March 21, 2020

The world has turned upside down since I last wrote. A global pandemic has reached us, and we're all in uncharted territory. The coronavirus is changing everything for now - the way we work, the way we go to school, the way we interact with one another.

The logistics for our family included Dan's company suspending all travel, so he's "meeting" with customers via phone these days. He was already a home office guy, so has the tools here to do what he needs.

For me, work is busier than ever. Working in communications for the #1 hospital in the world during a global pandemic is some job security, I tell you! We went from producing a weekly radio program and podcast to producing a daily COVID-19 coronavirus podcast in the last 10 days. I am so grateful to get to work with experts in infectious diseases and other specialty areas to get the word out about what we know, what we should do, and what lies ahead. Shameless plug here - you should subscribe to Mayo Clinic Q&A on your favorite podcast provider to stay up to date:

Erin is the one with the biggest disruption of life due to social distancing. College is the opposite of social distancing! Erin came back to Rochester this past Monday, finished up winter quarter finals this week online, and now has an extended two week spring break. Starting April 6, Drexel's 10 week spring quarter will be taught completely online.

Drexel is unique in that it's a quarter system and sophomores like Erin go to school all four quarters. So, the hope is, Erin will be back in Philly when summer quarter starts mid-June. It was hard to pack up and come home and leave your friends and activities behind in the middle of you college experience. We're glad to have her home with us, but we know it's not where she's supposed to be.

For us, we will weather this storm. Yes, it is a disruption to life and yes, it may have long term consequences for industry, education, and health care. Things that affect us all. But, in the grand scheme of things, we are lucky.

We've been talking about those who are losing out on things they had planned - seniors in high school and college who might not get to have a graduation. Athletes who don't get to compete. Family and friends who had trips planned or were studying abroad. This is the year many of Shannon's friends will graduate from college and head out into the real world to try and start their careers. I feel for them in these uncertain economic times.

If you know me and Dan, you know we pass much of our time watching sports. With no golf, tennis, basketball, hockey or baseball on TV, we are a bit lost. Dan's been reading. I've been too busy at work  and also continuing my master's classes to need much leisure activity. We have been binge watching Better Call Saul and, in a fiction meets real world moment, we watched Contagion. So prescient.

We have jobs that continue, we have a home from which to work and school remotely. We can pay our bills. Gus and Sylvie are glad to have the company. They think sheltering at home is a great idea. We have it better than most.

These are difficult times, no doubt. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your family. Sending love and peace to you all.