VIRUS DIARY: `When are we going to the playground, Mama?’

VIRUS DIARY: `When are we going to the playground, Mama?' - us-canada

Once more, right now, she asks me when we’re going to the playground

OAKLAND, California —
“When are we going to the playground, Mama?” she asks once more right now, like she did yesterday and the day earlier than that.

I inform her we’re not going to the playground right now, that we are able to go for a stroll, bear in mind the virus we talked about? She chuckles. “Sorry, I was confused. I meant go for a walk.”

We go for a stroll however it’s in all probability the final stroll for some time, as a result of I’m scared and there are individuals out, nonetheless, additionally taking walks. It would not appear price it.

I don’t inform her this but.

It is arduous to clarify time to a 4-year-old. Every day is new, a brand new hope that springs her away from bed and calls for issues, all of the issues she is aware of like playgrounds and parks and the espresso store together with her papa and her grandma’s home on Fridays and her cousins’ on Saturdays.

Now, I simply ask if she desires to dress, she says “later, Mama!” and frolics round in pink bunny pajamas then settles to breakfast. I do not dress both. We’ve pancakes and strawberries and bananas however she asks me to take away the strawberries and bananas. Later I’ll bribe her with a spoonful of Nutella to eat half a strawberry.

We name her aunt on FaceTime and he or she grabs the cellphone out of my hand and scurries inside her play circus tent. The cellphone drops to the ground. She desires to indicate her aunt her new tent, which isn’t new however it’s thrilling and it was away for some time. I ask for the cellphone again. I’ve to speak to my sister-in-law.

Later we could have a chat on what makes us really feel mad and in addition comfortable and unhappy and beloved and scared and she is going to inform me that it makes her really feel mad once I do not let her take the cellphone together with her. She desires to carry it to hold the individuals on the opposite finish to indicate all of them the issues, the identical method she’d seize their hand and pull them to comply with her. She tells me it makes her comfortable that her papa and I are house, that hugs make her really feel beloved and monsters make her really feel scared. I inform her there are not any monsters. I believe she is aware of this.

She isn’t afraid of the virus, regardless that I’m terrified. She tells her grandparents that the virus hurts previous individuals and that they’re previous individuals. Later one night time, she asks me if her grandparents will get new once more, which is her phrase for younger and this is sensible however I clarify to her that no, they will not. She requested this once I advised her that her cat died. She requested if her cat will get new once more and are available again and I advised her that no, she will not and we cried.

We do a playdate. I arrange a Zoom name. I place my laptop computer on the ground so she will sit and see her good friend. They begin out simply yelling one another’s names, forwards and backwards. Generally her good friend strikes out of the body and so she asks, “Where are you? Where is your face?” and it’s hilarious. They play conceal and search. They each get their Play-Doh they usually play collectively. She will get irritated and grunts. Getting irritated is a part of taking part in.

It’s time to say goodbye. I really feel relieved, however it’s transient. I ponder day-after-day how she is going to bear in mind this time. I hope that we come out on the opposite finish sometime and that once we do she’ll keep in mind that we had been collectively and we tried to guard one another.


“Virus Diary,” an occasional function, will showcase the coronavirus saga by means of the eyes of Related Press journalists around the globe. Comply with AP Expertise Author Barbara Ortutay on Twitter at

VIRUS DIARY: `When are we going to the playground, Mama?' - us-canada

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