April marks the one-year anniversary of two weeks into a sudden closure of our centers. Looking back we can second guess all we did to do our part and wonder if it was the right thing to do at the time. What I do know is it was the only thing we felt comfortable doing with so many lives in the balance and so little information about Covid-19.
It was a quiet time. It was a time of reflection and introspection that brought families closer (not always in the best of ways) and a time of reinvention. Some of what we considered normal became frightening or somehow avoidable, yet we managed to get things done. Some of what we gave up, we will never pick up again, realizing that we can survive without things we once believed to be necessary.
Home offices sprung up, and parents became teachers. Grocery shopping was a creative challenge, and our cars sat idle for many weeks while we viewed the world through our windows. We became painfully aware of our landscaping and household flaws that we hadn’t had time to see before or could easily ignore in the rush of our days.
We worried and watched and waited for the world to return in ways recognizable. When it didn’t happen in a few short weeks, we began to grapple with the possibility that we’d still be here a year later doing some of the same.
While we were steeped in hope at first, it often felt like a roller coaster with no one at the helm. As we careened toward reopening and summer hope bloomed, we would look ahead just a few months, expecting something new. Then as fall and winter approached, we were fatigued from it all and the constant news cycles telling us otherwise.
2021 said, “Hold my beer 2020” and we were off on a different roller coaster that eventually brought with it possibilities of a vaccine and positive signs of progress. That progress is at risk, however, if we let up on the protocols we’ve found to work so far. For that reason, we will continue protocols for several months until we have some assurance that everyone has a chance to get their vaccine, and the trend continues downward.
We will be celebrating graduation this year outdoors, with our families, and that feels to be a big first step in re-connecting in much-needed ways. We’ve missed family involvement. We’ve missed our many volunteers and donors, and we’ve missed the normal that we will always treasure, such as time spent with you. I hope you stay safe and healthy this spring and that we can connect soon in a meaningful way.
We made it folks, and we made it with all of you. Thank you for riding the coaster with us. We look forward to taking off our safety straps and exiting to something a little less thrilling.