I think I was raised with a “default to fine” switch. Oh I’m good at worrying about things to be sure: worries about my kids, whether I thanked someone enough for their kindness, big decisions, struggles, etc. But I generally see that “glass half full,” and have a continually recurring thought, “it will all work out.”

So when we headed to Costa Rica for Spring Break and the world was normal I wasn’t worried. Oh there was talk of Corona in the news. But it was so far on the fringe of our consciousness, and blissfully we left on our trip, Dave and I with our two youngest kids, Dave’s sister and brother with their spouses and youngest kids.

Lucy did some amazing things on that trip, and we fell more in love with these people we already loved so much. But those things will have to wait for another day. For today I want to talk about how corona crept in. Because these are times to remember for sure.

I can pinpoint the time when the world changed for us. And more genuine worry started seeping in. We were sitting with this gorgeous view:

Dave was reading the news hot off the press that Harvard was closing it’s doors due to the corona virus, dorms cleared out, everyone being sent home. Our jaws dropped. How could that be happening?? Did they not know this wasn’t that big of a deal? It would pass, wouldn’t it?

And then from there the world continued to unravel.

We drove those windy Costa Rican roads, twelve of us stuffed in a twelve-passenger van, explored all that beauty, did yoga on the beach, watched gorgeous sunsets all with new things filing in like an eerie movie and making our eyes keep getting wider and wider:

There was one night Lucy cajoled us all into playing some games…that night filled with surreal news of two Jazz players confirmed with COVID-19, the NBA season suspended indefinitely, Tom Hanks and his wife confirmed positive, the world tilting strangely.

I went to sleep uneasy because Dave and Claire were supposed to be leaving the next day for her volleyball tournament in Denver (lu and I were staying with everyone else until we had to head to Wisconsin the day after the cousins left).

If they were cancelling the NBA, which was quickly spreading into all other sports, surely they wouldn’t still have those 1,500 teams and expected, 60,000 spectators still meet in Denver? The quarantining was starting with a vengeance and with that many people at one tournament I had visions of someone in that crowd being sick and Claire and her team being quarantined. Stuck in Denver. But the tournament kept announcing it was still a go. Claire’s teammates were supposed to be meeting at the airport in AZ at 5:45am for their fight. We got news just after midnight that the tournament officials had decided to call it quits. Dave and Claire were staying with us in Costa Rica after all.

From there on out every conversation was filled with corona talk, little groups of people hanging by the pool, everyone leaning over their phones with new news streaming in by the minute, dominoes falling in rapid succession: many sports at first just closed to spectators:

Then suspended indefinitely:

Oh makes me so sad for all those kids who have worked their tails off to finally reach their shining senior year in sports to have it all cancelled.

All the BYU colleges sent out these messages:

College graduations cancelled:

(Breaks my heart for Elle and her three cousins…and everyone else who was going to be walking in graduations after all their hard work.)

First only church in certain areas was cancelled, but quickly we got this:

Then school was cancelled too. All of it.

All the while there was worry seeping into my bones about Elle’s bridal shower coming up this weekend, but even more-so the wedding, the reception, a world of unknowns.

At this time I was so antsy about all my college kids, wished to have them right there with me. Safe in a world with the wheels falling off.

But it wasn’t going to do any of us any good to sit wringing our hands all day long, so we enjoyed the opportunity we had to be in that gorgeous spot. There was one night where all of us stood on a beach, the cotton-candy sky taking our breath away, something in all that beauty whispering “it will all work out.”

We played in those waves and watched the sun sink to leave the sky and ocean perfect cotton candy pink, the most gorgeous light I’ve seen, so many people I love right there in one of my new favorite “thin places.”

As far as we knew, my trip to Wisconsin with Lucy (where we go for appointments for her clinical trial) was still on, and I was a little nervous about staying behind our group in a foreign country for an extra night and heading there with the world the way it was, so uncertain. In the back of my mind I figured a cancellation was coming, but still, it was a giant relief when we got a call that they would be sending us her medicine instead.

Now we were on to figuring out our flights home, all jumbled in different ways with so many things cancelled.

