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We need it all.
We need it all.
Jeff Valence
Saturday, March 28, 2020

As a school we have been working through the implications of COVID-19, since the 27th of January, somewhat early in comparison with much of our country due to our specific set of circumstances. 

As a school community, we have been intensely impacted for just over 2 weeks.  Judging from what information I am being provided, we are at the very beginning of what will be an extended period of disruption. 

A large part of our ability to manage this current challenge is based upon the ability to maintain our morale, enthusiasm, and hope.  As teachers, neighbors, and parents, maintaining a healthy emotional balance is as important as the food we eat.    

This health crisis is serious.  This period in our lives is serious. There is no shortage of voices reminding us that our circumstances are to be taken seriously.  This is why we also need to find and create opportunities to laugh or smile. 

Our children, above all others, gauge their own sense of anxiety from what they observe in our faces and behavior.   As adults we possess the reassurance of context, provided to us through our experiences. However, even with many years of experience overcoming adversity and crisis, adults are still often overwhelmed by uncertainty. Our younger children lack the context of experience to reassure them, they rely on us and what they can discern from our demeanor.

It is for this reason, that it is so important that we try to maintain a sense, or even just an appearance, of normalcy.  For the benefit of those we are responsible for, be they a child or adult, so that they may maintain a sense of hope or at least a degree of relief from fear.  

As human beings, in periods of crisis, we crave normalcy.  This may mean we need, and in particular children may need, us to be willing to be foolish, not only because it feels normal, but it reflects the willingness to be vulnerable, which itself can provide a sense of reassurance. 

I offer this explanation so that you understand my efforts to be lighthearted or waggish.  In the hope that it can provide some brief distraction from what can feel overwhelmingly scary.  

These efforts do not diminish the severity of our situation, the potential of personal loss, or the concern you may feel, but may offer a respite from the stress we all are likely experiencing.

Fear will not prevent us from becoming ill, nor will humor.  Listening to the advice of our health community will. Washing your hands will. Honoring the requests to socially distance yourself from non family members will. 

Having the emotional capacity to listen to all the information as it is shared, requires that we maintain a healthy emotional balance, some of that balance comes from laughter and the love and commitment of people around you.

I hope you find some peace of mind in the commitment we share with each other, and possibly some distraction through how it is occasionally conveyed.