Thursday, March 26, 2020

The First Few Months of 2020

Well, so far 2020 has been quite a year. 

We started the year in Uganda on a humanitarian trip.  It was the experience of a lifetime and I will forever cherish our time there.  We were humbled by the simplicity and the joy with which the Ugandan people live their lives and we fell in love with them.  It was so meaningful to be there all together as a family and I think I would go so far as to say that it was totally life-changing for all of us.

 It had taken so much time and energy to get ready for the trip, that I felt like we came back and were in a bit of a funk.   It took us most of January  to reestablish good habits and to really find our groove again.

February came around and it was, well....February.  It was fine, we were doing our thing, but the days were short, and the 29 days seemed endless.     The one big bright spot was February 25th when Emma opened her mission call!   She was called to serve in the Canada Toronto Mission--speaking Spanish.   She goes into the MTC on July 15th and we are all very excited! 

Then March came and it was set to be a good one.   Cami was coming to spend spring break with us, and then we were taking off on a grand adventure to visit Matt and his family in Germany and then to my parents on their mission in Paris.   We also had short waystops planned in Oslo, Luxembourg, and Lisbon, because I'm a Crain and I had to make sure we were hitting some new countries too {Plus tickets were way cheaper into Oslo and out of Lisbon}. 

Then COVID-19 came along and changed everything. 

We were scheduled to leave for Oslo on the evening of Thursday, March 12th. We watched the news of COVID-19 with increasing wariness through the first week of March, but still thought that we should be able to go.   I did buy a little extra toilet paper, because I heard people were starting to freak out, but really didn't do anything else.    Then that second week of March came and there were new developments popping up by the hour.  Cami came to town on Wednesday--the same day Donald Trump announced that he was imposing a travel ban on flights from Europe.   At that point, we had already pretty much decided that it was not in our best interest to take the trip, but that announcement sealed the deal and made the decision a no-brainer for us. 

So we spent the next few days stocking up on food, baking treats (Cami!), and, in general, getting ready to hunker down for a bit.   During that time EVERYTHING was canceled--all the kids' classes, sports, activities, events, and even church.   Cami decided she needed to get home early to her hubby, so they could prepare to hunker down too, so she left several days earlier than planned. 

In the midst of all that, my parents found out that all senior missionaries were being evacuated from Europe.  Since they have a tenant living in their house, they needed somewhere else to stay.  We have a lovely, private basement, so we immediately offered for them to come here.  They accepted and we immediately went back to stocking up on more food for them and other things that would make their stay more pleasant.   People gave us a king-size bed, a toaster oven, a small fridge, and a microwave.  We bought a little hotplate, some bedding, and tried to make it as comfortable as we could for them. 

So now we are about two weeks into all this craziness.  My parents have been here 8 days.  Glen's been working at home starting this week.  We basically only leave the house  to exercise and go to the grocery store, although we've been trying to make that a lot less frequent than usual too.   It's all rather surreal and it's crazy to think that the whole world is essentially on pause for a while.

Cami and Garrett are safe in Texas.  Garrett's med school has put things on hold for now, since they don't want med students using up the precious supplies or getting exposed.  Cami's classes have been moved to online.   She is fortunate that her student life job is funded by a grant and she will continue to get paid, though she is no longer able to work. 

Spencer works at CVS and has been very busy.  He recently broke up with his girlfriend, so the busyness is good for him, though we are definitely worried for him being exposed to so many people during these crazy times. 

BYU moved all their classes online, but we have yet to convince Emma that she wants to come home.  She has two roommates that have decided to stay and few guy friends that are also staying and we are hesitant to cut her freshman year short, so we are not pushing her to come home.   The saddest part for her right now is that they've closed all the temples and she was not able to receive her endowments before all the craziness hit.  With so many missionaries being sent home right now (and the MTC being closed), she also worries about whether it will affect her mission.   We shall see! 

I do worry about COVID-19, especially with a husband and son with asthma, but more than anything right now I am worrying about the long-term effect on our society and economy with everything shut down.   I strongly dislike feeling "trapped" in our house, but have started to really enjoy the extra time with my peeps at home.  We've continued baking yummy treats, we are doing lots of puzzles together, and playing board games.  Ellie and Adam still have all their homeschool classes except one (one of the in-person classes was not able to meet online), so they are busy with school work.   They are missing the in-person interaction of all their classes, sports, and activities, but, again, are enjoying the more laid-back schedule. 

So, there you have it.  The last two weeks have been a blur and I have definitely shed a few tears over the lost opportunities (a trip to Europe, my parent's mission unexpectedly ending more than a year early, Emma's freshman year being cut short, the kids' sports' seasons ending before they really began, etc), but we are happy to be safe, together, and in good health.  The virus is really taking off here in the US now and I think this quarantine will likely last for several more weeks.  Schools in Virginia have already announced that they will remain closed for the remainder  of the school year.   WE will join the world this Sunday and pray for a resolution...a vaccine, an effective treatment, a slowing of the spread...whatever needs to happen to help life to get back to normal again. 


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