Talk about throwing a giant wrench into our plans! With the new Coronavirus exploding across the globe, we’re hunkered down and waiting it out. But that doesn’t mean our lives have to stop. As with most things, there’s opportunity to be found if you look hard enough.
Early this year while COVID-19 was still a distant problem, Ellie and I started making plans with our families for visits and vacations in the upcoming spring and summer. My family had booked trips to visit us in mid-April, and Ellie’s folks made plans to vacation with us in May and June. All of that came to a screeching halt early this month, as containment efforts in Asia failed and the virus became a pandemic in Europe and the U.S. With travel bans in place and stay-at-home orders being issued around the globe, we’ve had to cancel our April plans, and things scheduled for May and even June are looking less and less likely with each passing day.
It’s easy to get frustrated about all of this. Indeed, there has been no shortage of utter failures among both governments and societies that have certainly contributed to magnitude of the pandemic. However, we remind ourselves each day that we’re exceptionally lucky: Ellie, Orion, and I are still healthy. Both Ellie and I are able to work from home. We were able to bring Ellie’s father over right before the EU travel ban was put in place to help us care for Orion at home since all the daycares have closed.
So while our European adventures may be temporarily on hold, with all things considered we’re doing pretty well. It’s been great to spend lots of time together as a family during the workweek when we’d otherwise be separated for a majority of the day. It also doesn’t hurt that we’re seeing the beginnings of spring and the first signs of sunny, warm weather. We can all take walks together during the day to get some fresh air and feel the wonderful warm sun on our faces.
We’re also using this time to catch up on hobbies, projects, and other things around the house. I was finally able to get a VPN set up so that we can stream U.S. shows again (read: we really wanted to watch The Mandalorian). I also finished an initial version of a little web app dashboard to give us an all-in-one view of environment data both inside and outside.
Finally, with nearly ubiquitous internet access these days, there’s no shortage of opportunity to take advantage of this “downtime” to work on professional development or self-improvement. For example, there are tons of free online classes available from prestigious universities these days. If you’ve ever been interested in learning web development, there’s great resources available for that, too.
So while current events may be wholly depressing and cabin fever seems right around the corner, try to remember that there’s always great opportunities out there if you take a step back and look. Here’s to staying happy and healthy, one day at a time.