Community Magazine

Keep the Home Fires Burning During a Pandemic

By Thegenaboveme @TheGenAboveMe

Keep the Home Fires Burning during a Pandemic

I'm spending way too much time in my office. 

Most of my posts take an objective tone--whether using a first person or third person narrator.

Today, I am going to dispose of my usual "let's present some research" approach. 

Instead, let me testify of the value of keeping the home fires burning. 

Sometimes it is easier to focus on other tasks than just keeping the basics running. Sometime in March, the basics of home and hearth have come into sharper focus. 

Keep the Home Fires Burning during a Pandemic

Image by BladDad.

Because one of my three classes this semester is a first-year seminar set in 5th Century Athens that includes each of my twenty students having a patron from Greek mythology, I have been thinking a lot about divinely inspired virtues. 

Today I am thinking about Hestia and the value of a calm, grounded home. 

Here is a quick overview of the domestic (in)tranquility in the Austin abode. 

Spoiler Alert: The pandemic is making everything more complicated for all five members of the family (my spouse, two adult children, dog and myself. 

1. My husband is an administrator at a university which includes residential halls, internships, and students hailing from several states and countries. 

2. Our twentysomething son lives and works a 24 hour drive from his parents. He is taking a gap year to establish residency. His first job was with a restaurant which had to furlough employees more than once, so now he works in a bakery. A houseguests--visiting Provo, UT to attend a wedding--just tested positive for COVID-19. So now the houseguest is quarantined with the four rent payers (my son is one of the renters) for two weeks. 

Our son has viral-correlated symptoms (headache, low-grade fever, high, dry cough, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue). His test administered Mon, 28 Sep came back negative for SARS-CoV-2 today. But the infected person is still in the apartment.  

Keep the Home Fires Burning during a Pandemic
3. Our teenage daughter lives four hours away and attends a large state university that has had a high infection rate. She has a double major in music performance (trumpet and piano) as well as music media production. We do not get regular updates from her because she is busy. Also, she has a low-communication style. 

4. Our children have six living grandparents living in three states. They have a range of ages from 78 to 86. Some still work part-time, drive, and live in a tract home; others live in assisted living, which presents a lot of limitations during a pandemic. None of them live within a day's drive for me. 

5. I am teaching three university classes online using Zoom, MS Word, Paint, PowerPoint, Blackboard, Outlook, Sign-Up Genius, library databases from two campuses, YouTube lectures on Ancient Athens as well as some guilty extracurricular pleasures: Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Libby, and Google Scholar. 

Keep the Home Fires Burning during a Pandemic
I am offering 15 additional hours of Study Halls and Conferences so that students receive individualized instruction. I do not want them to feel as though the technology is robbing them of access to their teacher or the opportunity to learn based on their preferred learning style (verbal, visual, auditory, social, tactile). I am using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction as well as a combination of lecture (very little), group projects, and student-led instruction.  

6. I transformed the content in two of my classes in order to study the pandemic: 

  • How SARS-CoV-2 presents challenges to Long-Term Care administrators
  • How SARS-CoV-2 presents additional challenges to already vulnerable populations. 
7. I do not attend the gym, church, or any social events. My husband and I have six high risk factors between us. I use grocery pick up twice a week and get carry out once a week. I miss the gym a great deal. I miss my gal pals. I am trying to recalibrate so that I do not feel confined or lonely. On the MBTI I am a mix between ENFJ and ENTJ; however, as a child, I was a mix between INFP and INFJ. Maybe I can go back to being an introvert?  
Keep the Home Fires Burning during a Pandemic

8. I have set up a few slots each week on Zoom so that I can read to children I used to teach in the junior Sunday School. It's nice to read to kids ages 3 to 7. They are a delight. I thank the mothers for scheduling with me and for managing the technology on their end. 
Keep the Home Fires Burning during a Pandemic
9. I switched to a standing desk, and I bought some hand weights. I still am not as fit as I was before March when I was attending between 5 and 8 fitness classes at the YMCA each week. I have become attached to the dog so much that I bought flannel PJs last week that are covered with cartoon dogs sporting winter scarves, vests and hats. 
10. My eyes are fatigued from staring at Zoom, MS Word, Blackboard, Outlook, etc. that I am now listening to audiobooks and podcasts. That's been fun, but my retention for some genres is very poor. 
Well, that's the update from my home and hearth. 
How are you doing now that we are six plus months into the pandemic? 

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog