Quarantine: Just Do the Next Right Thing


The country closed. It reopened. Some places are closing again. Schools are re-opening – both in-person and virtually. The governor announces new mandates weekly. On top of everything, moms are still dealing with work, spouses, kids, chores… the list goes on.

Right now, life is exhausting and anxiety-filled. And everyone seems to be handling it all differently.

next right thing

Some people are having big parties. Others are going to the gym and eating in restaurants again. Some are still doing socially-distanced, outdoor visits. Others are nervous to leave their homes just to go to the grocery store. But what is best?

This sounds ridiculous, but right now, I’m taking advice from one of my son’s favorite movies. In Frozen II, Anna sings a song that has kind of become my mantra.

“But you must go on and do the next right thing.”

My son’s preschool was canceled due to new ratios issued by the state. I panicked, wondering if we needed to get him into a private school, wondering how we’d transport him, wondering how it would impact childcare.

“Do the next right thing.”

For us, that was saying “no” to preschool. It was breathing a sigh of relief that we no longer had to worry about him coming into contact with so many other people. No worries about transportation. No worries about how all of the social distancing guidelines would impact him at school. Instead, we’ll work together to implement educational activities at home. We’ll practice social skills during socially-distanced, outdoor visits with neighbors, as long as we feel it’s safe to do so.

My family has been taking quarantine more seriously than some, but at the same time, my husband and I talk daily about whether we’re being too lax. We’ve been invited to graduation parties, birthday parties and even a (since canceled) family reunion.

“Do the next right thing.”

For us, that is having lengthy conversations about the risks associated with each individual event. It’s choosing whether to go based on how comfortable we feel. It’s learning that we need to decide what’s best for our family, not simply doing what others want or expect us to do.

Now I’m back to work. I’m coming into contact with dozens of students daily. I bring any exposure back to my family, despite taking precautions like changing clothes and showering after arriving at home. We are potentially exposing our parents, grandparents, siblings. That’s a scary thought. Do we go on complete lockdown again, like we did back in March? Just the four of us, only one of us leaving the house for necessities?

“Do the next right thing.”

We’re still working to decide what the next right thing is. We are constantly weighing the risks and benefits. One thing we’re not worrying about: what others will think. Only we can decide what’s right for our family.

Life is overwhelming right now, but breaking it down into simple steps can help.

So what’s best for you and your family? Only you know. And when you’re overwhelmed…

“Do the next right thing.”