Dave and I at first decided that we’d still utilize my extra hotel night we had already bought when we thought lu and I would be going to Wisconsin, and all go home together on Sunday. But we got thinking that last morning…we were both a little uneasy about staying an extra day and about getting home to all that’s awaiting us. And the rest of our group was leaving so Dave found an earlier flight for us. And then found one for everyone else too so we could all travel together (the airlines have been so nice to help with changes). The only catch was that it was an 11:50am flight which meant we had to pack up and leave (waking kids up) within 20 minutes. Yes, you heard that right, TWENTY MINUTES!! (We were far from the airport, had to return the rental van, all that Jazz). You should have seen us all scrambling around trying to throw everything in suitcases and once again cram in that van to get out of there. It was crazy and we definitely had some good “hot dog!” cheers going around as we made our triumphal entry back on the road to travel to the airport. (I’ll have to explain the “hot dog!” business when I post about Lucy’s miracles in Costa Rica.)

Gosh I love those people we got to travel with!

But we still weren’t safe when we arrived at the airport, barely an hour before our flight…long lines, the NICEST gate agent helping us though was a mini miracle though. It seems like we had ten thousand glitches, once trying to get on the plane (random new security check I think because we changed our flight a few times…trying to juggle 12 people with Southwest flights), one getting off the plane in Houston (they warned us over and over again not to forget anything because we couldn’t go back on the flight once we got off..new rule??)…and of course I somehow chose THAT for the one time in all my years of flying to leave my carry-on in the overhead bin (luckily Claire was still getting off so she could grab it for me). Then somehow the tail end of us getting off the flight accidentally got locked in an area (the security lady couldn’t get the door open), as well as a few other conundrums…seriously we were a MESS! But we made our connecting flight and made it HOME.

Felt so good to have Bo bounding around us all in excitement and be welcomed back to this place we love so much. Felt especially good in this time of so much uncertainty. So filled up with gratitude that we were able to slip in that trip under the radar before/during the world turning upside down…one to be deeply remembered forever.

It feels like an eternity has happened since we arrived home. And oh! I have so much more to say. But my time is up, here with so much heaving in our lives here in the desert as I know it is heaving for all those around us. First and forefront on our minds at the moment is the wedding and everything surrounding it. There have been times of worry all mixed up with pure joy. Most of our college kids are home and I look around at them, an unexpected togetherness, my heart overflowing, and trying to remind myself once again, “it will all work out.” Not sure how or when, but trusting in a higher source amidst all this uncertainty.

Sending out lots of love from here in the desert to everyone out there trying to sort all this out.


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  1. I want to ask you a question. And it is a sincere, trying to understand question. With the news that has been coming in from China and from Italy, I guess I don’t understand why or how this virus has been perceived as “no big deal”. And obviously it is not just you or your family – a great number of people have regarded it as no big deal – from what I understand there continue to be people with media presences who are perpetuating the idea that it is no big deal. My perspective is from a southern state and when I first heard about what was happening in China I knew that it would be affecting everyone. I know that America has a huge uninsured population, that rural hospitals are closing and have been closing at an alarming rate for several years. And that most of the people working at Walmart and grocery stores and gas stations, etc do not have insurance or it is so cost prohibitive that they can’t afford to go to the doctor or cover their children and that they would have to continue to work, while sick. I also want to point out that as of today, there have been 9386 people for which things have not “worked out”. That of course is just counting the people that have died – they most likely have families and I think we should include them in the things not working out column as well. I am a Believer. But as a Believer I have a responsibility to be honest with myself about what circumstances are – I cannot pretend that my stable income and access to healthcare is the norm. I have a responsibility to use what God has given me to help other people and also to work towards making things less unequal. As a Believer, it can’t be enough that just the little eggs in my basket will be okay thanks to my position in society. I would welcome hearing anyone’s perspective because I truly don’t understand and I would like to have a better understanding.

    1. The Walmart employees are the heroes. China has an aging population. The US does not. In China most people live close together in cities, US even city neighbors seem spacious and the suburbs and rural neighborhoods spacious. The bird flu, the swine flu.. none of those worked out like this. No adult alive has lived through a global pandemic. The Spanish flu people were not flying. They traveled boats and trains and it took a long time for one group of people to get to another enough time for symptoms to be obvious and they checked people at port back then. Now you can get somewhere in less than a day and come up with symptoms days later and been in contact with several different people before then. That wasn’t the case on a 6 week voyage or a two week train trip. The disease itself is no big deal unless you have health issues or are older. Last month there were people trying to convince others not to get the flu, measles, polio, etc vaccine. This is what the world looks like when no one has protection for something contagious.

      1. It is dangerous to continue pushing the idea that this virus is no big deal unless you are older or have health issues. The studies coming out now are showing that huge numbers of younger people are being hospitalized as a result of COVID-19, and symptoms are appearing in infants and children (they just manifest differently). We also don’t know yet about the long term effects of the virus on our lung health. It’s possible that this will have very serious long term consequences.

