Thursday, April 23, 2020

Stay In! Happy Friday….or wait, is it Thursday?

by Peggy Robin  

If you’re working from home, or you’ve been laid off, or you have rearranged your life to fit the shelter-in-place new world, it’s easy to lose the distinction between the weekend and the regular old Monday-to-Friday drill. But when you start losing track of the days of the work week, then you know you’re in trouble….a sensation that’s been perfectly summed up by a current internet meme:

The fuzziness of the days is not helped by reading the virtual Washington Post either. It’s the version that pops up on your computer, as opposed to the one that lands with a thud on your doorstep – or maybe in your bushes --wrapped up in an bright orange or dull gray plastic wrapper. Prime example of a WaPo time-slide was the recent story about how apartment dwellers are dealing with the news that someone in their building has tested positive for coronavirus. If you take your Post online, it was Monday, April 20 when you read about it. But if you get your WaPo in the form of black, smearable ink on newsprint, then you didn’t know a thing about it until you unfolded the paper on the morning of Wednesday, April 22, and saw the story on the front page. (I like using this article as my example, because it happens to be about a topic that was first discussed on the Cleveland Park Listserv way back on March 28 – and the Listserv was featured prominently as a source of some of the arguments described in the article.)  

If you’re confused by the strange flow of days, how are your children handling it? Do they miss their formerly timed-to-the-minute schedules? The lives of Cleveland Park children have long been reputed to be planned out like precision drills, each day packed with lessons, enrichment programs, sports practices, music lessons, play rehearsals, chess club, not to mention running up new records at Minecraft, while translating Japanese haiku in Latin, as they’re shuttled between activities in giant SUVs. Now that they’re no longer out of the house for seven to ten hours of the school day, how are they spending all that unruly, free-form time? Are they learning to flow with the circadian rhythms of nature? Or are they just getting squirrelly? Or do you wonder how this bizarre episode in history has filtered into their subconscious and will drive them in unknown ways for the rest of their lives?
You may not find out until one day, far into the future, your child writes what turns out the be the great American novel of Coronavirus era.

In the meantime, speaking of children and literature, here’s a repurposed children’s classic to produce a rueful smile of the day (which, by the way, is still Thursday):
“Alexander and the Day That Blended Into Every Other Day Like Some Kafkaesque Nightmare with No Merciful End In Sight”

The “Stay In” column (formerly known as the “Get Out!” events column) is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays. Or is it Fridays?   

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