With all this new “free time” on my hands, it seems I should have plenty of opportunities these days to post something…anything… preferably not something to remind us all of the crisis and chaos going on all around us. I don’t do heavy and serious, friends, and I know you know that if you’ve been around here for any time at all.

Sadly, friends, the crisis is at our forefront. It’s a tightness in my chest that I feel from the moment I wake up in the morning…hell, last night it hovered as I slept… as I watch my husband shower and dress to leave for work. Outside our home. In a hospital. Until he finally walks through our door at night, looking exhausted and defeated. It’s then that I can breathe again, for the next 14 hours or so (on a good day), until we get up and do it all over again.

I see so many shout-outs and acknowledgements for our doctors and nurses. They, in addition to first responders and truckers and teachers and farmers and all others who are working tirelessly and without complaint to keep things running and to keep us all as safe and comfortable and educated as possible, deserve all of our respect and gratitude at this time.

Do you know who ISN’T getting thanks and recognition? Our IT professionals.

My boys have had the good fortune of being entertained endlessly this week. We’ve attended a drawing class conducted by Elephant and Piggie author Mo Willems. We’ve had storytime with Pete the Cat author James Dean. We had music class with our favorite local musician Lori Burke. We watched a multilingual cooking lesson live from the kitchen of one of my favorites, Michael Buble. We have access to Facebook live videos from zoos all over the country. We have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, made possible by our educators- both on a local level and nationally. We can Facetime with friends and family to keep in contact. My boys have not had time to be bored this week, because so many amazing folks have stepped up to help out.

Guess who makes all that happen, folks? Technology professionals.

And while some could possibly, maybe do their jobs from home, many of them- particularly those in the healthcare field- don’t have that option. They have to be on-site to be sure the emergency plans are in place. To be sure the systems they have can handle an influx of patients. To be sure those doctors and nurses have the technology at hand to do their jobs efficiently and accurately. To step in and do whatever job needs to be done.

While the word “isolation” is such a huge part of our vocabulary right now, and while we all respect the six-foot rule, it’s not lost on me that most of us are not really all that isolated. I spoke with four different neighbors yesterday- from a distance of greater than six feet. We Facetimed with my sister and my nephew, who’s with her and my mom while his parents are both still working. We had virtual access to normally quiet and isolated authors who are coming forth to help us keep our littles entertained. So that for a little while, while I keep going about my normal, everyday routine with half of my heart missing and trying not to let our boys know how hard it is to breathe, I can focus on the mundane tasks of keeping up with the state of my home with all three boys here.

We are attempting educational work while we’re home, as much as possible. I know it’s been advised that we just spend time together, have family time, and have fun…and we are. We’re digging out science projects that we’ve been too busy to do before. We’re playing math games, writing silly stories, blowing up vinegar and baking soda laden with bright colors and glitter (y’all know how much I detest glitter, no?). Not because it’s really necessary, but because it’s a schedule, a routine, a constant in a very inconsistent world. My boys have figured out, by the end of week one, what’s expected of them and what they can expect of me. And they look forward to it. They’re getting to use our home computers for the first time to access educational sites. They look forward to a science experiment or two each day. The structure is working well for us, for our family. Not that every day is easy. I still have three boys stuck at home, in one house. But we’re making it work, as everyone is.

I love the reminders to check in with the elderly. I love that school districts are supplying to-go meals for families who are in a tougher-than-normal financial position right now. I love that I’ve had offers from friends, family, and neighbors to get what we might need from the store while I’ve been home this week with sick twins by myself. This morning, the best social media post I saw was a reminder to breathe in and breathe out. It literally brought me to tears. It was exactly what I needed. I love that, because of social media, we have an entire support system at our fingertips. To lift each other up, to make each other laugh, to push each other forward. All thanks to the technology professionals who have made it possible.

I want to believe that this crisis will bring us as a people closer together. I want to believe that the pooling of resources, the thinking of those less fortunate than ourselves will not end when the bans are lifted and we go back to our post-crisis lives. I want to believe that more people than not understand that right now, we all have the chance to take care of one another simply by taking care of ourselves and our own families.

And I’m begging you, friends. Please, take care of yourself and your own families. For me, for Ryan, for our boys. PLEASE. Take care of you and yours so you can take care of your neighbor and so that my husband can come home to us, and I can breathe again.

Stay safe, my friends.