Joy in the Times of Corona

I´m referring to the virus, of course.

I have an interesting seat at the metaphorical table where I have watched this pandemic unfold. For months now I have traveled to China through my computer screen and chatted with kids from all over the country about life in quarantine. Some of my favorite comments so far have been:

“Teacher! I have been in my house for 7 days! I am SOOOO bored!”

“I´ve been writing a lot. Usually, a pen lasts for 6 weeks. But look, I´ve been using this one for two and it´s almost empty!”

“If I go outside, I´ll die!” This one is a little more serious, but was said with such innocence it almost made me want to laugh.

While COVID-19 was in China I got a firsthand look so to speak. But my view was limited to the vocabulary of children between 6-14 years old. Then, things got a little more real. COVID-19 decided to travel to AMERICA! Can you blame him? But upon arriving in my motherland, I saw a different view. People quickly began doing the only logical thing in the midst of a preeminent respiratory virus pandemic. They bought ALL the toilet paper. Did you get that? ALL the TOILET PAPER. I guess you could say we Americans are feeling really Charmin´these days.

Meanwhile in Oaxaca I am only just seeing changes. This weekend I was down for 2.5 days with fever and an awful headache. It´s unlikely it was coronavirus. But for the safety of those who aren’t as fortunate as me I have self-quarantined for the time being. But have no fears! There is still plenty of toilet paper in stores. And Mia is thrilled to now have a stay-at-home cat mom. Though she seems to think that only entails naps and extra food.

Honestly, through all of these I´ve seen a lot of people stressing out. There are conspiracy theories. CONSPIRACY THEORIES ya´ll. Ps. The Corona is in your toilet paper. Jokes on you, Prince Charmin.

Buttt back to my point, through all of the chaos and fear and speculation, what has most impacted me is the presence of joy. The joy on my little kiddo´s faces as I open my virtual classroom and they put a smile on my face at 4am. The joy in my little brother´s laugh as we chat on the phone and he asks why people haven’t bought the $1 party napkins with unicorn print at Walmart to use in place of toilet paper. Or the joy of my cat as she snuggles up next to me, just glad that I´m home and completely clueless as to why. In the midst of the craziness, may we all find in ourselves a little of that child like innocence that produces Joy in the times of Corona.

Happy Quarantining, Friends!
If you’ve finished reading this, go wash your hands. 😉

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