Staying connected in the time of corona: let’s share our stories

Well, it’s taken me a while, but here it is: My first blog post in the midst of this incomprehensibly weird scourge. While I’ve written plenty of coronavirus stuff in my other life as a Times Union staffer, I’ve struggled to find the energy and insight to post something meaningful here. I need to weigh in, I kept telling myself. I have a platform. I should do something with it. But then: Something? What kind of something? And then: Oh, crap, it’ll have to be Profound. I’m too pooped to do Profound. And finally: I’ll figure it out tomorrow.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow crept in this petty pace until I realized, at long last, that I shouldn’t be thinking in terms of Profound, whether capitalized or not. I should be thinking about the everyday. The mundane that roots us, links us, makes us laugh in a time of isolation. The funny six-foot interactions we have with strangers, feeling kinship even as we veer into the street to avoid the plague. The ways each of us is trying to help — with a phone call to a friend, a gift to a pantry, a delivery to a family in need.

The little reminders of light in the darkness, assuring us that we’re still here. That we’re still human. That we are, despite everything, still connected.

Here’s a big one for me: going outside and finding community. An unexpected upside to COVID-19 has been the joy of walking in the early spring sunshine and seeing so many neighbors out there, stretching their legs. A lot of them are walking their dogs; a lot of them are taking a break from telecommuting to grab a blast of vitamin D; a lot of them are playing games with their children.

The other day I saw folks teaching a boy to ride a bike, and it filled me with gratitude — relief, even — to know that happy memories are still being amassed. That this one kid, at least, will grow up and look back on March 2020 with the remembered thrill of freedom and balance and force, of the wind against his face and the pedals beneath his feet and the loving hands that steady his ride and then, in an act of faith, let go.

And as I realized this, the moment become my happy memory, too. Parents love, children mount bicycles, and life prevails.

What are your own beautiful moments that turn into memories? Your own glimpses of light and causes for gratitude in the midst of COVID-19? Your own mundane, miraculous reminders of all that makes us human? Post them here as comments. As we move forward, I’ll do my best to amass them in subsequent posts.

The name of this blog is, after all, Figuring Shit Out. This is shit we need to figure out together. So let’s do it, my friends. Let’s stay connected, Coronavirus be damned.

15 thoughts on “Staying connected in the time of corona: let’s share our stories

  1. Any, another beautifully written observation.
    Yesterday I donned my wig, put on my gloves and read the first two chapters of the witches to the children of my two nieces on zoom. I told them to get their comfy slippers, a cup of hot cocoa and be ready for a fun ride on the imagination train. The technology of zoom has been around for a while but we have never used it as a family. Now I can be a part of their daily lives as never before. It is kind of nice. As far as zoom goes, I am thankful because it is so deadly isolated when you live alone. Our suicide survivors support group did a zoom meeting and it was great. I have been up north a lot this year so it was too far of a drive for me but now I can be at the meetings which are helpful. Hmm, I have cleaned out several drawers and even sharpened my knives. I have become a gourmet cook ( my opinion only). I have seen the kindness of people who have checkin in on me to see if I am ok. There are silver linings here. My only hope is that a cure will be found sooner than later. Be well everyone.

  2. Dear Amy, Thank you as always for connecting us. I was waiting (just a little bit) for your post. You make sense of this crazy world, which has gotten crazier. The little boy on the bike – what a lovely observation – life does go on. Our parents went through deprivation, our grandparents through Scarlet Fever; we can get through this. Who knew that our economy depended upon going to restaurants, flying and haircuts?
    Stay safe, you are a part of many of our lives..

  3. Hi Amy! The adult/child interactions outside provide the most beautiful moments. I’ve been fortunate to be with my sister in South Carolina and seeing people just taking long walks and jogging with kids and grandkids puts a smile on my face. For me, longer dog walks have been a blessing.

  4. We need to remember we are strong and can get through this fight and be on TOP! Keep safe and strong we GOT THIS!!!

  5. Meh. Profound is so overrated anyway, Amy. What you wrote was far better. So I just figured this shit out today: One of my adult sons is working at home, where he lives alone. He’s going crazy with the isolation. He’s never had a large circle of friends, and for whatever reason, he leans on my husband and me more than his girlfriend. Today, I decided to start texting him a stupid knock-knock joke every day, just to let him know I’m thinking of him. So we had a few fun exchanges, then he sent this: “As long as we’re under quarantine, I’m only going to tell inside jokes.” I think we’ve hit on something–not profound, but memorable. “Remember when…?” we’ll ask each other for years to come.

  6. I love watching nature unfold her springtime wings. It reminds me of who is ultimately in control when we foolishly think it’s us. The birds don’t give a shit… they’re still fluttering around finding mates. They deal with the life cycle and threats every day and yet thy keep finding tree limbs to jump to and chirping as they do. So thanks for writing… it reminds me to keep chirping ❤️

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