Holy Saturday in the year of the pandemic

Soft classical music, early morning calm, and a late winter/early spring snow storm all combine to cast a soothing glow on the start of Holy Saturday in the year of the pandemic.  It's hard to project how we will look back on this time and how we will describe it.  Are we living in social isolation, physical distancing or quarantine?  Maybe it's self isolation with some latitude for going out when you need basic necessities or other supplies.

Regardless of how this story will be told, it will be remembered as an absolutely unique time.  The world has slowed down, families cocooned, and cultural institutions paralyzed.  Could you have ever imagined Broadway, Las Vegas and Disneyland closed at the same time?  Could you have imagined major sports leagues stopping on a dime?

Schooling would have been much more difficult had this happened when I was a kid.  The distance learning options are so robust now that those who are motivated and have access to good technology are as engaged with learning as they were when in a physical school.  That said, I can imagine that this period would be incredibly different for the folks who don't have good Internet and computers.  I've listened to some interviews of parents who live in rural areas, without high speed Internet, really struggling to download lessons for their kids.  Heather and I are fortunate as we have the technology, high speed Internet service, and a son who is self-motivated.

Faith followers might be a little out of their element having to adapt to formal religion in the time of a pandemic.  Growing up Roman Catholic, Easter weekend was largely comprised of spending time in mass, usually four days in a row:  Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.  It always felt like a marathon to me.  I'm no longer a practicing Catholic but wonder how they are adapting to this new reality.  My mom, with keys to the church back home, was able to go have some solitary time in the quiet of St. Stephen's.

Heather and I have maintained our daily routine through all of this.  We spend our days creating in the studio, going for walks, making puzzles and watching our Netflix shows to close out the day.  I need to keep busy or I would go squirrelly.  My capacity for physical stillness is minimal.

Amit Rahav and Shira Haas as Yanky and Esty in Unorthodox | Anika Molnar/Netflix

We finished watching a show called Unorthodox, a four part series about a young lady from an ultra orthodox Jewish community in the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn who escapes an arranged marriage.  It was a fascinating story that effectively pulls back the curtain on the life of Hasidic Jews. The performances, particularly of Shira Haas, were powerful.  It's worth a watch if you're looking for the next Netflix offering to fill your time.

It is a special day in our lives.  19 years ago Heather and I went on a blind date.  We've been together ever since.  I am grateful for the life we've been able to build together and for her continued good health.  We are fortunate in so many things, especially that we can still spend our days together and not drive each other crazy.  Well, most of the time anyway. We've been through floods, fires, health scares, job changes and so much more.  We'll make it through this pandemic and the discoveries that lie beyond.


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