Ah 2020 . . . You started rather positively, or rather, normally for me: we closed out 2019 with a pops show featuring ABBA, then slid into a couple weeks of regular concerts with the Hawaii Symphony. Since I teach at Punahou a good number of days per week (I have about 30 students), the Spring semester immediately ensued after the short New Year’s celebrations. Little did we know what was brewing across the Pacific. At first there were rumors, but eventually by February, the news caught on about COVID-19 and its wild-fire spread through China, Europe and the rest of world. Some of us thought it would never cross the Atlantic into the mainland. But oh yes, it sure did. One could sense fear and dread, similar to the feeling of being on the set of The Walking Dead, when we’re all told to “stay home” and US cities were forced to go into lockdown by mid-March. Living in Hawaii seemed advantageous – we are isolated and surrounded by water, the weather is consistently humid and warm, and the “aloha” culture is based on respect and introverted obedience. For the first 3 months, we actually did flatten the curve! But it is now July and just like the rest of the US, we got cocky and lazy, and welcomed COVID-19 spikes into our state once again.
Despite the rising numbers and “covidiots” wandering around wearing their face masks all wrong, I have to say that I’m grateful for these things:
- Time: to reflect, reconnect, and relearn as well as take on new experiences and activities.
- Family: saw my in-laws every weekend with physical distancing, cooked, baked, planted trees, helped design a website and slideshow.
- FaceTime: my parents and brother, my students and friends
- Skills: baked lots of cookies, banana bread, made Taiwanese comfort food (scallion pancake, pork bao, popcorn chicken), tried new recipes, bought an Instant Pot, made virtual concert videos on Final Cut Pro and Acapella, Zoom conferencing, redesigned my website and GSQ website
- Music: practiced more consistently, used Flipgrid to teach and organize my videos, made 3 virtual concerts, got better at making videos with iMovie, learned enough music for a recital
- Teaching: the supportive community at Punahou allowed me to continue teaching remotely and get paid, focused students who inspire me to teach
- HSO and CMH: support for the canceled concerts
- Local small businesses and restaurants: a lifesaver when we exhausted our cooking skills
- Husband: for everything good and bad, for better or for worse.
I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list, but for now, I can tell myself that this is enough. Be kind to each other. Stay home and stay safe, everyone.