was still 2019 when they went in the mail. Where this card was routed to in between here and Texas and back again, I'll never know. We clearly have pattern of strange mail behavior, but I suspect it wasn't the local postal carriers' fault this time.

I didn't realize that the person we sent the card to had moved. This person has moved quite frequently in the 15 or so years we have been sending them Christmas cards, so it shouldn't have been a surprise. However, when this last card came back, I looked on it with sadness and thought "I have no way of knowing how to get <<this person's>> new address."

That's because neither one of us actually knows this person.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Fever-Free Ramblings

Quarantine, Day 16.

The last two days haven't been great in my head. My anxiety, which is already like that annoying kid in school that won't leave you alone, is looking more like the playground bully lately. Apparently, skyrocketing Covid numbers are for my nerves like anger is for Bruce Banner. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

We Live in a Bunker Now

I joined the world of international development eight years ago. I joined knowing that I would be travelling to places where I could contract malaria, dengue, zika, and any number of vector borne viruses. I knew I would be going places where the food and water could make me ill. I was aware that we may have to deal with various community- transmitted illnesses that could be exacerbated by extreme poverty. I have active vaccinations for typhoid, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, cholera, and probably others I've forgotten about.

What I didn't anticipate was the threat of being sidelined by some American chump who can't wash his hands after using a public toilet. Nor did I plan to potentially be taken down by a US-based hoarder who wants ALL the paper towel, even if she can't actually identify a use for it. I also did not consider the threat that Baby Boomers and Gen Z would band together to take an end run at killing off the population of the entire world by grossly flaunting sound medical advice on transmission prevention.