'This just feels very surreal’ Shreveport family reacts to new normal

Hunter, Thatcher and Jackson sit at a table in their Shreveport home, working out school work,...
Hunter, Thatcher and Jackson sit at a table in their Shreveport home, working out school work, as schools across the state remain shut down due to the coronavirus threat.(Christian Piekos)
Updated: Mar. 18, 2020 at 7:47 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - One week ago, Lindsey Kiper and Brad Thrasher were picking up their children from school, getting them ready for soccer and lacrosse practice, but also keeping a distant - yet attentive — eye on the global spread of the coronavirus.

“I didn’t really think about it too much, not too nervous,” Lindsey said. “It seems like its over there, they’ve quarantined it.”

At the end of last week, when Governor John Bel Edwards ordered all public schools across Louisiana close to mitigate the spread of the virus — Lindsey and Brad’s sense of routine was thrown out the window.

“This just feels very surreal,” she said. “My sanity right now is my biggest concern.”

It began an uncharted adventure with four boys at home concurrently.

"We’re used to them being at school all day, so now they’re going to be home for the next month,” Brad said.

“This is going to be very difficult and a very, very big change,” Lindsey said.

Before the mass closure, Brad and Lindsey both worked. Now, they’re in the office a bit less, trying to keep life afloat on the homefront.

“Today is day two with the kids at home all day,” Lindsey noted. “It’s stressful and it’s been very different."

To maintain a sense of normalcy, Lindsey wakes the children up early, makes them breakfast and then it’s time for school work.

“I realized that it was very important to have them all doing the same things at the same time,” she said.

Their new roles include family cooks, educators, entertainers, housekeepers and, of course, parents. But, the pair is optimistic and sees these bizarre and confusing times as a way of getting rare time with their children.

“Now, we’re using these moments of free time to actually spend and enjoy with each other,” Brad chimed. “It’s a surreal feeling to not have to be somewhere.”

The two don’t let their kids have play dates right now; they don’t want to take any unnecessary risks, just like other families. However, the kids are getting time to be, well, kids — just over Xbox Live.

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