        1. Kristine – I understand that perhaps your perspective is that America does not have an aging population and that all housing is spread apart. I am sorry to inform you that this is simply not true. And I can’t help but wonder where you live and what your media sources are – and also, to urge you – I am URGING you – to look up NPR and to make it a part of your life. Your perspective is insanely – INSANELY – off. I don’t know if you have heard of the Baby Boomers – indeed, one of the reasons that social security is in such crisis is because our hugely aging population doesn’t have enough workers to sustain the social security benefits. In the last 10 years I have watched businesses shift to accommodate this huge population – home safety, adult day cares, assisted living. Huge aging population. Second misconception – that the majority of Americans live in spacious, suburban homes. This is simply false – fantastically, living in a movie, false. The majority of people in the United States – particularly poor people that don’t have access to insurance or healthcare – live very close together. Not just houses – but apartments – scores and scores of apartments with people using the same entrances and exits, laundry facilities, etc. Truly. Thank you for responding – because I didn’t really think that there were people so truly out of touch with what America is. I don’t mean this unkindly – but you, and people that believe what you believe – are a danger to all of us. You guys are going to be the death of all of us.

          1. Since you have called me a ‘danger to us all’ and the ‘death of us’, I can’t but know what media you watch. If being mean to people makes you feel heroic or calmer, go ahead. You have obviously never been to China cause you surely can not tell the difference between say Chicago and most cities and towns in China when it comes to housing. America has not limited family size for over 40 years like China. America has hundreds of thousand of legal immigrants enter the US who tend to average more than one kid. Check out the population pyramids of US and China. I agree it’s always been about the boomers. Her family was not in the demographic to worry about death if they were to catch it. We are all in the demographic of dealing with it. God bless.

        2. I am an RN in Missouri. Read about our latest death from COVID-19. The person was in their 30s. No significant medical history. This isn’t just killing the old and vulnerable. We are gravely underprepared and lack essential supplies. Being told we need to reuse disposable N95 masks 5 times and store in a brown paper bag between use. It’s appalling. And dangerous.

          1. The regular flu also kills other age groups. Statistically speaking one group is more concerning. Statically speaking it’s not a problem for most. Some have unknown conditions. It’s like the student athlete who suddenly has a heart attack. It’s good other industries are stopping everything to make masks and equipment currently with no strings attached. I suppose your local county health board and those across the country should be approving more hospitals. There were two in the works the last few years in my county and only one got approval. I can see where they were coming from at the time only allowing one extra hospital with so many people fleeing my state. But it would be nice to have an extra hospital and another set of staff. There is a lot of misplaced anger. People just want to be mad I suppose. Mother Nature always wins. We must adapt. We don’t control nature. Why the dickens don’t you have enough masks when a short time in the ER costs a person, insurance, the gov over a thousand dollars?

    2. Elizabeth, I do not think that Shawni was saying it was no big deal, but I think for the vast majority of Americans up until the last weekend we did not see this coming. Yes, it was in China, but that seems so far away and then it was in South Korea, but you can rationalize that is close to China not close to us. No one in our generation or our grandparents has seen a pandemic so the concept of it coming to reality only seems like something of Hollywood films. Our brains can rationalize that we have the best health care and technology and so on and so on. Just today, my husband and I got in a fight with our teenage son about this very subject. He believes that we are immune to the virus because we are not old and are in good health. He believes we will not get it because we have no confirmed cases in our county. So while you may have immediately understood that this was a big deal, the majority of Americans have not, and I would even suggest that you give Shawni a bit of grace as she was traveling in Costa Rica where they were even a bit more removed from the situation.

  2. I’m glad to hear that you and your family are safe!!

    Thanks for your words, I believe everything will be ok xxx.

  3. I find it hard to believe that your husband works in China all the time and yet you were blindsided. Surely this has been affected your family already more than most. It has definitely impacted ours as we fled China in early February. We were the lucky ones. We never got stranded and we narrowly escaped. Countless people have been stranded in strange lands. Now my husband in China is way safer than us, but I’m not going back.

