I remember March 12, and the school secretary telling me that her family had to make a decision about going south to Florida for the March Break. I suggested that they go, especially because all the kids were looking forward to the sun and sand, but I also mentioned that they should stay away from Disney World. Seems like ancient advice now. I was thinking “It’s only nine days. Not a problem.”
Over time, any thought of “days” has become irrelevant in this time of coronavirus. The discussion soon blended into “weeks”. The Ontario Premier announced that after March Break, the kids would be away from school for a further two weeks. “That’s okay. I’ll have lots of time for meditating, and reading books, and watching cool movies. Plus I’ll see the kids again on April 6” … which happens to be today. School now won’t return until at least May 4. “Hey, that’s only four more weeks. We’ll keep our physical distancing going for that time, and then I’ll be able to go out to Boston Pizza for a beer again.”
There’s a newer word that’s crept into the conversations of politicians and health officials – “months”. Perhaps the school year is over. I volunteer in a Grade 5/6 class in a school where the 6’s graduate. So maybe I’ll never see them as a group again. Perhaps there won’t be any US Open tennis tournament for me to go to at the beginning of September. I’ve been so looking forward to being in New York City and watching the best players in the world hit the ball back and forth!
A few days ago, Doug Ford, the Ontario Premier, gave us dire projections of coronavirus death in our province. Hidden amid the 3,000 to 15,000 figures (if we maintain physical distancing and good hand-washing) was a smaller number – “2”. Ontario health officials think that the pandemic could be with us for another 18 months to 2 years. Oh my.
So it could be that not only I won’t see the Grade 6 kids again, but also the Grade 5’s. Oh … immense sadness at the prospect.
Will it be two years before I can go to a party again?
Before I can have breakie with other local folks at the Belmont Diner?
Before I can hug my friends?
The future draws us forward with its unseen arms