By Tammy Davis
Part 12 of a Very, Very Long Series – The Corona Chronicles
When Covid-19 hit back in March, we lost our routines. Quarantine wiped out the structure of our lives. Every day was Blursday. Our bizarre spring rolled into an unusual summer that didn’t feel like summer at all. No big family reunions. No big neighborhood parties or potlucks or picnics. Trips got delayed and then cancelled. Summer fun got undone in 2020.
Before Covid-19, August meant back-to-school and fresh starts. This year, we shopped for masks instead of book bags and new shoes. Some adjusted to life behind plexi-glass dividers while others sat in front of computer screens.
No Saturday morning soccer games or football tailgates this fall. No local festivals. Not this year. For Halloween, many folks got creative and handed out treats in a safe way. Some stayed home.
Next up? Daylight savings. I always struggle with the time change. Can’t blame Corona for that one. I adjust some clocks but not all of them, and then I can’t remember which ones are correct. On that first daylight-savings Monday when I pulled into the school parking lot, I wasn’t sure if I was an hour early or an hour late. I was a mess. I sat in my car and prayed. I should have prayed that my daughter would adjust all the clocks. Instead, I prayed for strength to teach during a pandemic. I understand the importance of face coverings, but I don’t even know what most of my students look like. Masks muffle voices and make reading facial expressions almost impossible. I prayed for peace during the contentious upcoming election. As November 3 drew closer, my country seemed unrecognizable to me as well. My prayer list was lengthy that morning. I was already tired before my day began. I grabbed my Diet Coke and went into the building. Turns out, I wasn’t early or late. I was right on time. I was right where I was supposed to be.
As I walked down the quiet halls before the middle-school children arrived, I heard our high school chorus rehearsing a Christmas carol. I had missed those sweet early-morning sessions this school year. In order to follow safety guidelines, they had been practicing in different locations and not on my hall. I didn’t realize how much I missed their early morning rehearsals until I heard the singing for the first time in months.
On my messed-up Monday morning, the students were in their usual pre-Covid spot, and I was in the perfect place to hear their beautiful voices. I stopped and set my book bag down by the lockers and listened.
Their song wasn’t perfect yet, but it was perfect for me. It was just what I needed. As I listened to those high school students practicing, I knew exactly what time it was. Christmastime. Even in pandemic, Christmastime was coming.
We’ve called the Corona days “uncertain times” and “unprecedented times,” but even in pandemic, life goes on. We may not know what day it is or what time it is or what people look like under their face coverings or who our President is, but Christmastime is coming. Covid-19 can’t stop Christmas. Thank goodness for that. Even in 2020, Christmas is coming.
Tammy Davis is a teacher and a writer finding lessons in everyday life. For parts one through eleven of the Corona Chronicles, subscribe to www.tammydavisstories.com or follow on Facebook and Instagram at tammydavisstories. For a personalized copy and local delivery of “Back Porch Stories,” email Davis at [email protected]. Copies are also available at Books on Broad in Camden, Bishopville Pharmacy in Bishopville, SC, and the [email protected] in Manning, SC.