I have spent the Covid-19 pandemic in Poland. Why, you might ask. Well, despite being American, I live in Poland with my Polish husband and oh so Polish kids. The best thing about spending the pandemic in Poland is that the word corona (korona) means crown in Polish, so instead of writing corona in any text I can just emoji crown it. I know that’s not really cool, but it’s a global pandemic. It’s hard to find positives.
When the pandemic hit, I went from “that’s so lame” to “we’re all gonna die” in a blink of an eye. Some of my friends have stayed at lame, but whatcha gonna do? One of the guys working the copy machines at work said to me on my way out one day 6 months ago, “Hey, don’t come to work tomorrow.” I thought he meant just me, and in panic I quickly ran through my head for any and all recent fireable offenses I had committed that ksero-man would know about. When I found out it was about the pandemic, I was almost relieved.
But let’s go back...all the way back to the Chinese New Year. Remember that? Well, in China at that time the virus had already been wreaking havoc. And into work comes a former co-worker to visit us, to spend the whole day sitting in our teacher’s lounge, blocking my access to the tea kettle. (Not cool, hot tea at work is all I’ve got.) He came to see us during his new year’s break in his new job in China. Ya’ll made fun of me because I didn’t shake his hand. Y’all laughed at me because I didn’t come back to the teacher’s room all day. Well, who’s laughing now!? (Nobody’s laughing now actually. Nobody at work remembers that, and pandemics aren’t very funny.)
My Mom said “come home” the way moms do. Yeah, risk travel to stay in a country where I don’t have health insurance and for how long, nobody knows. At that time, I thought we’d be back any week now. Come home. I know it’s an expression; I use it too. But I am home.
So, I did what everybody did. Joined Zoom. Continued working. Started to cook. Banana bread, check. Clean house, check. I even cut my daughter’s hair at her request from waist to shoulders then again from shoulders to Copernicus. Did I buy extra toilet paper? Sure, I did. Not because I thought there’d be a shortage. It was just so we wouldn’t have to go out so often. Did we run out of toilet paper anyhow? Yes, we did. Did we run out of beer? No, we did not. Priorities, people. I read a ton of books, watched endless hours of Netflix, and sorted out all my important papers. I got fat, got fit, and here we are a million years and a split second later, the new school year begins.
We are all gonna get the Rona.