Updated: Oct 15, 2022
I'm known by family, friends and prior coworkers as the human date and time stamp. I am not quite Marilu Henner - esque (with her highly superior autobiographical memory), but my recollections have 'checked out' on numerous occasions.
In my circles, I am often the go-to person for the dates and details of many a shared situation. Hey Shawn, when did I meet that guy on the plane? Well, you were flying out to see me on my 25th birthday ... so that was December 1992.
Today is a somber day. It is 9/11. It is Patriot's Day. Anyone over about 3 years old most likely has some form of recollection of that day ... September 11, 2001. It was also impossible for me not to think to myself this AM: Wow, 6 months ago today, on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID a Global Pandemic.
I remember exactly where I was. Park and I had to get a hotel room the night before as some work was being done in our home on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 that involved fumes we could not be exposed to. Park was working from the hotel room but over his lunch hour, he drove over to our house to check on the progress.
When Park was gone, I got a call from our Sales Rep with the Arizona Coyotes following up with me on the cost for a block of tickets for the remainder of the year as it looked like the Coyotes were going to make it to the playoffs!
Just as I got off the phone and had a huge smile on my face with the news I received...Park busted in the hotel room. My smile quickly faded...I knew something was very wrong. Right at that moment I felt like I was in a scene in a kitschy 30 minute crime show... a woman out floating in her pool with the music on while burglars ransack her home while she is completely clueless then she walks in the house through patio doors aghast. I've been robbed! How did this happen?
Park planted our Mazda's remote in my hand and said listen, you need to go shopping ... right now ... all over town and get whatever supplies you can. This Virus is being declared a Global Pandemic.
Park was only a little over 2 years old at the time, but he remembers the Kennedy Assassination news on TV at home with his Mom. It actually formed an explicit memory for him, even at that young of an age. I was not born yet. But I remember the attempted Ronald Regan assassination in 1981. I was in English class and they rolled the TV in on the cart and we all watched the aftermath. I remember 9/11/2001...vividly. Where I was, who I was with, the detailed conversations we had, the emotions...and now I have that hotel room scene like indelible marker in my mind too.
By Friday March 13th everyone got the memo: operation shut down for the US! We were back in our house with all supplies needed, ready for the voluntary self quarantine. The Saturday, March 14th hockey game we had tickets for canceled - and the rest of the season canceled - and all sports canceled. Well, just about everything canceled or closed that was Non Essential. Fortunately, Park had the ability to work from home 100% starting Monday, March 16th. He's in an industry whose demand has increased during the lock-downs.
I remember wearing a mask out on Friday March 13th running some last minute errands. I got out of the car in the the parking lot and a little boy about 6 or 7 just got out of their car right next to me and when he saw me he started crying and pointed at me and hid behind his Dad screaming "oh no....oh no...stay away from us". Am I the monster in that child's mind when he recalls of his childhood pre vs post COVID experiences?
My Great Nephew in IL was born on 12/12/19. Ironically, Park and I were at the Arizona Coyotes - Chicago Blackhawks game when I got the message. So exciting! My plan was to get to IL over Easter and meet that adorable baby!!! He will be 9 mos old tomorrow and, of course, I still have not met him in person ... yet.
I am thankful that my nephew was only 3 months old - and not 3 years old - at the time this world game changing event was unleashed. He will only ever really know and remember the post-COVID adapted world we all live in now.
For me, thinking of the pre-COVID world I used to live in will be like remembering the Twin Towers standing tall ...