  4. Who says the wedding has to take place the same time they get married? It used to be private ceremony with open houses everywhere since most are in college with family in multiple states. That would seem like the plan to follow. I’m glad you are not stranded abroad. Most people are worried about aging parents they can’t get to and family that are currently diagnosed with something, people they can’t visit in hospital, their jobs they can’t miss or can’t do, childcare and what to do with the kids who are technically e-learning, the supply at the supermarket and pharmacy of necessities, finances, how to handle kid worries during the disruption, how to be together in such a high pressure situation, loneliness at a time where everyone needs to be 6 feet or farther from people outside their households, figuring out which errands are essential and which aren’t (dental cleaning, haircut, fixing chipped tooth), at what point to go to the doctor when ‘sick’ and how to go about it without catching something worse and the unknown end date of all of this. When on vacation people are away from the news. Not entirely sure why Tom Hanks having it abroad made the news but it seems to have helped this family? I feel for the people unable to do a proper funeral or receive anointing of the sick and last rites.

  5. I have thought of you knowing you were preparing a wedding amidst this chaos! It is NEVER easy for anyone and their personal agendas and change of plans. I am so sorry for you and for Elle who are trying to navigate a new plan for such a special occasion during this crazy time. I hope she is able to find a way to marry that fills her heart up in the ways it should and that she is able to celebrate with loved ones at some point! Thinking of you all!

  6. A sister at church shared this:
    ‘it’ll all be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end’
    I loved that eternal perspective. ALL things will be ok in the end. Good luck with all the decisions that need to be made.

  7. Let’s hope after all your travel, during a time when it was clearly risky to do so, you have pro actively self quarantined vs continuing to further put folks who come in contact with you at risk. This isn’t that hard for families like yours with plenty of means…do the right thing please. I too find it difficult to believe you were blind sided with all your connections to China. I am really surprised at how many people are not heeding the call to reduce interaction and instead are spreading risk and negatively impacting so many who are without jobs as more and more gets shut down to force people to stay home…yet people continue to not stay home.

  8. It is hard to believe that you were blind sided. My husband travels frequently between China and the USA often.. and he stopped traveling weeks ago. I, like others, hope you and the rest of your crew quarantine.

  9. Sounds like we will have been in Costa Rica around the same time. We went out to dinner the night we canceled our flights and watched the jazz walk off the court… I’m sure if our flights had been several days earlier we still would have gone. It’s crazy how fast things are escalating.

  10. Shawni,
    Thank you for sharing your vacation and details with us – I’m glad you enjoyed your time with your family, and made it home safely. Yes we are living in very uncertain times. I’m hopeful too that things will work out and that our Father in Heaven is mindful of us all!

  11. I so understand this. The world went from “hm that’s odd” to completely locked down, new news coming out hourly even. We had friends board a cruise late february thinking all was fine; they had passengers get infected after the fact, but did not get locked down. I think there was a lot of good-hearted denial (including from us, who finally cancelled our spring break trip pretty late). I don’t think it’s ignorance or anything like that; I think it’s truly disbelief; how is this happening? I’m so glad you were able to be present on your trip before returning to new normal. We have two friends dealing with wedding issues (reschedule? family only? elope?), and my heart is with you and Elle.

  12. I love this blog, the commenters are super annoying though. So self-righteous. I live in Atlanta. You know, the place where the CDC is located. We’ve had cases here for a while. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING was closed or cancelled until last THURSDAY. There was no reason to think it wasn’t ok to travel; certain travel bans and warnings had been issued for certain places. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Costa Rica WASN’T one of them. Good grief. Shawni shares her world with us and I for one have learned a lot from her. But she is met with so much unnecessary criticism. It’s just silly, petty, and childish. I wonder if you all would show her so much distain in person; I’m guessing not because it’s easy to hide behind a screen.

    1. In a country, currently governed by one of the most outstanding liars every seen, no one can wait for things to close. If you read this blog then you know how many people in the US do business in China. And the information about China has been coming in for months. My family and I have been quarantining for months – we go to work/school/church. That’s it. Grocery shopping is done once a week. Why would anyone trust what we have in place in government to be looking out for us? The unfilled positions in the CDC, the government agencies disbanded that were set up to deal with these kinds of things – we know who our government is at this time – and anyone waiting for Walmart to close as a sign that things are bad is foolish. And that isn’t self-righteousness. That is just the truth. Apparently living in the same city with the CDC has given you a false sense of security? But you don’t seem to be very well informed about what has been going on at the CDC. How the President forbade doctors to speak out about what was coming and how bad it was going to be. You need to change your news source. Again – not just for your sake, but for all our sakes. Are you familiar with airports and how they work? Any traveling is unsafe. And yes, traveling during this time is an INCREDIBLY selfish thing to do – it disregards the lives of millions of people that don’t have the same options of holing up in their bubble. They have children too. Maybe not children that are priviledged enough to go to school in Hawaii or to plan an elaborate wedding or to seek specialized medical care – but their children are precious to them just the same. And those children? They might not have the safety net of extensive family – their only family may be the person going into work every day, risking their lives to make sure that the traveling people still have toilet paper.

