COVID-19: Vivienne’s Take

I was reminded recently that the point of a blog (or at least this one) is to write the family memories down lest we forget them. This is a thing I haven’t done during the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic, the beginning of which coincided with my sudden heart issues, and throughout which we survived by simply taking one day at a time.

As we near the “end” (Lord, let it be so), I am feeling more reflective than I’ve had the capacity for up until now. So here we are… What do I want to remember? What has this been like for Vivienne and Hugh – what will they tell their grandkids someday about it all?

Vivienne (9) is currently cozied up next to me on the back deck, reading over my shoulder and providing critical analysis… so let’s start by interviewing her about the past year and put her interest to good use.

What’s the first thing you remember hearing about COVID-19?

Vivienne: The first thing I heard about COVID-19 is something one of the kids in my class mentioned in second grade, that there was a rumor that someone in China who ate a bat got sick with COVID.

Mom: I remember you being really shocked about that, and then you found a dead bat in our rain barrel and came screaming in the house while I was on a video call. Do you remember that?

Vivienne: Yes! I don’t remember if I thought the bat had COVID because I didn’t know that much about the sickness, but I was super creeped out by the bat!

Mom: I had a lot to explain to my coworkers.

What did you think about school closing last spring?

Vivienne: I don’t remember too much about it because it happened while you were in the hospital, so I was more stuck on things happening with you.

Mom: That makes sense; it was a crazy time. You and Hugh were so sweet and helpful to me. Do you remember our home school sessions before the school officially started remote classes? Like our learning about different composers and doing that spring scavenger hunt out in the garden?

Vivienne: Yes, I do. At first it seemed like it was just going to be a fun break from school, but you were in very rough shape, aaaand then remote school started.

Mom: Yes, that was super hard. I’m proud of us for how we figured out how to work together. Remember how we were both set up with our workstations in the dining room?

Vivienne: Sort of.

Mom: What do you remember best?

Vivienne: ZOOM.

Mom: Your Zoom calls or mine?

Vivienne: Both. YOU were too loud!

Mom: Well, my apologies! Seriously though, you and Hugh did need to learn some video meeting etiquette.

Vivienne: Humph!

First virtual class of the pandemic… 22 second graders on Zoom.

What did you worry about during the pandemic?

Vivienne: There was so much to think about. I did worry about who would get COVID and what would happen if we were around them. I wasn’t sure if kids or grownups would get it worse, because no one knew who would get really sick or die.

Mom: Yes, I think a lot of people shared that worry, and still do. Anything else?

Vivienne: I was less worried when we learned that kids don’t get it as bad as grownups.

What has in-person school been like during the pandemic?

Vivienne: Different, but good. I like the smaller class size, especially because I only have 7 kids in my class so it’s easy to ask questions.

Mom: You have become an excellent reader this year! Do you think your small class helped you learn extra fast?

Vivienne: No, because I really pushed off with reading over the summer before school went back in person. I think the Magic Treehouse series really got me going, because I finished one in a day and started the next one that afternoon, so I knew I was ready for bigger chapter books. And that’s how I came to the Harry Potter series.

Mom: True, I wonder if you will always remember the pandemic in conjunction with the Harry Potter series, it’s been such a big part of your quarantine book list!

After nearly a full year back in person for third grade.

What are a couple happy quarantine memories from our months at home together?

Vivienne: Easter was special because it was just the four of us. We made a coconut bunny cake and dressed up anyway and still did an egg hunt in the garden!

Mom: That was really great, even though we were so sad to not be at church or with family. That was right around the time we decided to be in a pod with Nana and Papa. Remember that?

Vivienne: I was so happy we could see them and have other people to hug (besides you and Dad and Hugh)!

Easter 2020, quarantined at home.

Thanks for getting me started, Viv!

P.S. Vivienne has a LOT to say and suggests that I interview her once a month. 🙂

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