Judy Kucharuk: Love and family during the pandemic


This past weekend, I found myself sitting in my parents' driveway visiting with both of them as they stood on their front step – a surreal moment as we dig in and protect one another from this monster virus.

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It was weird, but it was necessary. The daily phone calls simply were not cutting it – I craved seeing their faces, seeing their smiles. I wanted to get closer, I wanted to reach out and give them each a hug, but I also knew that I could be one of those people who have the virus and do not show any symptoms. I was not going to be the one to pass it along to my parents.

Ditto for my children and grandchildren. After my porch chat with mom and dad, I stopped over at my daughters’ house and did the same – chatted from the front yard and caught up on the granddaughters’ shenanigans. Isla was sleeping – I wanted it that way because how can you tell your granddaughter that she cannot run into your arms and give you a snuggle? Confusing for children – heartbreaking for parents/grandparents.

Sure we video chat but it isn’t the same. Isla sends grandma a kiss on the telephone and all I can see is the top of her head and the sound of her smooches.

My son and daughter in law are trying to keep Dylan and Lucas busy – I can’t imagine what it is like having two boisterous boys and two dogs all together in the house continuously. Getting outside, playing in the yard, fresh air all seems to help with the cabin fever. The snow will be gone soon; bikes and helmets can get dusted off and see some action.

It is Dylan’s 5th birthday this weekend and Samantha will endeavor to make it special despite the fact that he will miss out on the horrible group singing of Happy Birthday that we all sing off key just to make memorable for the birthday girl/boy. At five, Dylan probably could celebrate his birthday in June and not know the difference. 

This was the first real weekend of self-isolation and truly self-distancing from family and friends. We had been quite careful over the past two weeks, but now we were all taking every precaution to protect one another.

Need to get something from the grocery store? Call everyone in the family pod to see if they need anything so as to minimize the trips out for everyone – make a list, drop off at their door.

My sister had recently returned from Thailand and all I wanted to do was wrap her in my arms and say, “I am SO GLAD you are home”, but, of course, she and hubby are self-quarantining for the full 14 days and even after those 14 days we need to socially distance. 

As humans, we are inherently social even those who claim that they are introverts and shy away from social interactions. It is only when someone says, “YOU MUST NOT” do something that we begin to get a bit twitchy. 

We can deal with twitchy, if it means that the virus will burn itself out and the risk becomes non-existent. The ability to flatten the curve only works if we all participate. We have to take this seriously.

Judy Kucharuk is a community columnist living in Dawson Creek.

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