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Gratitude in a Time of COVID-19

Staying home during the COVID-19 brings challenges — but also opportunities to appreciate the things that matter.

Article by Hannah Abney March 18, 2020 //   6 minute read
Jieun Pyun's desk at the Bush Center (via Instagram @withpyun)

Everywhere around us, the news is unsettling. Things we used to rely on to get us through the day are different, or canceled, or unknown. People are working from their homes, isolated to save lives — but desperately looking for connection to save their sanity.

And the kids are all home. Indefinitely.

Like everyone, I’m worried. My family is sick of me asking if they washed their hands, and bored by my three-times-a-day request  to sanitize light switches and doorknobs with Clorox wipes. This week was the first week of remote working, and it coincided with spring break. I’m taking that as an excuse to not worry about distance learning for my 9,7, and 4 year old boys — they weren’t going to be in school this week, anyway; so like millions of other people around the country, I have a few days to figure out how in the world my husband and I are going to (try to) educate them, keep the house running, and work from home ourselves.

But yesterday, something unexpected happened.

My colleague and friend Jieun Pyun started a project a few weeks ago — she asks friends to video themselves reading a children’s book out loud, and then she shares it on social media, hopefully reaching children around the world. She shared the project with her Bush Center colleagues, and a sort of group chat sprung from it.

----dynamic----

This week, the email exchange shifted to a list serve of sorts  idea after idea for how to effectively keep our children busy and learning at home without losing our minds in the meantime. We also started to share tips we’d gleaned from our work-from-home process, like how to set a background for our Zoom video conference calls so that it looked like we were on a beach somewhere, or how a group text chain could keep the water cooler chats alive virtually.

The longer the chain becomes, the less isolated I feel. I’ve always enjoyed the people I work with  when asked what the best part of working at the Bush Center is, the answer to me is always “the people.” But now I’m more grateful for them, and for their smart, funny, and thoughtful approach to slowing down and uncovering what matters.

That’s what I’m challenging myself to root into during this time of crisis — what are the things I can be honestly grateful for during this quieter time? Every day I uncover more. And every day, it becomes easier.  When I start to feel that sense of overwhelm, a few deep breaths and a reminder of the things I can be grateful for is all it takes to reset my head and heart.

Reading with the Bush Center Experts

 

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Thank you, Chris for reading to children staying home due to #COVID_19 # Mr. Chris lives in Dallas, Texas in United States of America. As a farther of three children, he likes reading books to his kids, too. # #코로나19 로 학교에 가지 못하는 학생들을 위해 미국에 있는 친구들에게 영어책 읽기를 부탁하고 있습니다. 아이들이 학교에 다시가는 날까지 하루에 하나씩 책읽기 영상을 올립니다. # 풀영상 어떻게 올리는지 좀 알려 주세요. ㅜㅜ 페이스북은 한번에 올라갔는데 ???? # #힘내라대구경북 #코로나 #영어수업 #영어책읽기 #무료영어 #영어리딩 #책읽기 #어린이동화 #영어교육 #어린이영어 #readingtime #childrensbooks #readtokorea #코로나리딩 #코로나책읽기

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Ms. Kaitlyn lives in Dallas, Texas in United States of America. Just like Biscuit, she likes to go camping very much. # #코로나19 로 학교에 가지 못하는 학생들을 위해 미국에 있는 친구들에게 영어책 읽기를 부탁하고 있습니다. 아이들이 학교에 다시가는 날까지 하루에 하나씩 책읽기 영상을 올립니다. 이곳 미국도 국가비상사태가 선포되고 학교가 닫는등 빠르게 상황이 변화고 있네요. # Nearly 300 million children are missing class due to #covid_19 Many of them are in my home country, Korea. I am asking my friends to join me in reading to children staying home. # #힘내라대구경북 #코로나 #영어수업 #영어책읽기 #무료영어 #영어리딩 #책읽기 #어린이동화 #영어교육 #어린이영어 #readingtime #childrensbooks #readtokorea #코로나리딩 #코로나책읽기

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Ms. Jennifer lives in Dallas, Texas in United States of America. Like Papa, she took ballet lessons as a little girl. # #코로나19 로 학교에 가지 못하는 학생들을 위해 미국에 있는 친구들에게 영어책 읽기를 부탁하고 있습니다. 아이들이 학교에 다시가는 날까지 하루에 하나씩 책읽기 영상을 올립니다. 이곳 미국도 국가비상사태가 선포되고 학교가 닫고 재택근무가 시작되는 등 빠르게 상황이 변하고 있네요. # Nearly 300 million children are missing class due to #covid_19 Many of them are in my home country, Korea. I am asking my friends to join me in reading to children staying home. # #힘내라대구경북 #코로나 #영어수업 #영어책읽기 #무료영어 #영어리딩 #책읽기 #어린이동화 #영어교육 #어린이영어 #readingtime #childrensbooks #readtokorea #코로나리딩 #코로나책읽기

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