Our (LOOOCKDOWN) Stories
Reflections of corona-cation
Reflections of Corona-cation From A Lady of The Tuuube…
Reflecting upon the past almost 4 months feels like an exhausting mountain to climb. Back at the end of February, I was getting ready to fly to California to visit my Aunt and Uncle. One of the ladies I worked with expressed her concern for my safety being on a flight with COVID-19 just starting to become mainstream in newsfeeds. I didn’t give it much of a second thought, other than a few people wearing masks and gloves in the airport…nothing struck me as out of the ordinary.
One week into March already there was talk of cancelations of future events, flights, school closings. It seems as soon as my plane hit the PA soil again I was thrust into a frenzy of my university switching to online classes, saying goodbye to dear friends, three jobs down the drain, a show canceled, and countless other challenges that arose. In a short period of 7 days our lives were turned topsy turvy as if we were in some sort of post-apocalyptic book. This first week felt as if it lasted a month or even more!
After many friends left Philly to be with their families, I made the decision to come home for some time to be with my family. I remember feeling a sense of urgency to protect them or be close to them. I brought some friends home who needed some time out of the city and made some great memories. (Introducing Goodburger to anyone is a real experience)
I was blessed to spend more time with my family, after being away at school for the past two years. Spending quality time with my sister-in-law and nephews brought so much joy in the uncertainty of the chaos surrounding me. Why does it take the government literally telling us to go home to spend time with family for us to finally make it a priority? Being away at school, I missed a lot of milestone moments of my nephews. It was so wonderful to hang out with them and take on the aunt role in a way I never got the chance to before. After being side-by-side with a twin my entire childhood, college split our pea-pod apart. The lockdown gave my sister and I more time to reconnect to the goofy times of the past, singing Muppet Treasure Island, swing dancing, and even tickling the ivories with some classic Carlee and Trista piano duets! The time passed by in many different ways, reading, cleaning, gardening, running, challenging games of Scrabble, and lots of Twilight Zone. Though this time spent with family was good, I can’t forget to acknowledge that it was put into place by a government acting unconstitutionally.
I cannot ignore the negatives. The media had so swiftly and seriously convinced a large majority of us into bowing to the narrative. Without so much as a thought towards the domestic violence or human trafficking victims numbers skyrocketing due to stay-at-home orders and schools being closed. We blindly followed orders from the government, when in a 2019 Pew Research poll an average of only %17 of Americans trusted the government. My sister, who is the person I’m closest to, and I saw tensions grow between us. Though we like to talk openly about our beliefs with one another, if became the elephant in the room. My mom is always the peace-keeper between our passionate debates, and I’m sure she was put under more stress due to our never ending dialogue. She is truly an example of mediation for all her opinionated children. I found myself forced to take off my rose colored glasses, and see how small in number the truly faithful are (or how easily swayed they have become,) with more importance being placed on physical health than our own spiritual health. Churches were closed, public Mass was pulled to a screeching halt for 3 months, and all things necessary for our souls were held from us under the name of public safety. It was hard to accept those around me who conformed to this new “social norm” without digging deeper towards truth, and I know in the coming months building those relationships will be challenging. I saw many people yoyo back and forth between what they believed, due to lack of clarity the media produced and ever changing fake news. We must look to the future, but never forget the past. We must never forget the injustices massively overlooked and never let this happen to our country again.
I hope that as we poke our heads out of our doorsteps and get back into the hum-drums of life, that we never forget this period where time seemed to have stood still. I hope that we truly appreciate every single day of freedom that has been fought for and protected in our country. We must never let ourselves take for granted the little blessings in life, from the way the grass feels in your toes to all the glorious sunsets painted above us in the sky. As I look towards life ‘getting back to normal,’ I have accepted the harsh reality that it is going to be a long time before we can say that things are normal again. There is still so much fear in people’s hearts, and I hope I can start to wipe some of that fear away, one heart at a time. I hope we all emerge from the lockdown excited to take on the world and make a great big beautiful tomorrow.
Lockdown also found me watching many of my favorite movies which I haven’t seen in a while, including, The Lord of the Rings. I was struck by a particular moment in the second part of the trilogy (The Two Towers) after Sam and Frodo have been through all heck trying to save Middle Earth by reaching the fires of Mount Doom to destroy the ring. Frodo says “I can’t do this, Sam,” which leads Sam to launch into one of the most inspirational monologues I have ever laid ears on. And, so I leave you with this:
“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why.
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back. Only they didn’t, because they were holding on to something…That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”