Yep, all good. Life seems to continue normal and you don’t even think about this “new normal” that much anymore. Teenagers think that this is better because they can wake up 15 minutes before the school starts and preschooler thinks it good because she can be with mommy all day.
BUT she does get bored, “has nothing to do” and wants to see her friends. We keep saying we can’t meet friends now and explain why and she has begun to talk about “can we do it when the virus is not here anymore”. Her birthday is in the beginning of May and I have said that we cannot keep her birthday “in person” this year, but we need to organize something maybe later, but we have discussed we might keep a virtual get together with friends. Let’s see.
They manage to keep all school classes through internet. For sports they go outside and do something, for piano and singing lesson they do it through tablet pointing at the keyboard or singing to teacher, but other subjects they keep in Teams/Google Classroom/OneNote. Some are with all students, some work is on their own and sometimes also the teacher seems to be in the video chats.
Even the kindergarten keeps video morning circle and crafts twice a week so we got 5 people online in different video chats at the same time in different spaces in the house. Lucky we are in Finland where the internet speed is not the obstacle for this! It’s mostly funny listening everyone babble their own thing, but then again it’s sad that this really is the situation now, how things have changed in just a few months and that you feel safer inside your house than outside in “fresh” air with other people.
What I miss the most
I miss just going out, getting dressed up in something else than just sweatpants. I miss being around people, I miss the city buzz and I most of all I miss singing together especially with our energetic choir Gospel Helsinki. We were supposed to have a Gospel service today and few other performances during Easter, but now there was only a streamed service with three singers and the band. Rest of us were at home listening and singing along, but it’s not the same. Day by day that’s probably the thing I miss the most, singing together.
So I am singing alone and have started to play piano again. Haven’t touched it for a few months, but now have tried to play it almost daily. Mostly accompanying myself singing. I’m no pianist, but it’s fun to practise. I record them also and then to “criticise” myself both on singing and playing so it’s a learning session too. Car is a good place to practise also as there is nobody to bother you and you can sing-a-long Spotify as loud as you wish. It is especially good for Gospel song practise as it tends to be a bit vocal especially for penetrating soprano voice.
I did do a “virtual choir” project last weekend where hundreds of singers around Finland joined to sing a song together. We all recorded our part on our own with a back up track and send it to the choir conductor who with his team will then compile a video. It was a lot of fun, good practise on self criticism. We are all looking forward to it being published later next week hopefully. These are all new and exciting things, but they do not replace “the real thing”.
WFHWK and no training
WFHWK aka Working From Home With Kids is tough and I have it easy! Mine are already older so they do not need that much entertainment. Still I notice that this week has been hard. Both mentally and physically. I am not able to exercise as my leg got worse. I have finally self diagnosed myself with IT band inflammation caused by too much running (doh, who would have thought 46 km in one week is too much being twice as much as normally!). It’s completely my own fault, I was not following how much I was running I just kept going and realized too late it was too much.
I can feel that not being able to get the pressure out by running, or other exercise, I am getting a bit tired and more tense. Hence piano, and singing have been good distraction and relaxation to get my mind of work, cooking and house cleaning for a while.
I have already come to terms that this is what it’s going to be for a long time now. Older kids most likely won’t go to school until August, my youngest won’t be going to kindy until June, we won’t be going to Flanders choir games in July with the choir, our spring concert is not happening and we are lucky if we can go to our summer cottage for Midsummer like we do every year with my parents.
How much longer
It’s hard to say how long this will still last here in Finland. They predict we might be close to the peak, but I don’t want to keep my hopes up. I think it’s better to just not expect anything but just live day by day and be happily surprised if it ends earlier than you thought. We know for sure this stricter confinement is going to last until mid May and large gatherings until end of May, but all that may change. We should be wiser again after Easter and see how things have evolved.
Around the world situations seem to vary and some countries are worse hit than others. Right now I believe also that the best solution is to flatten the curve but I don’t believe we can completely eradicate the virus and we must loosen the restrictions and get back to “normal” slowly everywhere at some point.
And YES we need to help all countries to mitigate the impact because there is no going back. We are a “one world” whether we want it or not. Ever since the fist air planes started flying or actually ever since humans started walking from Africa up North we have been travelling from one place to another and mixing up. It’s our nature to explore and be curious.
I don’t think though that travelling will be quite the same anymore and new remote technologies will definitely change the way we work, but we will still move and I’m sure that when we can I will too. I will go and have a coffee at the local market square in the sunshine during my lunch break and just watch people pass by and enjoy the buzz. And then I will walk back to our office in the city centre and continue my work day. Just as before. Or will I?
Take care, be safe, keep calm and avoid people ❤
* My headline “day” count begins from the day WHO started making official situation reports on the 21st of January.