Our Pandemic Story Week Seven Online School

Every week of the pandemic has arrived with a new theme. Know what I mean? But, oh my God, this week was not my favourite. This is week seven of our pandemic story and online school.

I was all set to write a pandemic story about how well we were doing, making the best of this social distancing/ quarantine/ lockdown situation. On the weekend, I literally said out loud: “I am so proud of all of us. We get up and get dressed every single day and we try to do something, do work, take a walk, go for a quick hike. Bake or make or create a project, food, bread, cookies, treats.”

In fact, I truthfully told a few people my teens were doing well at online schooling and mostly doing their work and they were. I was not being smug at all, just saying I was proud of them for trying to make the best of a crappy situation. Doing our part. That’s right. Stay home. Plank the curve. Flatten the curve and all of that.

And then the universe laughed at me.

Pandemic Life – Week Seven.

This week, has been a hot mess of waking up, doing my online Yoga with Adriene, which I am still happy to maintain. BUT, can’t seem for the life of me to find an ounce of energy. Last week and the week before I pitched my head off and wrote a lot of content for CBC Parents. Happy to be paying my mortgage and sharing some of our stories there still. But, Monday seemed to usher in a whole new ball game.

Rubber Meet Road

So, I think the first trigger was the voicemail from a teacher that showed up when I was knee deep in sanitizing and disinfecting all of our washrooms Monday morning. “Hi, Mrs. Schuck, (one of the girls) has not turned in several items this month.”

“Well, that is news to me.”

Not even a day later came the email from the other girl’s teacher stating: “Hi, the work your other daughter sent through on Friday was a blank page. I don’t think she intended for that to happen, so can you have her try to submit it again? Sure, sure. Told my younger girl to try again and resend. She did the work, but it didn’t go through. Eventually, it did after we found it and resubmitted. Then it seemed that work started to pile up for both of them.

All of that might have been simply a day of frustration, but to be honest the week ended as it began. Throughout the middle, there were numerous technical glitches and slow wifi and a wee bit of desperation, maybe.

All along I have been hands off allowing the kids to bake and craft and hike and walk with me. Mental health first, I said. Except, when school actually transitioned online they started to get invested.

“It’s something to do Mom. I miss school.”

So, I rolled with it and I was happy that they seemed to be doing well. The tech glitches tripped us up and the calls and emails kept coming. For a bit, I was a fan of online schooling, but this week it just started adding frustration to an already stressful situation. My kids deal with anxiety on a regular basis and it’s obviously heightened right now, so I am not so sure what they are retaining.

Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross honed the idea of the five stages of grief in her 1969 book On Death and Dying, inspired by her work with terminally ill patients.

Five Stages of Grief

She is the one that said there are five stages of grief.

The five stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I think about these often in the context of actual grief itself from the loss of a loved one and in the context of parenting a child with special needs, and adoption. Kubler-Ross wrote a second book which argued that grief and loss stages also apply to situations that involve loss.

So, the five stages of grief also apply to coronavirus and social distancing and life before and after the virus. Right now, we are stuck in the middle and I keep hoping we will get through soon. We continue, not unlike others, to pass through each of the stages, just doing our best.

Ultimately, we are all well and I am ever grateful for that and taking precautions every day. WE are still trying. Until recently I thought what’s the big deal about online school? Do it, don’t do it. But, I am not so convinced that it’s working well right now in the middle of a pandemic.

Next week will be something entirely different, I’m sure. Who knows what comes next?

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.