2020 is shaping up to be one weird year

It’s only when your routine is disrupted that you realize the beauty of it.

Normally the blocks fill up fast on my desk calendar for March, April and May as so many women’s clubs, service organizations and nonprofits have their events planned, the vast majority of them serving as fundraisers to generate money for their varied good-will projects.

It’s a busy time of year for me as a newspaper community editor out attending and covering as many events as I can get to.

And it usually gets way busier before things start to settle down a bit and summer arrives, ushering in a slightly slower pace.

The spring schedule, though, can be a hectic one, and I generally look forward to it and enjoy the rhyme and rhythm of going here, going there.

It’s good to get out and see people and be a part of all these functions.

But things that were supposed to be happening on the weekends and other times during these months have a line drawn through them now on this office calendar of mine — or a big old X.

The once-crowded calendar is now wide open.

Activities are canceled.

Events are “postponed until further notice.”

Even church has moved from an in-person to an online worship experience.

Not a whole lot is happening, courtesy of coronavirus.

One-fourth of the way into it, 2020 is shaping up to be one weird year.

If you would have told me this past New Year’s Eve that we’re not going to have any more winter, that we’re not going to have any kind of extreme cold or substantial snow, I would have welcomed that prediction, one that has basically come true.

But if you also would have predicted that we’d be in the midst of a pandemic by March, I would have dismissed that as not anywhere close to being in the realm of possibilities.

Or that I might need a police escort to get my six-pack of toilet paper safely from the grocery store to my car.

Or that I’d be practicing “social distancing,” a foreign concept if you’re a hugger or a hand-shaker or a shoulder slapper or one of those people who block grocery aisles because you’re engrossed in more visiting than shopping. Guilty.

This turn of events has us all feeling anxious and taking extra precautions as we’re spending more time in than out and about, and the impact is far reaching, well beyond the lack of just social events not happening.

We’re all on an uncharted course here with the short-term and longer-term impact and ramifications nothing to sneeze at (and if you do, kindly cover your mouth, throw away that tissue and don’t touch your face.)

I talked Thursday evening with my aunt who lives alone in the Chicago area. She was feeling the angst, contemplating scenarios and the what if’s but grateful to be part of a caring neighborhood.

By the end of our conversation we agreed that prayer and preparedness take precedence over paranoia and panic.

Ultimately, routine will return, and how beautiful it will be.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted atjkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)


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