President’s Corner: The laughs and frustrations of being quarantined together
Dear Salve Regina Family,
Many of us are experiencing such a strange existence these days – filtered through screens and cooped up within the same four walls – and the days start to blend together. I have two college-aged sons, and like our Salve Regina students, they are trying to finish their coursework online and keep connected to their friends. As a mother, I love that I’m able to see more of them and that they are safe, but I know they would much rather be back in their dorm room and apartment where they enjoyed much more independence.
Generally, spirits at home are okay, but the domestic habits that were slightly annoying in normal times become amplified. My younger son Jake is a cup-farmer, and when we run out of glasses in the kitchen we find most of them accumulating in his room. His older brother David loves to cook, and we have benefited greatly by this because his mother (me) is a terrible cook, but the kitchen often looks like a bomb went off in it. I’ve taken to calling my home “the frat house,” as it is in a constant state of disarray.
Privacy is another issue when one of us (or more) needs to be on Zoom or WebEx and doesn’t want the embarrassment of being interrupted or overheard. Both of my sons have girlfriends in far-off states, and we’ll often find them locked in the car trying to have a private conversation without their annoying parents in the background. Our fate is much easier than families with small children, however, as those parents are constantly toggling between their own work and trying to keep their kids engaged.
Personal hygiene or “upkeep” has completely frayed with all of us sorely needing haircuts, and our wardrobes range from casual sweats to ragged pajamas. Our eating habits have devolved, too, as we turn to a wide range of comfort foods high in fat and sugar while carefully avoiding the bathroom scale. Frankly, we look like a reverse “before and after” series, and we’ve become more and more unsightly as the weeks progress.
The only member of our household in a state of complete contentment is our dog, Ellie, a poorly trained rat terrier. She travels from lap to lap, getting treats from all of us, yet she somehow never gains an ounce. We are taking comfort in her lack of awareness, as she is perpetually happy and a constant source of affection.
But the inconvenience of staying at home pales as we witness each day case after case of families afflicted by COVID-19 or from its after-effects of job loss. Over 26 million Americans have lost their jobs and over 50,000 people have died during the last five weeks. The suffering is truly immense, and the heroism of those who are working around the clock to keep us safe is awe-inspiring. I know that my family and I are coming from a place of privilege as we battle this storm. With a true Mercy spirit, let us all do what we can to support those who have been directly affected, and may God give us relief soon from this chaos.
With prayers for fortitude and good health to all,
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