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  • smiley1steph

Staying Cooper Strong During the Pandemic

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

We are very fortunate. While this crazy COVID situation has been stressful and full of seemingly never-ending adjustments, we have all stayed healthy and have not experienced tremendous hardships. Thankfully, our jobs were not impacted, which has been key to surviving quarantine thus far. My heart goes out to all who have been affected.

From the get-go, Mark has continued to go to work, as usual. Of all of us, he has maintained the most 'normalcy' to his routine, even though there are new safety procedures and fewer staff on site to limit exposure. All-day mask-wearing is getting old, but the company has been flexible in work arrangements and time off, so that it is a minor complaint.

Steph has been 100% working from home since March. With the kids transitioning to remote-learning, that has meant a full house. Once internet bandwidth was addressed, the 3 of us did establish a good working environment. Work has been super-busy and generally full of zoom meetings that look like the Progressive commercial spoofs. It is comical, at times, with background noises, curious children, folks dropping off mid-sentence and other technical difficulties, but productive nonetheless. In the most restrictive times, my outings are limited to grocery shopping and daily walks. It was strange to watch the retail world transform into 1-way aisles with lines to control how many people are inside. It was also impressive to watch how stores adapted and applied new and creative safety measures.

Thankfully, the girls have done well with remote learning. Spring (March-June) of the previous school year was rough, but there have been considerable improvements in the overall approach this fall that have made it a much better experience. I give so much credit to everyone involved in pulling it off - teachers, administrators, students, parents. If the girls were not self-sufficient or cooperative, it could very easily be a huge disaster and totally disruptive. This year, they've both made Honor Roll and High Honor Roll and had a stint of hybrid attendance, where they actually got to go to school! It was short-lived, but will hopefully resume the second half of the year.

First day of school pics for 2020:

Sports and activities were a significant loss - going from carpools 4-7 days a week with practices, games, meetings, and other events - to zero. For the past few months, when summer started to permit outdoor practices, limited schedules resumed. Emily participated in volleyball and basketball in the summer and fall. Elizabeth was able to work at Camp Carr as a summer counselor, and then had a modified Dance Team season with high school football. We are saving tons of miles on the cars, but miss cheering on the kids.

At times, I am in a state of disbelief of how little we have done for the past several months -and how complicated decisions became for every action - compared to life before COVID. We opted for no trips - travel both in state (without risk) and out of state with potential quarantine periods just didn't seem worth it. We've barely done any dining out since it re-opened, mostly sticking to take out. No movies. No concerts or shows. No celebrations. No graduations. No (or very limited, local) casual visits to see friends. Careful shopping and minimal, only necessary appointments. But, we are blessed and I have no complaints and no doubt we will all get through this pandemic.

We miss you all!

With wave 2 upon us, we're hunkering down for at least a month of down time to stay safe and healthy. It will be tough to get through the holidays without traditional gatherings, but staying safe is top priority. Wishing you all the best and sending virtual hugs and support that we may all stay strong, healthy, and positive under the circumstances.

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