I almost can’t remember what I would do, pre-pandemic. My mind is running through the streets here in town, trying to picture myself going places. It’s like trying to remember a hazy dream.
My husband and I spent weeks anticipating drastic layoffs in our hard-hit industries, and we both went through temporary layoffs — all while keeping the kids from finding out. Our finances took a hit since my freelance income evaporated overnight. Homeschooling was ugly across the board, especially when trying to do my own work at the same time. Someone called the police on our children for playing in their own yard with our next-door neighbours “not a full six feet apart.” My anxiety was through the roof. It was a miserable season for all of us.
You will have a special name for it now, as you read this. Was the “before” called Pre-Corona, maybe? BC and AC, for Before Corona and After Corona. Maybe just “pre-2020” or “pre-pandemic.” But when it started, we didn’t know our whole world would change. It was just … early March, 2020.
All they want to do is go outside in the sun and play in the yard, but now they have to wonder if they’re going to see their mom crying because the police have called again?
After lunch, the kids go outside to play. It no longer matters if it’s cold or drizzly — they are eager to go out in weather they would have balked at a month ago. I stand in the window watching them make mud pies and peel the bark off sticks. Between the dead grass and the dreary sky, the world is colourless and dull. Caution tape flutters over the entrance of the park nearby. It looks like a pandemic out there, I think.