Courtesy photo from Sharon Hale
While we live in these uncertain times, it is good to try to look on the bright side of our situations. A good thing that has come out of this global pandemic is that families are getting to spend more time together.
With state-wide stay at home orders, social distancing and quarantine, many families have been non-voluntarily put in the position where they have to be together a lot more than they were used to pre-pandemic.
Some families are enjoying each other’s company, learning about one another, and rediscovering the true meaning of being united.
It was so easy to get caught up into oneself, focusing on your job or your education, but now during the pandemic for many people it has suddenly become time to give back time to those you love and love you.
Even for those who live alone, the free time has given them a chance to reach out and tighten family bonds. Sharon Hale, 73, has been volunteering in EvCC’s Bridges center for 4 years, and lives alone, yet still manages to make quality family time. “For Mother’s Day my Everett daughter’s family had a barbecue in their backyard. I had my own small table by the back fence. I could see them all from a safe distance. We also had a Zoom family game night,” Hale says.
While the pandemic has had countless down sides and maybe ruined a lot of chances for families who live far from each other to come together and physically see each other, it has also given people who live together a chance to grow closer. Being physically together with no distractions gives us the chance to learn one another. With our phones, our windows, and the news constantly reminding us of our reality right now, our families and loved ones are our distractions.
Susan Stachowiak, tutor at EvCC since 2010, referring to her husband Pete who she is social distancing with, said “After almost 40 years of marriage, we are still very close and best friends so being at home with him is very customary and nice!”
Families bouncing off the walls against each other creates tension. With the added challenge of having academic responsibilities as a student, while also maintaining family cohesiveness and harmony, there’s also the stress of maintaining a steady income during these uncertain times. However family harmony can help ease that.
Rachel Hebaus, a Running Start student studying her third quarter at EvCC, says “I had anticipated this shift to have a negative impact on my family and I’s relationships. Little did I know the shift would grow us closer together. My dad and I have very similar personalities which have been ultimately a strain on our relationship. We are both stubborn and opinionated, which as you can imagine, results in very passionate, rather amusing, fights. Our relationship was the one I was most apprehensive quarantine would negatively affect. 11 weeks in and my dad and I have never been closer. The little moments that I can now appreciate are, what I believe, to have made the largest impact.”
Be aware, be present and hold your loved ones a little tighter.