Kat Kelly – On an average Sunday in early March, 2020, we sat around our dining room table, watching the news, reading the reports, and debating whether we should pull our children out of pre-kindergarten due to the impending incoming COVID-19 wave in the US. We decided that we would do just that and that in two weeks we would know more about the virus and about next steps.
That was over 14 months ago and time keeps ticking. We haven’t sent our children back into the classroom. We grown-ups have only recently been in a store (thanks science). We are limiting doctor visits to emergencies only. We haven’t seen friends. There have been no typical holiday activities, restaurants, coffee stops, and the list goes on.
I have shared the stories of my children who have health conditions that we monitor, but it is not often that I have shared my own vulnerabilities. I am high risk. That is my truth. And while I am fortunate to have gotten vaccinated, given the concerns for myself and most importantly my children, I am still extremely cautious.
It is a little odd, as I know so many people who have consistently taken very few precautions, yet they have pretty big risk factors. But, by early 2021, stories of people planning their 4th or 5th trip were getting emotionally exhausting.
I used to travel every other week. My family and I would hit the road in our RV every eight weeks or so. We went all over the southeast and even had a couple of long-haul jaunts. But, we sold the camper in March of 2020 for a number of reasons.
Some days are harder than others. When I first crafted this piece, the days were challenging. I had been doing my work, exercising, thinking about my businesses, and of course parenting and partnering, but reading the mommy boards full of, “we really want to get out and travel.” And, “I’m going to my friend’s wedding and want to drink. Is it safe?” Reading this stuff was exhausting. Really? A year in and these were the questions?
When I first started writing this piece, it was February 2021 and there was still no end in sight. I drove for a curbside pickup of a slice of cheesecake to eat my feelings. Outside the mall where the Cheesecake Factory was, it was like black Friday. I had to call my scientist friend to ask if I was crazy and if I was doing this wrong. Naturally, she reassured me. But it feels like everyone else had continued to live large while I remained squirreled away ticking off days on the calendar.
As more businesses adapted, I started to worry that businesses may slow their offerings to those of us who remain super cautious. As the year has gone on, we have seen that play out.
At the time of this writing, curbside has become increasingly difficult as service workers are harder to come by. We have longer wait times when we go places. It is hard to get vendors to commit to safety and security and the messages are starting to get buried.
While things may be looking up at this time, what we have learned since early 2020 is that nothing is a given and we must be prepared to pivot. We are connected globally and we must honor that. At the end of the day, we need to care for one another. I wish we were turning out of this with that as our global lesson. However, all too often, the craving for “normalcy” seems to be leaving many forgetting the greater learning here: love one another, care for one another, and be prepared to evolve and adapt.
Kat Kelly used to have to leave her home every day, but she has learned to embrace being there and wearing yoga pants and tank tops for days on end.