Silver Linings: COVID Edition

“Every cloud has a silver lining,” so the saying goes.

The global lockdown and countless deaths wrought by the coronavirus are certainly a heavy cloud that we are all under. For many people — those who have lost loved ones, business, and more — if there is a silver lining, they have not been able to see it yet.

Many of us are in positions to safely weather the storm. We are in the same storm, but our boat is not sinking. For us, we have been blessed to find silver linings:

Finally, families are eating dinner together, unburdened by relentless sports calendars, and work schedules.

Beach days have become a more regular part of my family’s schedule.

People have time to cook — or to learn how to cook. We are taking up other hobbies, too. I’ve been following a friend on Facebook who built a chicken coop. I learned how to knit (I’ve made four scarves and a pair of fingerless gloves. You all know what you’ll be getting for Christmas this year!)

At Apples to Zucchini, we have been appreciating our silver linings. As soon as the stay-at-home orders were issued, we transitioned to video classes. This was something that we had been talking about for years, but simply lacked the bandwidth to implement. Now that we have it in place, we know that we can carry on with virtual classes, and recorded cooking videos once we all return to “normal.”

Our time was also freed up to devote to operational issues that are “important”, but rarely “urgent.” One May 1, we were granted our own 501c3 status — we are no longer a fiscal sponsorship fund of the Santa Barbara Foundation. This is super exciting news, and I will share more details about when all the transition work is completed. The silver lining is that the lockdown gave us time to handle all of the transition work — getting insurance policies, opening a bank account, working out staffing decisions and setting up payroll.

We also have time to clean up our website — another item that has lingered on our to-do list, with no implementation date or deadline in sight.

Our greatest challenge has been summer camp. Until last week, we weren’t even sure if we would be able to run our summer camps. We have the go-ahead, but have had to make significant changes. This summer, there will be no field trips to Rory’s Ice Cream, the pastry kitchen at the Biltmore, Trader Joe’s, Gelsons, Pacific Pickle Works, Unity Shoppe, C’est Cheese. Instead, we are focusing on our physical well-being. We are incorporating more movement — outdoor games (with food-related twists!), yoga, gardening. We are inviting visitors to come to us — bread bakers, our friends from American Riviera Bank and Rooted Santa Barbara.

Many of the changes we are making are really exciting to us. They give us a chance to incorporate all of our ideas into a clear and consistent message during each week of camp. Our hearts grieve for the lives lost and disrupted by COVID. But we refuse to sit still and let the pandemic’s wake wash over us. We are seizing the day, and turning the lemons into lemonade.

If you want to know more about our summer camps, click here.

If you have a teen who is looking for a fun way to earn community service hours, please have her or him reach out to courtney@atozcookingschool.org

We would love to hear your silver lining….

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