I, Joy Kirr, am a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. My 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of my learning experiences... Want to have me speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is my PORTFOLIO.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Day 1 part 2 - Social Distancing

The virus suddenly seems to be spreading like wildfires in the U.S. ... whatever happened to the news of the wildfires??? Maybe it's just my perception because I spent a lot of time on social media yesterday. Maybe it's because Michigan's numbers have doubled (yet it's still relatively "low"). Maybe it's because it really is spreading like wildfires.

I learned the term "Social Distancing" today. I saw it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram... Read about it in this great article an old friend shared. Another one popped up on my Twitter feed, as well. Last week big events were canceled, then small events afterwards. Now museums and libraries are closed. I wondered, then, what the restaurant would look like for Dad's birthday. I started getting a bit fearful, so I created something to share on Instagram with my students...
I shared it on Facebook and Twitter, too. Kim Darche and I postponed our lunch date.

My family got to the restaurant at 4:45, and there was one other larger family and two or three other smaller groups, along with two people at the bar. Here is a sample of the types of notices that are going out... more and more...

Bob and I washed our hands before we ate, and when we got home, I shared that there was soap in the kitchen and the bathroom. (I won't tell you who did not wash their hands. I was astounded it didn't happen, however.) Then Dad opened presents, we ate cake, and - as my sister was sleeping on the couch (which is something she's been known to do due to her habits) - we finally talked about the elephant in the room. The COVID-19. Mom learned that it was called that because "COrona" + "VIrus" + "Disease" + the year it started. We couldn't agree if it started in October or November, but this news was news to Mom, either way. Dad didn't say much. (He's the one I'm worried about the most, even though both of them are in pretty good health.) My brother-in-law did most of the talking, and my nephew (8th grader) asked most of the questions. My niece (8th grader - how are they so old already?!) observed like she does, taking it all in. I believe the message was "we don't know" and "we'll do what we have to do," even if it means quarantine.

I mentioned I was so glad we were finally talking about it, and my nephew (who, just last month was playing a game to conquer the world with a virus) whole-heartedly agreed. The kids seemed a bit more worried after talking, but I think they appreciated everyone being so open about it. On their way out, I was able to tell my sister that her son is worried about her (a storyline I won't write about - it's too personal). I was also able to give big hugs. Mom said, "Thank you. I needed that."

Tears welled up in her eyes, and I responded by saying, "We'll see you again soon. That's for sure." Her fear makes mine bigger.

We washed our hands again after everyone left.

1 comment:

  1. It is so difficult to know how much social distancing is necessary at each step of the way, but it is a small world and we are all so connected, aren't we. Take care and stay safe. I'm reading your posts chronologically, so I don't miss anything, even though I'm two weeks late.