Days In The Life: Katie Mastorakos
Rainbows! That’s what the kids in my subdivision are drawing and hanging in their windows so that when people go for walks around the neighborhood, they can go on a rainbow hunt. Another neighborhood by us is doing the same, but with bears!
On the afternoon of March 12, I gathered everything I would need in preparation for the possible closure of the school, including, most importantly, my two bottles of hand sanitizer and my one container of wipes. It was good to finally get home, take a deep breath, hug my kids, and then pack for what had become our much-debated trip to Gulf Shores. I felt nervous, unsure if it was wise to make the trip; my husband felt more confident. As of that moment, there were zero reported cases of COVID-19 in Alabama. Two six-hour days in the car brought us to sunshine, surf, and what I can only call a surreal “vacation” experience.
The beaches were full of people, almost everything appeared to be open, the weather was amazing. But the real fear of “germs” led us to eat all meals at our condo, limit our activities to two games of mini-golf, and issue endless reminders to our kids not to touch any elevator buttons, door handles, gates, etc. On our last day, the State of Alabama officially closed the entire coastline, every single beach both private and public. The next day we drove home, in the rain, and my daughter got carsick about 3.5 hours into the 12-hour trip. All things considered, I feel incredibly fortunate that we had the opportunity to take that trip. And yes, when we stopped to use the bathroom in a hotel lobby, I did take that spare roll of toilet paper that was just sitting there–asking to go home with me!
Since returning, we are trying to get into some semblance of a routine and figure out how my husband and I are going to pull off working, “homeschooling” a kindergartener and third grader, and parenting all day, every day! I just created a daily schedule for the kids/us that is going into effect today (March 25) — I have no idea how it’s going to go, but I’m claiming a victory in that my kids have made their beds two mornings in a row. I remind myself often that even though life seems impossible at times, we are extremely fortunate in so many ways.
I’ve had my moments of COVID-related panic over just about everything: how many people are sick, will it ever end, will anyone I know get sick, will I get sick, where will I find toilet paper, how many people are going to lose jobs, will we go back to school, why aren’t people taking social distancing more seriously . . . I can spiral with the best of you, trust me. My sister and her family live in the suburbs of Chicago (there’s something to worry about), and my mother has health issues and is in an assisted living facility near my sister. Her building has been completely closed to visitors for about two weeks now (add to the worry pile).
But let’s end on a positive note! The sun is beginning to appear; it’s supposed to be 60 degrees today; and I’m going to take the kids out later to look for more rainbows!