      1. I don’t have a false sense of security. It seems very paranoid for you to quarantine for months. Yikes. But that’s fine for you. Also, our president (who I’m not a super fan of) closed borders EARLY and was called racist and criticized. I also have a brother who is a scientist and I’m aware of what’s going on in the CDC. I actually know people who work there. It’s fear mongering and paranoia that have caused a lot of the problem. I pray daily for the suffering and for those who have lost their lives. I personally know people who have the virus. However, calling someone selfish for traveling before it seemed necessary to quarantine us just silly and petty. It’s your own fear being displaced in someone else.

      2. Oh and my news source is local so I hear about the cdc all the time, even when not in a pandemic. And the president did not tell them to to tell anyone. That was the Chinese government who did that.

      3. And I’m sorry. I wish I could delete those posts above but I can’t figure out how to. After rereading your comment, my perception is that you don’t like this family and that’s why you’re being critical. Again, my perception so I may be wrong about that. But you address specific things about their lives that a lot of people are worrying about. Weddings, college, privileges, and being concerned about that are not bad things. I know lots of other concerned and sad because of social things that have been cancelled. It’s not just The Pothiers. Give Elle some grace; I would have been heartbroken if this had happened when I was planning my wedding. Or if my graduation had been called off. It doesn’t mean they don’t care about the suffering; but we are allowed to have feelings of disappointment over what we care about n

      4. Elizabeth, again, I wish I could delete my comment. You and I disagree and that’s ok. That’s what makes our country wonderful; that we are free to think for ourselves and disagree. I shouldn’t be arguing with you or anyone here in cyberspace on Shawni’s blog. Please accept my apology! Blessings to you and your family during this strange and uncertain time. 💕

      5. Elizabeth- sorry for your extreme fear and criticism of others. Some of us have traveled during this time because we were away from home (in my case, helping a daughter who just had a new baby–and then word of this virus spread over the country and things began shutting down….and I still needed to get home because I care for my mother who has cancer and a sister who is paralyzed– and they have nowhere near the fear you are expressing here! And yes, my sister is a doctor who has studied microbiology and has an understanding of virology). To say people are selfish is quite judgmental. Some people don’t have the option to stay home. I have to take my mother to the cancer center weekly for infusions–she needs to go! My daughter enlisted in the military right before this pandemic and has a list of things she has to bring with her to boot camp. We had to go get the items before all stores were completely shut down (because even online things are not available!). Sad to think there are people who label us as “selfish,” for being in the store buying the needed items for her to serve this country! If you are isolating yourself from the public, there really is no reason to be so harsh on those who may have reason to leave their homes. We will be the ones at risk and you will be fine. I think most people are isolating themselves as much as possible, but some of us still have to go out and about from time to time….some still have to go out and work (my husband is one– what would we all do without the truck drivers bringing the medical supplies and food for re-stocking?!!!) How about we look at others and try and understand the intent of their hearts, rather than simply looking at others and labeling them as “selfish”? For Shawni, my heart goes out to you and Elle. We just had a friend whose daughter was married yesterday and all of the BIG wedding plans were suddenly changed (no attendance at the wedding, no fun reception). It ended up being just the bride, groom, and their parents and maybe a couple siblings. Thank you, Shawni for always looking for the good in the world. For always pointing out the beauty and happy things we are surrounded by among all the chaos. It is refreshing in such a negative and critical world.

      6. Elizabeth, obviously quarantining for months has begun to take its toll on you. But to truly quarantine you may want to stop going places. You said, “we go to work/school/church. That’s it.” I’m confused how that is quarantining, and after all you must be an expert by now!

        1. Time on your hands, Amy? Maybe some chocolate would help. Or something stronger. Are the liquor stores open in your area?

