During the corona virus lockdown my son, Lance, and I craved some sort of sense of normal. Being creatures of habit we made a schedule that we would follow for the rest of the school year. I needed to do distance teaching and he needed to do distance learning. To help with this we needed something to keep us on track and to give us some focus.
Neither of us wanted to be in front of the computer for too long and we both needed some daily exercise. We built in a recess period for us. We would go on a bike ride every morning after breakfast and before we went to virtual school. After eight weeks we began to have an affinity for seeing our lockdown routine “friends” each day, who were also obviously eager to have a routine and get out of the house. We even made some animal friends that we saw each day at the park.
As the lockdown is beginning to ease and the school year is coming to a close some of our lockdown routine “friends” are not out anymore. I even find myself missing them a bit. It became something that I looked forward to each morning. We would say hello to some of the same faces that we saw each morning. It was almost like feeling a kinship in our collective attempts at handling this once in a century situation.
Some of the characters that were part of our spring 2020 corona virus morning recess that I will miss are the cute elderly couple who smiled broadly and always seemed surprised at us as we bicycled quickly by them. The exercise group in the park with a few young people who were working hard to keep their fit, firm bodies and wanted to make sure they were getting an adequate dose of vitamin D. The older short woman who made sure to keep 6 feet from everyone, at times diving through bushes, or jumping over rocks to keep her distance. A couple of times she even leapt into the street, risking immediate harm over the potential future harm of COVID-19. The older gentleman who seemed determined to get rid of his cane during the quarantine. Someone’s grandfather who always dressed nice for his morning walk. Two middle aged male friends who were using the lockdown time to get active again. Our duck friends, Mohawk Duck and Boss Duck. Mohawk duck has a tuft of feathers on his head and Boss Duck is his best friend who sticks up for him and can take out any of the other ducks. Our recess wasn’t complete unless we said hello to them each morning. Even the creepy guy who sang to himself too loud and cheered for my son and I on a couple of occasions will be missed.
Maybe it is our natural desire for human contact that made us all eager to share some sort of human interaction, even if it was something as small as a smile, a head nod, or a simple hello. I will keep doing plenty of exercise with Lance over the summer. But, it won’t take the form of our recess bike ride down to the park every morning at a specific time. It was fun to look forward to our outing. It was enjoyable to silently get to know other people and to see people also making the best of the bad situation. To all my lockdown routine “friends” I wish you well and I hope you have a great life. Thanks for making our 2020 spring recesses more memorable.