Deployment Lesson for COVID #4: Uncertain Time Frames

March 26, 2020

Because of some unique circumstances, when Jonathan was last deployed it was likely he’d be home at some point between May and November. Yep, we had a 6-month window for his return. Every time people asked when he’d be coming home – or when we would even KNOW when he’d be coming home – I’d say the same thing: “I’ll know he’s coming home when his boots are on my living room floor. Until then, it’s all conjecture.” 

So we told the kids, “We don’t know exactly when he’ll be home, but it won’t be soon. It might be around Halloween, but we always know plans can change.” Sure, it ended up being before then, but we knew that being surprised at an early date was better than them planning on May then being disappointed. Instead of answering that question of “When will it be over?” incessantly, we focused on living our lives in our temporary-new-normal, for however long “temporary” would be. 

When will the kids go back to school? When will church pews be full? When will we be able to go to the library, the museum, a game? 

Time frames are uncertain. Hope for the best, but the best is often unrealistic… so prepare for the worst. Experts tell us that it takes 8 weeks of social distancing to *begin* to have an effect. We’re going to be here for a while, and the end date is unpredictable… so it might not be the most helpful thing to focus on that. 

When will this be over? When doctors’ and nurses’ PPE is on our metaphorical living room floor… until then, it’s all conjecture. 

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