I know we have all seen the memes jokingly talking about how, after so many days at home, people are falling apart, but how are we really handling it?

By Barbara High
bhigh@newstribune.info
Tribune Staff Writer
I know we have all seen the memes jokingly talking about how, after so many days at home, people are falling apart, but how are we really handling it?
I know I am blessed because I have food and I am home safe with my family … but if I am to be honest, I am struggling.
Now I am working from home; that means I am doing pages, sending packages, and writing stories. Doing this remotely through accessing my work computer from home is a struggle in itself. I can’t tell you how many times I have cried in frustration and told Liz I was going to throw this computer out the window.
Face it, West Virginia is pretty much cut off from the rest of the world when it comes to internet capabilities. When this is over, there needs to be a conversation about how our internet is a big problem in keeping businesses out of West Virginia. I think this current state of things will make it more apparent than ever as many West Virginians try to work from home during the pandemic.
Now add the fact that I have one in college who is trying to do school online, and a 7-year-old trying to do work online as well, and simply said, it is not working!!
Now should I even start talking about teaching from home? Wow, I do not envy the jobs of teachers!! As I sit here and try to first figure out common core math, then try to explain it to the 7-year-old, I don’t know who is more frustrated, him or me.
What is common core, and who came up with this? And for goodness sake when did we stop carrying the one!? I believe it’s like a sneak peak into algebra, but for tiny ones, lol.
Now when I say “frustrated,” I do mean frustrated. After starting out setting up my makeshift classroom  (you know - with cute flash cards and workbooks I had purchased to help further his education!), I realized I was as naive as an expectant parent excited to decorate the nursery, thinking this was going to be fun… I had no idea what was awaiting me. Even with my flash cards, notebooks, and cute pencils, I was not prepared.
Now first thing I will say is Jasper did not look at me like his teacher; I expected that. What I did not expect was for him to look at me like i am a total idiot, lol. This young man just assumes I am too old to understand!! I try to explain his lesson and he rolls his eyes and sighs. I have heard the words ‘I don’t understand’  so many times this week!
I started by explaining that although he was not in school physically, this was just like school. At this point the evilness of what we have come to call common core math had reared its ugly head, and we had both become frustrated. My patience had run out and I tried to explain to Jasper that he needed to listen to me.
At this point his patience was less than mine as he looked up at me and began to inform me this was nothing like school! How is it different, I asked?
My sweet little angel looked up at me and informed me that Ms. Jen  would never tell him to shut up and listen.
Well Ms Jen is a saint in my book, because all I can tell you is that the words that followed were worse.
With wide eyes, Jasper exclaimed that Ms. Jen would never EVER say that!!
So a big shout out to Ms Jen, for being amazing!
Now I am grateful for being safe with my family. With that being said, I am stuck at home with seven people. If the CDC takes the gathering limit any lower than ten, I may need you all to come get some of these family members of mine. Please start with the ones who don’t clean up after themselves!
So, seven people, five dogs, two cats, three chinchillas, a bird, and oh wait, three chickens… don’t get me started on the chickens! My hands are full!
I start each day with spraying enough lysol to eat a hole in the ozone layer. I then move to wiping down every surface in the house. I am still waging war with the ants, and sad to report that the ants are winning. These are dark times!
This week alone Jasper has had an asthma attack, caught a chest cold which required a trip to the doctor, and that one trip out to the doctor and store found us three days later with a virus that us parents come to know and hate as hand, foot, and mouth disease. Apparently it is making its way through the community, so stay vigilant, people!
Did I mention these are dark times? lol
So as I clean and disinfect, trying to keep my family safe, continue to work and teach, I am beginning to spring clean early. I try to occupy every second of the day. I am not even watching episodes on Netflix. I am staying busy! Probably because, if truth be told, I am scared. My anxiety is through the roof. I worry for my parents, for my asthmatic and chronically ill Jasper, for my sister who already has thyroid cancer in her lung, for my friends, my children, and even for myself fighting what I have been fighting. These days  I am filled with worry, and staying busy is the only thing that helps me.
I have handed out supplies to those in need, I have sewn face masks (and not well, I might add lol). I have raked the yard, cleaned my room, and done anything or everything I can think of.
It seems the world is going crazy, and times are hard and scary… and I know I am not alone in this!
At times like these we need to remember now more than ever that we are not alone; we are in this together. So let us not lose our compassion. Reach out to see if anyone is in need. Even if it is just to talk or listen. People are afraid; people are struggling all around us. Let us take the time to be there for one another. We are always stronger together.
So even though my quarantine time is something out of a horror story and a psych ward is probably where I will end up, I am here for each and every one of you who may need a friend, an ear to listen, or some supplies… I am here.
Find me on Facebook, call me on messenger, or send a carrier pigeon!! I don’t care how, if you need help, find me. I will probably be the one in the corner rocking back and forth talking to herself. Mumbling “Clean up after yourself,” “wash your dish,” or “who put this here”… But I will still be here… as we all will be.
This will not defeat us if we stick together. We have faced hard and trying times before; the same as our parents, and grandparents before them. We will come out of this and by doing it the same way they did - by sticking together. Just like the Depression, where neighbors helped one another, by sticking together and caring for one another.
We are in this together, each and every one of us. There is nobody I would rather go through this with than my strong, compassionate community.
Just saying….