COVID-19 story by Marisol González, 2020

Marisol González describes her idea of what quarantine / Safer at Home would look like: the opportunity to learn new things, practice meditation, yoga, and other activities. Marisol shares a humorous view of what she thought or hoped homeschooling her children would be like, and the reality of managing technology and communication with school and work at a distance.

This story was originally recorded and shared as part of an episode of the Madison podcast Inside Stories. Listen to that episode and subscribe to the podcast here:

This recording was created on . You can view the original file and full metadata in our digital repository.


    Marisol González: When I heard the news of the coronavirus, I thought it might be related to the Corona Mexican beer, to be honest, since a couple years ago there were videos and information floating around about the contamination of the 7 Up soda pop that was killing people. 

    Anyway, when I paid attention and understand what was really going on, my first thought was, “What a great opportunity!” and I made up a list of all of the things I wanted to do this quarantine. For example: read, write, watch the movies that I always wanted to watch, take naps, cook new recipes, take baths with a glass of wine, do Zumba, yoga, meditation, paint, crafts, learn how to sew on the sewing machine, and many more ideas. I was very excited to start this quarantine. 

    But I forgot one very important detail: the whole family will be in quarantine, too. That means goodbye to my list of things and expectations, because the kids will demand my attention twenty-four hours a day. Plus, the explosions of emails from teachers, principals, school districts, coworkers, clients, friends, and the latest news. That was too much. Everywhere I looked, there was something about the coronavirus. I felt so much anxiety and pain in my neck. 

    But I tried to be positive, and I got a new idea. This was something I wished to do for a long time: My big opportunity to homeschool my kids! So I made a list of the expectations of what our homeschooling would look like. Although the reality was very different than what I expected. The first day, the cable of my laptop was lost. So the kids fought to share my husband’s laptop. I put my house upside down to find the stupid cable, and after half of the day looking, I did find it. But the laptop wasn’t working. The kids did very little schoolwork that day. The second day, my son’s Google classroom wasn’t working, and I spent half of the day sending emails to his teacher. So we ended up just reading some books. 

    The following day, it seems like all of the technology was working for my kids, but definitely, this wasn’t the kind of homeschooling I was expecting. Looking at my kids immersed in the screens doing schoolwork makes me sick. Right when my daughter started calling me “Maestra Marisol,” I said, “Forget about this way of homeschooling! And let’s do it my way. And please, just call me Mom.” So we start our math class by making empanadas. After that, let’s learn science and nature. We went outside on our bikes while it was raining, and splashed in some puddles. Then social studies! Geography and history! Let’s do a tea party with all of the stuffed animals, and talk about kings and queens, castles and royalty. Where do they live? How do they get their wealth? It was fair? What about gym class? Well, we went for walks, and my daughter figured out how to use a metal bar from the shower to hang like a monkey. I feel very proud and tired. 

    Thank goodness this week is spring break. And since the Mexican Corona beer has nothing to do with the coronavirus, I’m planning to enjoy some of them with lime and salt.