Quarantine Quandary: A Pandemic Perspective on Motherhood, Teaching, Health Care and Faith

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If you had asked me on the first day of this year what event I was looking forward to the most in 2020, I would have easily answered, “My oldest daughter’s high school graduation in May.” Then, I would have talked about wrapping up my second year as a high school teacher, celebrating birthday milestones and attending college orientations in the summer.

If you had asked me about the exciting places I planned to visit, I would have told you that I was eagerly anticipating a trip to Los Angeles in April with my 13-year-old son to watch the Lakers take on the Warriors. I would have described the mission trip to Costa Rica that my children and I were planning to be a part of in June and the fun-filled trip to Charleston that I would be chaperoning for my middle daughter’s sophomore class in March.

If you had asked me what I would do if a global pandemic came along and hijacked my plans and turned much of the world upside down, I don’t know how I would have answered.

But now, I do.

This year, as coronavirus began its spread across the United States, the daily lives of Americans changed. One by one, businesses closed and events were canceled. Social distancing quickly became the new reality, and phrases like “safe at home” and “shelter in place” altered calendars and to-do lists. My personal response to COVID-19 has been shaped by the different perspectives I have as a mom, a teacher, a nurse and a Christian.

As a mom, it makes me sad to see what has been taken from my kids over these past couple of months: trips, sports, time with friends and end-of-the-school-year events. I have a high school senior who missed her class trip to New York, her final season on the tennis team, the fun of Senior Skip Days and her last bittersweet walk through the halls of her school.

See more: After the Storm: Insights for Handling the Physical and Emotional Toll of a Disaster

But, also as a mom, I have loved having time to slow down a little. I’ve enjoyed being at home with my children and my husband. We’ve had family dinners together every night like we used to before games, practices and schoolwork competed for our time. We’ve played games, taken walks, baked desserts and watched movies. We’ve talked more, laughed more and even cleaned more!

As a teacher, it’s been a challenge to implement online learning for my high school students. There has been a steep technological learning curve to navigate in a short amount of time! I miss being in the classroom with my students, laughing with them face to face, talking to them – in person – or sitting down right next to them to explain something they don’t understand.

But, also as a teacher, I’m excited to see my students acclimate to this new method of education. They have demonstrated flexibility and resolve as they have attended online classes, completed virtual assignments and taken ownership of distance learning. It’s empowering to take advantage of the resources available through technology and interesting to consider how all of this will affect the future of education.

As a nurse, having seen the effects of an infection on a critically ill patient and how quickly a virus can spread, it’s frustrating to see people ignore efforts for containment. I empathize with my friends in healthcare who place themselves in the path of potential harm in order to provide care for the sick and then have to see people disregard recommendations for quarantine.

But, also as a nurse, I have a new love and appreciation for my colleagues who fearlessly and willingly care for the sick. I am glad to see healthcare workers recognized for the heroes they truly are and honored for the way they serve their communities. I am proud to see people taking extra care to wash or sanitize their hands, wear masks, and stay at home for the sake of others who are at a higher risk of infection.

There’s good and bad no matter how I look at it, and in the end, it is my Christian viewpoint that wins out over them all. My faith reminds me I live for something greater than a pandemic. My faith keeps me focused on what is most important, so that no matter what comes along, my eyes still see my eternal goal, which is something that COVID-19 can’t touch.

So, knowing what I know now, if you had asked me at the beginning of this year what I would do if a global pandemic came along and hijacked my plans and turned much of the world upside down, I would have answered, “Keep living and make the most of every moment.”

About the author: Lori Boyd lives in Murfreesboro with her husband and their three children. She is a nurse and teacher who enjoys writing on the side. Her favorite moments are the ones spent with her family in everyday life that even a pandemic can’t take away.

1 Comment

  1. Mimsy

    September 15, 2020 at 6:40 am

    Lori I thoroughly enjoyed this essay. What a wonderful perspective you have. Seeing the good along with the bad is crucial. I myself have found many Caronavirus Silver Linings these past six months. If you look for the silver linings, they are always there. Thank you for this thoughtful and encouraging piece! Take care.

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