  13. But you know Shawni….It’s not fine. It’s not fine at all. And will NOT be fine. My daughter is a surgeon in Chicago. They will be out of masks in 2 days. Specialists in OB, Derm, Ortho etc are all being reassigned to ICUs and the ER. Where they do not have the training to do ventilators or trauma. Where the CDC has told them that wearing bandanas are fine. They are being put out there to become infected and live with a risk of dying. They will soon be deciding who lives and dies. My husband is Chief of Primary Care at the VA. They are setting up tents in the parking lots to triage the surge that is expected within the next 2 weeks. My BIL is Chief of Infectious disease at the University Hospital. He’s had such a severe flu and pneumonia that he was hospitalized for 5 days and was terrified he would die. Now he’s on the front lines. My other BIL is a surgeon in Florida. I am a nurse who works with the homeless. They live on the street. They are dependent on a shelters, steps, alleyways to sleep. The CDC cannot be counted upon. The White House is being led by one of the most narcissistic liars ever. My daughter’s FIL used to be the Colonel in charge of Bioterrorism and Pandemics at the Pandemic after 9/11. Our lack of preparedness for this crisis would keep you up at night. I’m sure I’m writing with such angst because I am terrified for my family and my patients. But writing about beautiful sunsets and velvety feelings and showing fabulous pictures of fancy vacations when the rest of us are on our knees begging “Lord, have mercy” hurts.

    1. Oh wow. Thinking of you. I think about those health care workers every day – several times a day. I’m so sorry. We are all worried and you even more so. 🙏🏼🙏🏼

    2. Lissa,

      I feel for you and your family. My sister is an RN in a hospital in a city at the center of the outbreak. Her floor has been turned into one of the “COVID” floors which is essentially an ICU. It’s crazy to say the least. They are truly terrified of running out of supplies and believe it will happen soon.

      I agree with you that we don’t know it will all just work out. I’m hoping and praying that it will, but it’s foolish to think that lives won’t be lost (and already have been!!!) over this crisis.

    3. Get me if I am wrong, and this should probably be for Shawni to address, but from the title I took away wasn’t that people were not going to die, or that hospitals would be struggling, but that all would work out how it should in regards to the wedding. In that being said, if Elle and her man have to do their wedding in Arizona or another location and even if they have to schedule for a later date. That while it is sad that graduation is canceled -it will be ok. That these things are just small moments in a bigger picture. I am sad too because my son is a senior and right now we don’t know if he will get to celebrate his 18 birthday, have friends over when he opens his mission call, that he will even get to go on a mission right now since they are bringing so many missionaries home, will he get to go to prom or even graduate. I know that in comparison to the reality of people losing a loved one it is not really important if he gets these moments, but I still have the right to grieve the loss of these moments.

    4. Lissa, what an AMAZING family you have! Lots of smart people. Why do you read this blog? It seems to make you upset. You may have more peace if you don’t come here and make judgy comments. Hope this helps.

  14. So glad you and your family are home safely and that you were able to have a mostly good, positive trip. Can’t wait to hear about Lucy’s miracles. As for this virus, this is certainly a once in a lifetime event (hopefully) and it is moving at breakneck speed. I feel for Elle and for everyone else whose huge life events have had to be delayed/changed/canceled. Praying that God will bring us all together and remove this virus from the earth quickly….and eliminate the shaming, blaming, and flagrant partisanship

  15. Good luck with all the decisions ahead. You definitely have a lot to process. The picture on the beach was beautiful and is what I visualize all the time lately. I have a child on a mission, quarantined in Europe, and we wait each day for more news about him. I have told him I find peace thinking of our family all together sitting on the beach – one day we will be there, laughing and watching a sunset. ❤️Let’s hope.

  16. Heartbreaking for Elle and millions of other people.

    Time for everyone to take care of themselves and as many others as possible.

    Beautiful and super-special as weddings are, in the long run it’s about the marriage and not the wedding.

  17. I don’t understand this “it will all work out” attitude. Will it all work out for the people who died? Is it working out for the patients in our country and other countries that aren’t getting the healthcare they need because the system has reached maximum capacity! Is it working out for the families with hungry children because they rely on subsidized school lunches? Is it working out for the people isolated and horribly alone? Yea, BYU sports and wedding parties will work out just fine. Yes it will all work out for your houseful of people but it’s won’t all work out for many others whose lives are just as valuable as yours. Maybe what you mean is that it will work out just fine for you and yours since you are #soblessed.

    1. Just to make it clear school districts are still distributing breakfast and lunches for families with kids who need even without school, at the moment. Our district picked a select number of schools as distribution sites. You go to the door and tell them how many kids. They then bring that number to the car, enough for a period of time. The summer lunch programs have also been started, you just have to eat it somewhere else. Shelter states allow for these activities to continue. We are all only here for a short time. It’s a blessing to be alive and it’s a blessing that this is not the end. We don’t get the people around us on this earth for our entire life span.

