Pandemic A-Go-Go

You know, or something.

I’m not really trying to be flip about what’s happening with this virus. I’m just … at a loss for what all to say. My state’s governor announced today that the education programs I oversee are all ceasing in-person services for the rest of the semester. We have a week to come up with a contingency plan before online programming is set to begin.

We need more than a week.

I think the decision to go online is a good one. I think it’s the right decision. It just isn’t that easy for programs like mine, and certainly isn’t anything like easy for the people we serve.

We’re rallying. I mean, of course we are. How not? Our students are everything, and we need to make sure they are supported through this strange time. And also, this is what we do, right? We figure shit out and make plans and carry on. It’s what we’re all doing everywhere, right? Because our lives have to go on, and our communities have to come through this, and so we do what we have to do.

And then I stopped at my grocery store on the way home. I wanted some fancy cheese and some French bread and some fruit. In and out. Easy, right? How did it not occur to me that — between the WHO announcement and the governor shutting schools down all over the state — people would be panic-shopping and losing their minds all through the aisles?

I am silly this way. Entirely.

I can’t really be this oblivious, and yet … I wasn’t prepared. Wasn’t prepared for the serious soul-searching in the produce aisle, a couple debating whether they should risk fresh fruits and vegetables because someone who handled the food might have been “A CARRIER.” Wasn’t prepared for the woman taking every case of bottled water on the shelves and setting her small child atop the pile in her cart to keep other shoppers from trying to swipe a case. Wasn’t prepared for the man who tried to convince people to let him cut the (very long) check out line by giving us dramatic stage-coughs and saying, “I got the asthma! I can’t be around all these people! Let me get home!”

I wasn’t prepared.

I’m home now. I got my snacks. I’ve sent a zillion emails to staff to get our planning under way. I’ve emailed my family so they won’t worry about me, all alone up here in the sickly north.

So, here we go, friends. Here we go.

Sending love and well wishes to you and yours and hoping we all come through this intact, stronger for our struggles, and ready for the next challenge!


It’s March, which means it’s time for the
13th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Curious? Head on over to Two Writing Teachers
and see what the rest of this year’s slicers are up to!

Original Slicer - GirlGriot

16 thoughts on “Pandemic A-Go-Go

  1. You’re right. It’s what we do – figuring shit out, making plans, and carrying on. But when other people’s plans seem so ridiculously removed from our own “logical” plans, that’s when things feel sideways. I totally hear you on this post. I’ve had many head shaking moments over the last few days. 🥴 We’ll figure this shit out, too! (Good luck with your week deadline for planning. You got this.)

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    1. Yes, we keep on keeping on. I had the first set of contingency planning meetings today and was pleased to see how rational and ready to get to work everyone was. Not surprised, but really pleased. Sending you good luck wishes, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whew! That level of panic would have caught me off-guard, too. Maybe it’s that teacher can-do attitude that you identify – “this is what we do, right? We figure shit out and make plans and carry on” – that keeps us moving forward. Here’s hoping you get things on-line & figured out. Here in Canada we’ve had no extraordinary measures… yet. Fingers crossed that we all get through this without too much crazy.

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  3. The “we figure shit out” line is my favorite, too. And I love that you put words to the ridiculous in this ever-evolving situation. I agree that it is hard to believe people are expecting teachers of all contents to simply convey their lessons online (today, I heard we’d have 48 hours). As if teaching transferable remotely and as if we all have the skill set to pull this off. Of course we will, and you’re vignette at the grocery store makes me glad that the first half of your story is the part I relate to.

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    1. It’s funny. After I typed this post, before I hit “publish,” I wondered if I should edit the expletive, say “stuff” or “things” or something … and, maybe unsurprisingly? … that turns out to be the line that resonated with folks! I kind of love that. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s incredible how a simple trip to the supermarket can leave you shocked at people. I hope you will be able to get your plans ready soon. Our school district will be going to remote learning for the next two days.

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  5. I have thought of that possibility that other people have touched the food or package or whatever I am about to pick up, but usually only after I’ve already touched it. But good luck with working out *in a week* how how to reach and teach your students remotely. Teaching online is WAY different. Let’s hope libraries stay open, where public access computers are available.

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    1. I’ve been reading about “flattening the curve” today. It makes me feel a lot better about the decision to suspend in-person classes. Makes me want to keep myself at home, too. We’ll see.

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  6. Some folks are just more prone to what I have dubbed the French Toast shopping run (purchase of eggs, milk, bread and other YMMV essential), that occurs with nearly every emergency when folks fear a ‘lock down’ of any source, than others.

    “And also, this is what we do, right? We figure shit out and make plans and carry on. It’s what we’re all doing everywhere, right?” that applies to all of life’s little and not-so-little days, truly.

    “And this too shall pass…”

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