This last weekend, we did three dairy shows in three days.
I know, it was A LOT of work, especially with heat indices over 100 degrees and three hours of sleep per night. I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but I help the people we show with by taking my turn, staying up, making sure the heifers and cows stay clean. I scoop poop and make sure all our animals are fine. It’s not the most fun job, but the one that I love most because at 3:00 in the morning, it’s a great time to reflect!
Since the Covid virus isn’t happening here in our neck of the woods (please note the sarcasm), our fair went forward full steam ahead. We had carnival rides and school bus races and demolish derbies and a country concert. The fair had a plan, of course, but I didn’t see much of it followed (my very humble opinion, of course).
I must have been asked a dozen times, “Are you ready for school?. My answer: “Nope” We talk, I share a couple of things, they share as well, then we part away.
I wanted to scream, “Don’t ask me about school!!” Why you ask?
- I worry about myself. I’m not in a high-risk group, but being overweight and having gone through some health scares, it worries me all the same.
- I worry about my wife, a teacher of transitional kindergarteners. She’s dealing with the same nonsense, but she’s got the additional worries of the tech end. These kids aren’t used to this at all! We worry about bringing home the virus to each other.
- I worry about parents sending sick kids to school.
- I worry about no substitutes.
- I worry about no face masks. Like them or not, they are effective.
- I worry about the fact that three months ago, we were celebrated as people who took a crappy situation and made the best situation possible. Now, we are degraded, called lazy or worse because the Covid response was so bungled that cases are spiking when they should be going down, causing us ALL worry about our own lives. When did I sign up to fix society’s woes AND possibly become sick??
- I worry about my parents. I’ve seen them three times in the last five months, hugging them once. If I’m seeing 80 students per day, I’m not seeing my parents, period.
- I worry about the fact we had a county fair amid a pandemic. Everyone gives me the “I want normal” crap, but during this time, normal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Yes, we may not get a spike, but seriously, 5 days of fair? If there’s a recipe for an outbreak, here it is.. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t become a hot spot. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll have a glimmer of hope.
- I worry about the fact that community doesn’t see this as a threat. Yes, we live in our Lily white bubble with few cases, but bubbles pop.
- I worry about the fact my governor took thousands of hours put in by teachers, administrators, and community members, throwing them out the door to get her gold star by the president.
Every time someone asked me about school, my heart rate went up, with my mind going to these places, these worries.
Is this productive?
Is it doing me any good at all?
Does it do my own mental health any good at all?
The one positive I have is getting back to see the kids, but even then, I’ll be masked up so it won’t be the same. I’m back in my garden, pulling weeds and working up a sweat to detox from the negative feelings.
Yes, I’m anxious, but at the same time, indifferent. What can I do? We are going back. I bought a lotto ticket and won $4, not exactly my golden ticket.
Tomorrow, I go meet with my team to plan our start. I dread this because who wants to plan something that could change the next day?
So, check-in on your teacher friends, they aren’t well. Let them know it’s ok to be anxious, to be a little worried. Offer them chocolate and wine, sit with them, and listen.
They’ll tell you a tale, one of simpler times, where kids were able to eat as a class and so we’re the adults!
Not this year.