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Just Like That

Back in January, there was news about a very serious Coronavirus outbreak in China. We read all the stories about how it had taken over the city of Wuhan and had begun to spread throughout China and to other countries. It seemed only a matter of time before it would reach our shores. Right now January feels like eons ago. Funny how a couple months can seem like a lifetime when so much changes. Fast forward to March. In the span of two weeks we went from speculation about how far the virus might spread to wondering what happened to all the toilet paper. We heard the stories out of Italy. A whole country was on lockdown. People were dying at an alarming rate. Was this really coming here? It’s all so surreal. I think denial kicks in to protect us from going insane. But then there are moments, perhaps while lying in bed, trying to get some much-needed sleep when all at once your protective layer of denial begins to crack. When you hear the individual stories, that’s when it all becomes real. When the NBA announced they were suspending the season, I got an eerie feeling. Within days, the NCAA went from planning to hold their annual tournament in empty stadiums to cancelling it all together. The NHL suspended its season. Baseball postponed the beginning of their season indefinitely. Now we are beginning to shut down entire cities. And just like that, here we are. Talk shows are being broadcast from empty studios, restaurants are being forced to close their doors, schools are closed, non-essential businesses are being asked to shut down, and still no toilet paper. There’s a sense of uncertainty that is very unsettling. The world is changing before our eyes. We make our jokes, share amusing anecdotes about how we our spending our self-imposed quarantines. We find new ways to work the phrase "social distancing" into our social media posts. But what about our psyches? What about our souls? When you think of the enormity of it all, it can be overwhelming. The thought of how many people have lost their jobs, the thought of nursing homes, struggling to keep their tenants from being exposed to the virus, parents who need to stay home with their kids but can’t afford to miss work. It all seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. Just like that, all of our lives were different. It’s more than just a bunch of people who are suddenly on unscheduled vacations, trying to find ways to fight the boredom. It’s so much more than that. Our world is changing. With every day that passes, the memory of when things were normal seems more and more distant. And it all seemed to happen just like that.

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