Dear Jack: Your 1st Week of 4th Grade, Actually in the Classroom, “Face Mask to Face Mask”

9 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

Despite 4th grade having had started a couple of weeks ago, it wasn’t until this week that you actually got to start going to your physical classroom at your school and meet your classmates, as well as your teacher, face to face.

Granted, when I say “face to face”, I of course mean “face mask to face mask”.

You explained to me that you are allowed to take your masks off during recess, “unless we get to close to each other”.

I then envisioned what the game of Tag would look like:

You keep the mask off until you’re close enough to tag the person, then you hurry to reach in your pocket to put your mask back on before you tag them.

Yeah… ’cause that oughtta stop the spread of Covid alright!

 

Love,

Daddy

Selfishly, I Admit, My Qualify of Life Has Improved Since COVID-19 Culture Began

I suppose it’s social media heresy in 2020 to admit this, but despite how weird the year has been for the entire world, my personal sense of well-being has undeniably improved since March, when the Powers That Be changed all the rules changed on how we are supposed to live our lives:

For me, it’s been more quality time with my family, an hour at the gym every morning instead of driving to work, and better efficiency at my job because I am not limited by the distractions of working in a real office… just to name the first obvious improvements that come to mind.

Yes, I recognize COVID-19 is a serious issue that has unfortunately taken the lives of thousands of people in the world this year; like heart disease, cancer, fatal accidents, diabetes, and suicide.

But I have refused to live in fear. Yes, I always wear a mask whenever I am required to. No, I never wear a mask when I am not required to.

I am one of those people who has a hunch that Covid will quietly fade away shortly after the upcoming Presidential election; this especially became apparent to me when public protests became popular during what seemed the most otherwise unlikeliest time. (No, I am not a Republican.)

This is a concept I wrote into one of the songs I wrote this year: “We all need therapy/Everything’s so tense/No hugs allowed anymore but it’s okay to protest…”

Just a few weeks into this pandemic, I was informed that I was being placed on furlough at my job, due to the government’s warnings about social distancing. While this news was disappointing, there was no interruption of cash flow, thanks to the unemployment checks that came seamlessly rolling in during those 6 weeks.

Back in January, we had already planned a vacation to Florida for July. We still took our trip and in no way did COVID-19 interrupt any of our planned activities.

Right after we got back from our vacation, I was able to start back to work again- but this time, exclusively working from home.

I work in Recruiting, which is like the sales division of HR. My job efficiency is very easy to track, as I have a certain minimum number of hires to make each month.

Since exclusively working from home, I have been able to easily exceed my monthly quota. Yes, I have put in more hours working from home than I would have at the office, but also haven’t had to deal with arbitrary stress of driving a total of nearly 2 hours to work each day.

Now, during the same time every morning when I would be driving to work (which inevitably created stress), I instead head to the gym for an hour (which relieves stress).

I am aware of the paradox in which the government, major news outlets, and much of social media tells me to fear COVID-19 and turn my life into a sanitarium; meanwhile, I see the same group of dozens of people at the gym every morning, six days a week.

No one at my gym wears a mask; nor ever has. None of us have ever shown symptoms of Covid. The only reason any of us don’t show up for a week at a time is to go on vacation.

My gym, in theory, is a perfect Petri dish; as is my daughter’s pre-school, which has remained open this entire time.

A couple of weeks ago, it was retroactively confirmed (with a valid medical test costing $80 per person) that multiple people whom my family interacted with back in May, had Covid at the time. We hugged these people, we shared meals with this people, and we were exposed in close living quarters with them for many days. None of us were wearing masks at any point.

I would suppose it would be miraculous if all 4 members of my family didn’t contract COVID-19, knowing that.

Most likely, we “had Covid” back in late May or early June. Indeed, I am very grateful that my family has the genes and immune system that allow us to be asymptomatic.

But even if, against the odds of science, I have not yet had Covid pass through my system, I still have no motivation to fear Covid.

I would rather enjoy the rest of my life, whether I have one more month left or 39 more years left, spending quality time with the people I love most.

And this has definitely been the year of quality time with family!

While I was on furlough from my job, I was able to spend the entire day with both of my kids; seven days a week.

Even when so much of the world was closed down, we took the Jeep out on dirt roads in no name towns.

I don’t fear Covid.

I have a more legitimate fear of randomly dying in my asleep every night when I lie down in bed each night.

Keep in my mind, I am a 39 year-old man who had a pre-existing existential crisis before all this happened. Really, if anything, Covid Culture has given me an even stronger sense of purpose and appreciation of life.

But, maybe I am nothing more than the exception to the rule.

 

Dear Jack: House Arrest Summer Camp

9 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Every previous summer of your life, I felt a bit guilty that you had to spend 5 days a week at a summer enrichment program, as opposed to hanging out at the house like I did during my summers as a kid.

Now, thanks to Covid Culture, your only option is to hang out at the house with Mommy and me; as we spend all day working from home.

It’s almost like trading one parental guilt for another.

I feel bad that I can’t spend quality time with you during the day, even though you are right there in the next room.

But we are making it work.

You are especially good at keeping me posted on your newest self-assigned Lego project; as our living room is currently an ocean of Lego blocks.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: What a Weird Summer! Do We Stop Caring About COVID-19 Now?

9 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

What a weird summer.

The “Post COVID Summer”- I guess? Now that we’re half way through June, it feels like the general reaction is that people are caring less about the pandemic; based on the news channels changing their focus on the next topic they want us to freak out about…

We’ve already traveled as a family to Florida this summer, and you get to go again next week with Nonna and Papa; so you are definitely having a vacation of a summer.

But at the same time, we just learned that as of today, your week of summer camp just got cancelled due to the owner of the camp getting COVID.

So yeah, it’s a weird summer. I don’t know what to believe.

But ultimately, I’m doing my best to help you have a good time and feel like a pre-4th grader! After all, you’re already spending much of your summer locked up in our house, as Mommy works from home upstairs, while I occupy the downstairs working from the kitchen table.

What a weird summer!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: You are Now 9 and a Half Years Old

9 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

You turned 9 and a half this week, during the time which was supposed to be your last week of 3rd grade.

It was sad yesterday as I drove to your school to pick up all your belongings from your teachers. The closest thing to closure you had for finishing 3rd grade was some Zoom calls with your class.

The tragedy is that, as I predicted last fall, 3rd grade would be your favorite by far. It is unfortunate it had to be cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But we still have each other and we still have our health. And we continue to still make life fun!

Love,

Daddy