    2. Jenny, thank you! Your comment really opened my eyes! I was just thinking my life and my family’s were the most valuable! Whew you saved me! #soblessedbyJenny’shelpfulcomment

  18. It’s big deal for sure but also an unpredicted time to stop being selfish and focused on our own little backyard. A kind of sign, I like to think.
    Dear ladies, we are some weeks ahead out here and the news you can hear in Italy, the death rate still growing, the hospital crowded like never before and, often, the doctors and the nurses in tears… well it is definitely breathtaking.
    Please take care, please let’s all think that our actions will impact the others’ well being, especially the aged popolation. I am sure we all will enjoy brighter times and endless chances to celebrate, to party, to travel.

    I send a big hug to all of you from Turin, quarantine day #16. And still fighting.💞

    1. Context is important. If you read this blog, you know the Pothiers are involved with feeding children who suffer from food insecurity, you know the Pothiers are fortunate people, and you know they see the needs in the world around them and respond. So a post that skims the surface of our current crisis and addresses it from a relatively safe perspective should be taken as what it is, a snapshot of one particular moment, not a comprehensive essay on the state of the world today.
      Pontificating is easy. Showing concern through words and tearing down others is facile, and self congratulatory. Not everyone is comfortable playing the holier than thou game in all its various guises. Actions speak louder than words.

  19. But I definitely agree. My message wasn’t meant to judge or pontificate or so. Sorry if it sounded like that, the language barrier probably does not help either.
    On the contrary, my naïf tentative was that of sharing a feeling and say we all (I said ‘ladies’ I think) are part of a greater whole, the same bost. So to say, at the moment which can make us feel connected and caring.
    A big hug to ALL of you. We will succeed!

    1. Oh, no, I didn’t mean to reply to you in specific! I am so sorry. My comment was in general. Please, please accept my apologies.

  20. Yes, it is most definitely a time we need to stick together (by social distancing and heavily readjusting our lives) and fight the fight as a united front. Hopefully by now we all know the right things we can do individually, so that our individual actions contribute to collectively supporting the health care workers, those with compromised immunity to this virus, those who are vulnerable, as well as each other.

    There are some commentators here who are voicing genuine concern, that is being labeled as hateful criticism by some. The same thing has happened before. The thing is, we also need to make this a learning experience for all of us, a chance to gain a new perspective. It has been very clear the US won’t be unaffected by this virus. President T has repeatedly given irresponsible statements on how it’s all under control, how he feels it’s going to go away, how it will miraculously disappear etc. If you fail to look at the bigger picture and fail to educate yourself on what’s been happening around the world for months now, you would see the inevitable development of all of this. Sure, things move fast, it’s all hard to comprehend, and news update daily. Still, it’s been clear for a while now that the spread can’t be stopped, and traveling is a terrible idea and will only make it worse, more uncontrollable, more tasking for the health care system and vulnerable communities.

    The Costa Rica trip can’t be undone, but hopefully this serves as a chance to reflect the choices you make in your life. Hopefully you’ll realize your judgement failed. This has been real for thousands of people around the world for weeks now, and it’s getting worse by the day. It’s easy to think that something disastrous happening won’t personally affect you, but let’s hope we all gain a less selfish, more educated approach.

    1. Ah Beatrice! Here to judge and and be so helpful! “Hopefully you’ll realize your judgement failed.” LOL would you say that to anyone in person?!

  21. I come back to make this point because it seems as if some of you do not realize it yet – that people that appear healthy and who don’t have to worry about dying from this virus (which is also false) can spread the virus to other people. So say a group of 12 people decide to travel for spring break and so they sit in airplanes and go through airports and one of them picks up the virus and then they spend a week together eating out, living in a hotel, shopping and then they fly back home, on airplanes with other people and through airports – they can transmit this virus to hundreds of other people. This, is selfish and irresponsible behavior. I don’t personally dislike this family but I am absolutely appalled at what they have done and the people that they have put into harms way. And I am especially saddened for the people in healthcare that are risking their lives with little support from the government while other people pretend that it is okay. It’s not okay. This isn’t about fear or self-righteousness – it’s about people taking responsibility and doing everything they can to help other people be safe.

  22. First of all, wow, lots to say! And I appreciate all these opinions and thoughts shared (although I think some could be stated in a kinder way…but I know everyone is under a lot of duress right now so I get it). Thank you extra to those who shared kindness amidst the fear. I’m so sorry the title of this post came off wrong. I agree, it’s a horrible title at a time like this and I think I will change it. It was just something I whipped together to journal all that had happened that last week…the world changing by the minute around us. I was referring to what I said in the first paragraph about my “default to fine” switch to wrap it all up, and that all the little seemingly silly worries will be fine when you look at the big picture of what is happening in the world. So many more important things to worry about!

