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As the nation prepares to shelter in place for one of the biggest Sundays of the year in the church season, the reality of what this pandemic means is difficult to miss.
Churches no longer gather in person, families cancel or reschedule vacations, and school children are calling their mom and dad teachers.
Finding a way through this normal has not been easy. In fact, it seems nearly impossible for the most vulnerable. And while those with second vacation homes have often been able to relax in close to absolute luxury and still take helicopter tours, there are many minimum wage earners who are in the worst situations. Barely living paycheck to paycheck, these people may be working at grocery stores, pharmacies, and as food delivery positions. And while they may have more job security than others during this health crisis, they may also be the ones who are the most at risk. They may be living in more crowded conditions, they may not have enough access to face masks, they may not have enough access to hand sanitizers, and they very likely do not have enough personal protection equipment.
A disease that some media outlets explain as one that may have first affected the more affluent on their plane trips around the world and then across the nation, is now a disease of the minimum wage earners in this country. And while many people think of health care workers when they consider those who are really on the front lines, the fact of the matter is grocery store clerks, pharmacy workers, and delivery drivers are actually in some very vulnerable positions themselves.
What Will You Do When the World Returns to Normal?
If you were looking forward to tours by dogsled or early morning helicopter tours this spring or summer, then you are likely disappointed. Finding a way to make the most of the additional time with family was likely fun at first, but if you had to cancel a big family vacation those disappointments are intense.
From Alaskan glacier wedding packages to big plans for a week at the beach, there are very few, if any, travel plans that remain in place. These cancellations come at a time when many Americans need their vacations more than ever. In fact, as the spring and summer months arrive, many families planned to reap the benefits of months of long, hard work at school and on the job.
The need for vacations is so important, in fact, there are many studies that show the damage that can be caused by not planning for a break. Did you know, for example, in one recent study, men at risk for heart disease who skipped vacations for five consecutive years were 30% more likely to suffer heart attacks when compared to those who took at least a week off each year? Vacations are goof for the mind, as well as for the body, and another international study by professional services firm Ernst and Young of its employees found that for each additional 10 hours of vacation time employees took, their year-end performance ratings improved as much as 8%.
Whether your weekend getaway is a simple visit to a cabin or you go all out and schedule one of the most highly rated helicopter tours, planning for a break is important.
Trips to Alaska to take one of the many offered helicopter tours or dogsled tours may not be possible right now, but it is important to still take time to create some experiences away from the stress of dealing with this pandemic. Can you, for instance, organize an afternoon of outdoor yard games for your family to enjoy together? While you are in the process of cleaning out those too full closets, can you find movies of the vacations you took when the children were younger? Finding a way to step away from the chaos and confusion of this pandemic is important, not only for your mental health, but for your productivity as well. Families that take time to vacation together in the most beautiful of spaces have memories that will last a lifetime, but so, too, can your family create memories from these days of sheltering in place.