Much of the first month of COVID-19 Lockdown here in Chicago was challenging. However, for myself, there was also a feeling of newness, almost excitement, with schedules and expectations being different. Embracing and making time with old friends was wonderful, learning how to use ZOOM was a novelty, and only setting my alarm clock once for a month was pretty cool. There was also an underlying hope that the situation would resolve itself quickly enough that there would still be June graduations and life could somehow go back to normal this summer. There was also disbelief that this pandemic was even happening. Hey, if we just shelter-in-place, if everyone I know just shelters-in-place, this whole COVID-19 will just happen somewhere else.
This past week felt different. Maybe it was that the newness had worn off or that on Monday we officially returned to work after Spring Break or that also on Monday I went in to school for the first time in a month to pick up teaching resources or that we woke up to snow on both Wednesday and Friday mornings, but one word kept popping in to my head all week: prickly.
My world felt loaded down with prickly issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, actually covered with prickles like a chicken pox outbreak. I felt that I was being continuously pricked by challenges related to jumping in and adapting too fast to remote teaching, as well as being very uncomfortable with how things were being messaged and frustrated with scheduled events like virtual meetings I was scheduled to attend having login issues that were out of my control. I also found that with everything going on, my disposition was super prickly–and still is, frankly. Things have really been vexing me this week and I feel that I have had a very short fuse compared to the prior 4 weeks of these troubles. However, that makes sense with so much being discombobulated and out of sorts.
One area where we did gain clarity, however, was whether or not we will be returning to our schools this school year. We will not. From local NPR station WBEZ:
With Illinois’ COVID-19 deaths still rising sharply, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Friday the closures of public and private schools across the state for the remainder of this school year to help slow the statewide creep of the coronavirus.
“My decisions are hard ones, but they follow the science, and the science says our students can’t go back to their normal routine,” Pritzker said at his daily COVID-19 briefing. “Therefore I am suspending in-person learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.”
Remote teaching for the next 2 months, here we come! This should be interesting, that’s for sure.
Anyway, I’m hoping this feeling of prickliness is short lived–or at least wanes off. In the meantime, here is a video of my classroom and the courtyard outside my room which I took when I was allowed in to school on Monday to pick up some of my teaching resources.
And here are some pics:
Stay safe everyone.