    I think we have all learned a great deal in the last couple weeks, things we never thought we would have to learn, obstacles we never thought we’d have to fight against. Remember that hindsight is always 20/20 and even a week from now our world may be vastly different as we march into the great unknown. May we do it united with grace and love, even when we have to be physically so distant from each other. Because we need each other now more than ever before!

    I thought this article my sister sent was particularly educational, just wanted to share here as well: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56

    Sending out love and SO MUCH GRATITUDE to those who are working so hard to combat this thing, who are sacrificing so much…from those in the medical field who are putting their lives on the line, to those in government positions faced with such momentous decisions to try to keep things from spreading. So grateful for all the work that is being put into help humankind at such an unprecedented time. My heart reaches out to teachers who are working so hard to learn how to teach in a whole new way, to those who have lost their jobs and don’t know how they will make ends meet, to parents trying to work and keep kids quarantined at the same time, oh the list goes on and on. Especially grateful for everyone who feels frightened, nervous, and is struggling in their own quiet ways but still reaches out to be kind and to lift in such uncertain times. We need each other more than ever before!

  23. Please please tell me you and your family put yourselves in isolation for minimum 14 days after been out of the country and didn’t fly/drive to Utah or Hawaii.
    I’m seeing so many people who think ‘ The entitlement trap’ is not them .. those who are letting kids hang out with friends, or travelling to see ‘ big kids’ are being incredibly selfish and entitled.

    1. Kellie! I guess you are home alone and that makes you entitled to come and judge and make snarky comments! Sounds like a fun isolation. I recommend chocolate instead of blogs for more peace of mind.

      1. Amy, you must be the one “home alone” and feeling the need to respond to everyone’s comments. I think you’d benefit from some chocolate as well, honey.

        1. Thanks for responding! It’s been quite fun!! I was wondering if anyone would read my comments since it’s been a few days. You’re the best.

    2. If you are keeping abreast with the news no one is flying into Hawaii that isn’t a local. In fact, they are issuing 5,000 dollar fines is what a friend of mine told me who lives in Maui. Hawaii even made it so now you can’t fly from one island to another.

  24. The pandemic covering the world is painful, difficult, and horrible. However, that doesn’t mean every moment of our lives needs to be too! In fact, that would be even more detrimental to our lives & health if we let ourselves be consumed by the bad things. We are allowed to feel pain and sadness for less important, non-life threatening, losses, and struggles even through this pandemic. It does not take anything away from the larger pain. We are allowed to focus on the immediate needs and cares of our families. We are allowed to celebrate the little wins of our families too. And we do not need to caveat every statement, with a disclaimer.
    Shawni, I appreciate you sharing your highs and lows with us, even when it’s not the most important topic in the world right now. Maybe even especially! Don’t we all need to let our minds and hearts land on lighter things? It is still your reality, and I live in a reality of smaller struggles too, in fact, we all do! Thanks for being a light in the world and an optimist. Thank you for continuing to journal “out loud”.

    1. Perfectly said! I think that yes, we all need to do our part. Yes, for many things will never be the same. Heck, maybe in for the majority of us, but that does not mean we still can’t find joy in the little things like spring flowers, siblings playing nicely with one another, a child getting a hard math problem right, dad’s being home and going on bike rides or making a Tik Tok video with his daughter. All of our heart goes out to those who are grieving the loss of loved ones and thank those who serve us whether it be in the medical profession or at the grocery store.

  25. Gosh.. really people. This is Shawni’s blog.. and I love it. It is NOT a forum to air your judgey thoughts. Sheesh. I think all of us barely saw this coming and have done the best we can. Shawni I love your blog and come here to be uplifted by your inspiring thoughts that you write so well. This is not Facebook people.. go there to share your opinions about politics or your worry about other people’s choices.

  26. The pandemic covering the world is painful, difficult, and horrible. However, that doesn’t mean every moment of our lives needs to be too! In fact, that would be even more detrimental to our lives & health if we let ourselves be consumed by the bad things. We are allowed to feel pain and sadness for less important, non-life threatening, losses, and struggles even through this pandemic. It does not take anything away from the larger pain. We are allowed to focus on the immediate needs and cares of our families. We are allowed to celebrate the little wins of our families too. And we do not need to caveat every statement, with a disclaimer.

  27. I can’t help but think the majority (not all) of these comments reflect exactly what’s happening in the US today. Everything is politicized, even a virus. It’s quite sad.

    Love your blog, Shawni. Been following for years.

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