The Small Ways The Coronavirus Is Changing Me

It’s not just the big profound things that are changing. It’s also my everyday small choices, habits, and tastes for better, and for worse.

I bought a membership at a warehouse store. My late great father was a huge fan of them and buying in bulk in general. Way before he joined one, he was stocking up on cases of San Pellegrino and drums of Charles Chips. I was never the bulk grocery type and suburban life gives me the heebie-jeebies but I thought ‘welllll it only makes sense right?’ when this thing hit and so I did and I’m glad I did. Hello bulk Pirate Booty.

I buy and spray aerosol whipped cream on food. On a whim, I bought organic whipped cream and now realize this is a great way to amuse the kiddos and adorn their fruit without piling on the sugar.

I let my rising first graders play more games on their tablets. I used to let them play games on my phone when I absolutely needed to get out of a store, but I hid them on their tablets which were only used on weekends to watch movies. Ha! That is definitely out the window now. I researched the best learning games to augment our one-on-one lessons and I really see their impact. Their reading and writing has leapfrogged. That and watching me work from home has expanded their interest and knowledge of computers, the Internet, and what I do for a living.

I let my kids stay up a good 2 hours later than I did. I know we have more daylight, so that could be why, but it feels like there are FEWER hours in the day. Every day I make big plans and all of a sudden its 4pm and we’ve done half of what we set out to do so they end up going to bed after 9.

Dinner is later, we’re hanging out longer, dancing in the living room later, drawing later, and doing yoga with the dog later. Things are just less regimented as time goes by.

I cut hair! That’s right folks. I don’t know about you, but I’m a hair stylist now. First I cut one kiddo’s hair using small cosmetic scissors combined with whatever blunt scissors I had laying around before realizing I needed the right tool for the job and ordered some real hair cutting scissors for the next child and step by step gave that one a sharp bob and bangs which looks adorable and then cut my own hair by putting it in a ponytail and lining up bands every few inches and cutting off the ends (saw it in a YouTube video).

I’m finally getting use out of the beautiful powder blue bike that my ex-husband bought me just before I got pregnant with twins (which is when I stopped going on bike rides altogether). We’ve been all over Raleigh and have become regular bike riders as a trio.

Progress Lost! My 8 months of working out has gone to s** and I’ve put on weight with more snacking and honestly, more beer at the end of the day. I loathe working out at home. I’ve done it on and off the past few months but it just is not the same as getting out of my home and into a clean studio with a live teacher and the motivation of other people. I am a single mom so I can’t go running alone so its workout videos or nothing. The bike rides are good but it doesn’t replace strength training. I’m still working on this one.

It’s hard now as we have to balance the fatigue of staying away from people with the still very real threat of the virus. I have let them play with neighborhood kids, one of which is back in a day care situation. Not ideal but you can’t live on Zoom forever (can you?). I don’t have any easy answers to this. We wear our masks and have poured alcohol gel on our hands until they’ve shrivelled into lizard claws. We’ve let go and been to a public pool which I’m convinced is as safe as it gets, and we’ve eaten on the outside deck of a restaurant hosed down with anti-viral spray. Life goes on in limbo as the world heaves a big painful moan for yet another senseless murder of a black life. Transformative times.

This is an older article I never published because I wanted to make it as tight as possible so a publication would pick it up and I let it languish in my drafts folder. It feels like forever ago now with the turning point of George Floyd’s murder and the whole world leaving their houses to take to the streets. This is a time of unprecedented change. The world is throwing up its toxins. That’s for the next article…

Creative writer and strategist / storyteller for brands. VP of Marketing at tech company. You can find me at www.chaunceyzalkin.com and www.slcontentstudio.com

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