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California Is Closed...Again

Well folks Governor Newsome shut things down again here in California, and to be completely honest, I believe everything opened prematurely to begin with. He was like you’re free to roam. Then he was like, you’re free to roam but with a mask. Then just 18 days later said sike!

March 2020, first stay-at-home order issued. For almost 100 days this order was in place, but, how do y’all think Californians responded? Before I tell you, reread the title of this blog.

I’ve never in all my years seen people be so defiant in a literal life and death situation. Californians have behaved like unruly children who decided to do exactly what their parents told them not to!

Let’s talk about this stay-at-home order. There were four phases. In phase one, people were asked to stay at home and only go out for essentials such as groceries, medication, etc... This was called the Safety and Preparedness stage.

Stage 2 - Lower Risk Workplaces (Retailers; curbside pickup)

Stage 3 - Higher Risk Workplaces (Personal care; hair/nail salons, gyms, churches)

Stage 4 - End of Stay-At-Home order

In my opinion, the asks were simple considering the alternative. The continued rise in positive cases, truly affected how long we stayed in certain phases. California made it to Phase 3 before this new shut down.

Now, let’s get into the real reason for this blog, mental health check in. When I said that California was on a stay-at-home order for just shy of 100 days, this wasn’t an exaggeration. My question to everyone out there is, how y’all really doing?

We’re a household of seven. Me, my girlfriend, our four children and the dog. Speaking for me personally, all of us except one has adjusted well (side eye...y’all with adult children, I’m praying for you). Since the start of this pandemic, we’ve loaded up on the board games, puzzles, and found creative ways to stay busy. For my girlfriend and I, we’ve been working (from home) like there isn’t a pandemic so we still have some sense of normalcy.

But what about those who don’t have any of that?

My heart goes out to the children who were abruptly taken out of school, people who live alone, stay at home parents, the elderly, and those who lost their jobs. Change can be difficult. Being in the house all day everyday for a week is a lot, so just imagine over three months! Every single person has been affected by this pandemic one way or another.

When it comes to the children, I think about my son. My oldest son who was a senior this year. He missed a lot! There was no prom. No senior ditch day. No gradnite. No graduation. He handled every setback like a champ, including accepting that his very first year of college will be learning from home. He is truly my hero!

I will say for me personally, I’ve adjusted relatively well. In the very beginning, I was overcome with fear. COVID had me straight paranoid. I was afraid to go out, and had my kids on lockdown! While, my fear has lessened, I’m still taking the same precautions. I’m still washing my hands, using sanitizer, WEARING MY MASK, grocery shopping less and in the early part of the mornings. I’m also staying at home doing my part.

Here’s what we’ve done as a family to embrace the stay-at-home order because this is truly about perspective.

  • Increased the time we spend together

  • Turned game night into a regular thing

  • Developed a love for puzzles

  • Channeled our creativity

  • Started a family book club

  • Trying new recipes

  • Learned new things

  • Strengthened our faith

  • Exercising regularly

Will there be days where it feels like it’s too much? Like it’s heavy? Kids getting on your nerves? Significant others getting on your nerves? Feeling like the walls are closing in on you? Yes, yes, yes and YES but remind yourself daily that this is temporary. In the words of the great Maya Angelo, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”.

I didn’t realize how much I loved outdoors until we were put on lockdown. The other day I was thinking, when this is over I want to take advantage of being free, so I created a “Post COVID Fun List”. Here’s my list:

What’s on your post COVID fun list?

Until next time...🦋

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