How are we all doing? I mean like, really, truly honestly adapting/coping?
Personally, I feel like I’m living in a movie that I’ve watched once before and said, “Could you even imagine?”… yet here we are.
As I type this, it is less than 24 hours since the state governor implemented the order for Californians to stay at home. It’s also less than 24 hours since the announcement to postpone the 69th Annual Oakdale Rodeo.
Oh sure, I hear some of you scoffing at that second sentence. For me, a mom and community member first that second sentence is just as big as the first. Listening to a politician on television these days doesn’t seem to bring any comfort in our home.
Major decisions enacted by political leaders in a truly unprecedented time seem to leave us with more questions than answers. Now please don’t misunderstand I’m not here to criticize anyone in their respective roles at this time. That will surely come later. Until then, I feel like we’re living some box office hit holiday movie.
It’s a really hard time to be a journalist for small town news of a weekly paper. That reasoning falls ten fold as the days go by. Our schools have been closed, our events cancelled and now a “stay at home” order. Are we “essential”? I’m honestly not sure.
For today and this week, I say we are. Granted everyone can find all they want to know on the World Wide Web at any given moment. Google search holds every different variety of any story you want to find. Then of course we have Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, you name it.
As I sat and thought about this week’s column, how I felt, what readers might respond to, I thought about our current language. Then I did what every responsible journalist seems to do these days – I turned to social media (sarcasm).
My question simple: words you’re using today that weren’t in your vocabulary three weeks ago. Here’s a sample: essential, distance learning, pandemic, self-quarantine, social distancing, abundance of caution, coronavirus and hoarders were a few.
Then there were the fun responses: Wish I was at work. Drink some soda and ration that milk. You are restricted to three squares only. And the ever popular, where can I find toilet paper?
So that’s where it’s at. The movie continues and our world continues to look different day by day.
My hope as we move through this is really quite simple. Ever the rainbows and butterflies girl and an introverted extrovert this is indeed the time to take pause and recognize what makes us tick. Who can we be for our family, our loved ones and our community. It’s time to get creative without the help of Pinterest.
That’s the simplicity and the truth in all this as I reflect on the words and fun phrases my friends shared. This is not a problem which will be solved by the World Wide Web. This is a problem which few (in my opinion) completely understand.
Fear however won’t make it all end. Fear actually breathes life and creates its own pandemic. So here’s my action plan and forgive me as I reveal my ignorance and simplicity. When Friday at 4 p.m. comes I put my phone down, shut off the television (other than movie watching) and connect with the world God has gifted in front of me. So while my world may have shrunk, my faith and heart seem to grow.
Through it all, it could indeed be very much worse. Stay safe and stay healthy.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.