How to cope in lockdown
Self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic looks different for every family. I was quickly reminded how resilient kids are when the world around them zigs instead of zags. Because our son couldn’t play with his friends, he made new imaginary playmates and found make-believe games to entertain himself. Walks around the block turned into ninja adventures, and bath time became a prehistoric event. I quickly realized that I wasn’t actually documenting life-altering changes. Instead, I was documenting the everyday possibilities of a child. The ups and downs of everyday life. So in my attempt to document a historic event, I realized that every day is a historic event filled with moments we can never get back.
Jason Vinson, 37, from northwest Arkansas. Pictured above: His son, Zayden, 2
The day I went back to work from maternity leave and enrolled my then-5-month-old son in full-time child care is the exact day I got an email — two hours into my morning back at the office — that his school would be closing indefinitely. This was March 12, which is also ironically my wedding anniversary. The next day, my company issued a work-from-home order that has since extended past the initial two-week period they anticipated. I never imagined I would be adjusting back into my full-time managerial role while taking care of my infant all day. I have cried more in the past several weeks of quarantine than I did the first four weeks postpartum.
Now that this has settled into a reality, we make sure our work comes to a halt at 5 p.m. each day so we have the next two hours as a family, whether we stroll the neighborhood or lounge on the deck. After our son goes to bed, it’s just us — dinner, wine and a mindless TV show. We’re a naturally on-the-go family, but this experience has helped us settle down and take in the beauty of things closer to home.
Kayla K., 31, from Atlanta, Georgia
I have been entertaining my two daughters during our quarantine time by teaching them “life skills” practically every day. Every weekday morning, my wife and I get the girls up at 7 a.m. and out the house by 7:30 a.m. for a 1 1/2-mile walk to get the blood pumping and get their minds right before online classes so they are not at home just sucking up A/C. When we get back home, it’s school work and then life skills.
Earl Bedford, 59, from Tarpon Springs, Florida
As a school secretary myself and my husband already working from home, we are a pretty normal family with three kids: an 18-year-old high school senior, a 14-year-old freshman and an 11-year-old fifth grader. It started off sad: my senior unsure about her future and my fifth grader missing his last moments of elementary school. I used to wake at 5:30 a.m. Now, we wake at 7 to start distance learning. We are enjoying the time together but definitely miss our lives outside of this house. We walk every night as a family at 7 p.m. — even the dog is set on our new normal. My senior still works at McDonald’s, as she is an essential worker.
Sylatoya Bedward, 39, from Tavares, Florida
Although we have been lucky that our home has been sanctuary in quarantine, March was about 300 days long and April about three years long. My granddaughters swing between precious and not. It’s taken ingenuity to entertain the children while giving parents space to work. To keep our humor, we’ve been texting funniest home photos/videos to each other.