Over the weekend, we saw several updates on the coronavirus and how it is affecting our military community.
Families in Korea have been homeschooling for more than a week, while service members are checked before entering installations. We saw a huge quarantine in Northern Italy this weekend. And there are changes to everyday life in the States as well, with Fort Gordon, Georgia, quarantining those returning from certain countries.
That means no moves in or out. No leaving for schools (unless they're six months long and you leave early for quarantine). Nothing. And it rocked the community.
As soon as the information was released on social media, the stories of those affected were shared.
There are families who have already sent their household goods to or from South Korea for an upcoming PCS but now must stay put for months. Some service members in the United States for training were set to return to South Korea within the next few weeks but now can't travel. Others affected include families who are PCSing to a new location ahead of their service member for medical reasons and dependents who are waiting to leave South Korea to be treated for medical reasons in the U.S.
Everyone is staying where they are, or at least outside of South Korea, until May 6, according to the most recent information.
So, what now?
As a military community, we rally. We spend a few days outraged at this latest display of power the military -- and COVID-19 -- has over our lives. We whine, we cry, we carry on. We demand answers from a chain of command that doesn't yet have them.
And then we put on our collective grown-up pants and do what needs to be done.
We open our arms and welcome families who are missing their service member. We comb through our closets and pull out garments for the neighbor who sent all their summer clothes ahead. We have our kids share toys with the new family who won't have their things for months.
We cut the grass for our friends who shipped their lawnmower to their next destination. We hold the hand of our friend giving birth while her service member is in another country. We offer up our shoulders to cry on, our wine to drink and our homes, if necessary, for complete strangers to stay in.
In short, we do what military spouses have been doing for hundreds of years -- just under a new set of circumstances.
We've been through deployments and unknowns, and if there is one community that the coronavirus should be afraid of, it's the military spouse community.
We've got this. We've got you.
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