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What a Weird World We Now Live In

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How are you holding up?

Things were different a year ago.

Today should be Monday, April 6. The Hurricanes should be in the playoffs today. I should be making travel arrangements for the first two games, booking flights and Airbnbs, figuring out the logistics of child care while I’m on the road, and potentially getting reacquainted with my old frenemy, Interstate 95. Here on the site, we should be looking back at a roller-coaster season, previewing the first round, celebrating the return of Dougie Hamilton, and wondering if this year’s playoff run is going to be anywhere near as exhilarating as last year’s.

Instead, today is Monday, March 37. I’m sitting at home with my wife and daughter. The former is upstairs working, while the latter is spending most of her days on something called BrainPOP, which I learned existed about five days ago. She knows more about Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges and the Statue of Liberty and heaven knows what else than I’ve ever forgotten. As for my wife and me, we started watching Schitt’s Creek last week, and we just began catching up on the current season last night. (It’s well worth your time.)

In one week, when my daughter tracks back into school (timing is everything: she tracked out just as the schools shut down), she’s going to start classes on Zoom, with her actual teachers (blessedly) actually teaching. Suddenly, I’m going to be the coronavirus equivalent of the parent test proctor who silently walks around the room during a standardized test and informs the teacher that a number-2 pencil needs to be sharpened, prompting the teacher to read three pages’ worth of scripts from a too-thick instruction manual under the heading What To Do When A Student’s Pencil Needs Sharpening.

I mostly wrote all this down just to get away from hockey for a bit. I’ll be honest: I’m struggling to care much if at all about the NHL these days. Call me when we know it’s coming back, even if “coming back” means a quarantined playoff tournament somewhere that is not PNC Arena. I’ll be right there at the front of the line. But these days, my focus is on making it from one day to another, and figuring out ways to keep my daughter occupied that are not “watch her tablet and/or Holderness Family videos from sunup to sundown every day.” And I know I’m not the only one.

So, with that in mind, how are you doing? Ignore hockey for a minute; how are you, the person, making it through? What oddities or bizarro-world happenings have you gone through that could bring a smile to someone else’s face? I might not miss the NHL right now, but I know I miss my community - my school-parent community, my neighborhood community, and my SBN community. I’m sure some of you feel the same way. So let’s share. We’re all in this together - #AloneTogether, the PSA says - so let’s check in on each other.

Above all, stay safe, stay healthy, stay six feet away from anyone else, and I can’t wait to see all of you on the other side. I’ll close with a quote from the inimitable Jerry Springer, whose circus act of a television show always ended with a gentle admonition:

Take care of yourself - and each other.