In one of my classes that I teach at UWA, I always have students interview someone who has gone through a serious life challenge and share about the challenge and how they overcame it. This spring, I asked them to focus on living in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. I was inspired by what they shared and here are some excerpts that I hope will inspire you also. Of course the actual people and students are kept confidential.
One student spoke of a teacher who had a baby at the beginning of the pandemic and stayed home more than the usual maternity leave. “The expectation of a teacher is to go back to teacher her classroom kids. When you are blindsided and this experience is taken away from you, you either fall to the wayside, or you grow from the experience. Support groups are not available in person, and long-distance connection is a must. This is a time in life that no one expects to ever have to experience, yet here we are. An experience that we never expected to encounter, and an experience that we never hope to experience again.”
Several students spoke of this experience with children who were in school. A common experience with children was to be happy with the extra spring break time. But in one case, the school child “tried to keep in touch with friends through social media, but it was not the same. She found that school was much harder without the teacher being present. She began to feel lazy and depressed and noticed her clothes were fitting snuggly after about five weeks of quarantine since all she seemed to do was munch on junk.” Through the family working together to survive the crisis, “The family has grown even closer than they were before, and love spending each day and new adventure together.”
As my student with the first case said, this is “A time to thank God for those that you have and a time to remember the opportunities that you are missing. Happiness, sadness, and worry are all a part of this experience that will define who we are and who we will become.”