One Year Anniversary of Quarantine

With the one year anniversary of the Covid-19 quarantine just passing, a lot of people are reminiscing about the past year. So many things have changed, and so many things have stayed exactly the same. We thought we would take a moment to look back at the adventures we’ve have, and the many that we have not had over the past year.

Brooke: So dad, do you remember kind of like the beginning of quarantine or what that was like for you?

Ray: Well, I remember I was speaking in the Bay Area and in the middle of the presentation I see the principal get a call and run out of the room. When I finished speaking he came up to me and said “man, it’s a good thing you got here when you did, if you had come about 20 minutes later we wouldn’t have been able to let you on the campus.” And then I had a few more presentations scheduled but all those ones got cancelled. What about you, Brooke?

Brooke: Yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever forget, I was supposed to go on a trip to Georgia, and I was actually really excited because I was going to have some free time and I had planned to go visit the Coca-Cola headquarters there, and we weren’t sure whether or not the presentation was going to get cancelled. And then we got an alert that someone like two school districts over had gotten Covid, but they said that there presentation would still go on, so I flew out to Georgia, got my car rental, was half way to the hotel, and they cancelled so I had to drive back to the airport, try to return my car, and then get the next flight home, and I basically just spent 14 hours traveling to nowhere.

Ray: Wow, yeah, that’s crazy. We have definitely missed a lot of adventures we would have had traveling. I know I sure miss getting drove around by the Elks, eating at new restaurants; I even miss checking into hotel rooms and stuff.

Brooke: Yeah I definitely miss those crisp tightly-tucked hotel room sheets. But then we started doing online presentations which was a big change, but that was fun!

Ray: Yeah, it was a big change for sure. I remember we had talked about doing webinars a few years ago but no one was really into them, everyone said in person presentations would last forever. But once Covid hit, everything, almost overnight, switched to webinars and we had to as well. When we first started, I felt like a day one speaker again. I was so nervous, I didn’t think I would fill the time and wasn’t sure if it was going to go over so well. But now I love it, the energy is fun and I feel like it mimics the shows kids like to watch on YouTube anyway.

Brooke: Yep, there was definitely a learning curve there. But the webinars are so much fun! And just like you said, I think we definitely feel like YouTube stars or something, haha.

Ray: And I’m so grateful to The Elks because they saw the importance of continuing solid drug information for students, so they made the switch to webinars.

Brooke: Oh man that’s awesome! Ok so of all the quarantine activities what has been your favorite?

Ray: Well I really liked the At-Home Paint Night we did for mom’s birthday, the movie marathons, the sourdough starter-

Brooke: Oh yeah the sourdough starter! More like the huge waste of flour! Haha, I really liked all the new recipes we tried, like the Sunday-Gravy pasta sauce, and the Jamaican meat patties.

Ray: Oh yeah! Those were great; I sure don’t miss the stores being out of toilet paper.

Brooke: Definitely. But I’ll tell you what, I do think it’s kind of comforting in a way that we all went through this collective thing together, and many of us had the same experiences, from Tiger King to getting excited when you’re out of toothpaste because it means you can go to Target.

Ray: Haha, that’s true. And that we have all tried our hardest to have the tenacity to keep going through this rough time. The Elks have definitely shown their persistence by doing everything they can to still provide help to the elderly, their communities, and to youth, especially by continuing their mission of providing drug and alcohol information to youth. When most organizations threw up their hands, The Elks rolled up their sleeves. And we have seen such an amazing response to their work from schools, schools are loving these webinars.

We sure have had a crazy year, but it is good to take a moment to reflect on the good, and the not so good, and to keep looking forward to even more changes to come. But hopefully there will be more traveling in the near-future!

Brooke: Yes! I want my tiny free plane-sodas!

Ray: Heck yeah. Well we can’t wait to get back to speaking to you guys in person again, but until that day comes we are still offering webinars, and these webinars are not free, but they are at no cost to the schools because the funding has been provided by The Elks. It’s like when you go out to a fancy meal and at the end of it your friend says “Don’t worry, I got it”. So you get a great meal, and the bonus was it was free to you. That’s who The Elks are, they’re your buddy picking up the tab, and we couldn’t be more grateful.

For more information on how you can get a webinar that has been paid for by the Elks, you can go to our website or email Stay safe everyone, and remember that though this year has been crazy, we are all lucky to be still moving forward.