Returning: Don’t Tell Me That I Live In Interesting Times

I’m certainly glad I’m not in an administrative role in a school these days.  I know how hard it is on everyone in schools, trust me, Been There Done That.   SARS, Ebola, H1N1, riots, evacuations, bombings, threats….etc   Managing crisis situations is stressful.   And this one Exceeds Standards by a long shot; this one re-writes the rubric, re-writes elements of the playbook.  Haven’t seen this one before……

In a moment of complete seriousness, my hat goes off and my heart goes out to all of my educator friends and colleagues who are challenged right now.  Take care of yourselves and your families, friends and colleagues, and of course your students. The range of stress with adults and kids is all over the place, no doubt.  Projecting calm is important for establishing confidence and reducing anxiety.  Clear, thoughtful, timely and transparent communication is essential.  I don’t envy my friends and colleagues who are working hard every day to take care of kids and families.   Good luck with it as we all move through this pandemic.

So, I’ve spent all those years abroad……malaria, dengue, giardia, ameobas, lyme disease……and my first year of retirement it’s the damn corona virus!  After a steady diet of CNN news for days I have to say it’s just not a healthy way to spend time right now.  I have to wean myself off the news.  Stay informed….but not obsessed, right now I am both informed and obsessed!  I think I’ll take a bike ride or hike today….

Let’s see….besides news, what else can I watch besides news?  Sports (omg)…..unbelievable.  I’ve waited 35 years to be back in the US to watch March Madness in prime time. I retired so I could watch March Madness in prime time (not really)!  ….March Madness 2021 will be that much more fun to watch!!

It’s Netflix, Amazon Prime, and banging on my computer keys……oh, I forgot, I can watch the stock market, continually, as my retirement account sinks….that’s entertaining for sure….ugh and ugh and ugh.  That’s it….it’s clear….I have to win the lottery if I’m to make it to 95.

This morning the local grocery store was packed at 8:00 am. I commiserated with another old man (I am feeling old because I’m officially over 60 which has been identified as the age for people at higher risk….I’m actually in a high risk category now and all I get for that is a cheaper ticket at the movie theatre plus regular invites to join AARP). Anyway, the fellow Senior citizen and I were making our beer selections (anything but Corona, good line, huh, get it?) and we were both wondering what sporting events on TV we would enjoy a beer with…..the answer is none – maybe re-runs from the 90s….come to think of it I didn’t get to see many bball games in the 90s so perhaps that’s okay, and in prime time!   Beyond the beer aisle…..Toilet paper, canned goods, and frozen food aisles were thin and bare, having been picked through pretty well in recent days.  Walking down the aisle towards someone, we both veered right to maintain “social distancing”.  How quickly an expression becomes part of our vocabulary.

But, the fact is that this serious situation will be resolved by all of us taking individual actions that support the community. This morning an email thread went through our neighborhood in which people were offering their help and support for those who are in a more compromised health state, and really are at greater risk, by running errands or delivering food.  It was a brilliant thread of community support.

Anyway….I well remember how often, in times of crisis, we’d find humor in the expression “may you live in interesting times” or “crisis gives way to opportunities”, etc etc.  Ugh….if anyone says that to me in the coming days, I’ll vomit.  Stay well, keep your head up but sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands for 20 seconds while singing happy birthday, and listen to Dr. Fauci (the short doctor who is the voice of authority these days)!





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3 thoughts on “Returning: Don’t Tell Me That I Live In Interesting Times

  1. Hah- I remember after the tsunami and I came to your office all freaked out because of my fears for the leaking nuclear plant Fukushima. You honored my concerns and steered me towards Rachel Maddow. I always appreciated that encounter.

    I loved this piece. Take sweet care as we ride this one out.

  2. Hi Geoff,
    I was thinking the same – anyone who is in a leadership position during this period has so much on their plate. God Bless them.

    On a personal note – i find it strange that now that I have the time to do all the things I usually don’t have time for, I don’t feel like doing those things. Social media and news don’t help that situation either!

    Stay well, Geoff. Hugz.

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