The coronavirus blues

Wendy SmithFarragut, The Farragut Insider

My coworker showed me a video of her 6-year-old’s plan to tackle the coronavirus. His elaborate scheme includes rapid maneuvers by both parents that end with Mason dropping a “cold worm” down his dad’s pants, which would cause him to “shake out” the coronavirus so Mason can capture it in a bag.

Let’s face it; that approach is way more exciting than what’s recommended: wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick and basically avoid anything remotely fun. I spent Friday penning announcements about Farragut’s postponed events—the Farragut Health & Wellness Expo (ironically) and Farragut Book Fest for Children – and reading about the cancellation of other big events. While we may be able to reschedule the Farragut events, the loss of the Big Ears Festival and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a double whammy.

Loss of weekend plans isn’t as hard as dealing with the long list of unknowns brought about by this new virus. Will our kids be in school until June making up for lost class time? Will my daughter get to walk across in the stage in her new cap and gown, or will the university just send her diploma in the mail? How long will it take for the economy to recover from the illness and quarantine of the workforce? What if I get sick and have to spend two weeks alone?

It’s a strange thing for so many events and rituals to come unraveled, and frankly, it makes me nervous. I’m less concerned about getting sick than I am about not being able to make plans. After all, planning is what I’m good at. I plan meals and parties and vacations, and I like to plan ahead in order to have the most control over whatever it is. The hotel for the college graduation was booked almost a year in advance, for crying out loud.

This is an uncomfortable situation for me. The coronavirus is requiring me to be patient and flexible, and those are not my best qualities. I like to go where I want, with whomever I want, and while I’m out, I want to be able to buy what I want without standing in a line behind people who are stocking their pantries for six months. It’s just plain inconvenient.

Let’s face it – I’m spoiled, and if you’re reading this, you probably are, too. Much of the world grapples with shortages of food, water and medical care on a daily basis; I shouldn’t complain about waiting in line when there’s food to buy and I can afford it. And I definitely shouldn’t fret about missing a college graduation when I’m fortunate enough to be able to send my kid to college.

Spoiled as we may be, I’ve been encouraged by those who have offered, via social media, to shop or run errands for elderly neighbors. Makes me think we might just have what it takes to get through a pandemic, after all.

Here’s my advice: appreciate the downtime and enjoy today, rather than planning for tomorrow. And keep an eye out for the cute kid pictured above. He’s got a bucketful of cold worms.

Town of Farragut marketing and public relations coordinator Wendy Smith is your reliable Farragut insider.


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