It happens every year. And for 2022, Friday the 13th occurs in May. A day full of eeriness and frights. Aside from Halloween, Friday the 13th is right up there when it comes to scary shenanigans.

So as we await the frights for the next one (and the TV specials, of course), let's take a look back to when New Jersey experienced one of its oddest and strangest Friday the 13th in recent memory, which occurred just two years ago.

Now yes, the typical shows and movies were airing on TV to commemorate the moment, as is tradition. And of course, we probably expected a lot of shenanigans out on the town. I mean, after all, it was Friday.

But that particular Friday also marked something that was the end of an era. At the moment, we just didn't realize it yet. That Friday the 13th, was in March of 2020.

path in a dark and scary forest
Mimadeo
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In other words, it was the final 'normal' Friday, and thus, the final 'normal' weekday we would experience for what we knew normal to be. That following Monday marked the first weekday of our new normal. Our new world of quarantined life

Sergii Baibak
Sergii Baibak
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I still remember that Friday with all the news coming in of how bad things were about to get. What stood out to me most was when I went to pick up my kids from Pre-K that afternoon.

One of the other parents, who worked in healthcare, was telling us how much worse it would get than was being reported. And seeing how other areas around the world were being locked down, set this very eerie tone of what was to come. All unfolding, on Friday the 13th.

Friday 13th
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That particular day marked the premature end of Pre-K for my kids. Up until March 7, 2022, they would never see anyone's smile in a school setting. Not a virtual setting, but a face-to-face setting.

Full moon through the spruce trees in magic mystery night forest. Halloween backdrop.
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That has since changed with school now being as close to normal as possible. I mean, it only took two years to finally drop the mask mandate, but it's great to see everyone's smiling faces once again.

AP
AP
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I'm sure that day was strange for you as well. The full gravity of the situation at the time wasn't fully understood yet, and the fact that the last day of normal as we knew it landed on Friday the 13th just made it that much eerier.

Helmetta (Ja Nice)
Helmetta (Ja Nice)
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So here we are two years later, and restrictions for the most part have been lifted. The kids can finally learn and play in school the way things were intended to be.

Okay, maybe not fully, but we're very close. Just check out this story I wrote back in March of 2020. It really gives you a sense of where our minds were at the time. Oh, and the part about seeing how amazing it is for our kids to learn? Yeah, that was before the chaos of Kindergarten and the eventual nightmare that would soon unfold.

Looking back, it's kinda crazy how we all thought this would be over soon. Oh, how foolish we were.


KEEPING IT POSITIVE: PARENTING DURING A PANDEMIC

(Original publish date: March 28, 2020)

Two weeks and counting as we continue to adapt to our new normal. For those of us who are parents, it’s been challenging, especially here in the great Garden State, where we’re used to life at a rapid pace.

You probably put some sort of plan in place at the beginning of this quarantine, but let’s be honest, how many of those plans have already either formed cracks in its foundation or completely collapsed altogether?

Tatomm
Tatomm
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We had that plan. We printed worksheets. We planned for ABCMouse time. We planned for educational programming on TV and scheduled this all out to follow day by day.

And yet as I write this now, I have to keep stopping because the kids are now fighting over whose turn it is to climb on top of this makeshift tower they built of laundry baskets and their little rocking chairs just so they can reach the light on the ceiling.

Obviously, this is dangerous, but my wife and I both have full-time jobs we need to stay focused on while also watching our 4-year-old twin boys.

That tower, by the way, has since been disassembled. But as we push on through with keeping them in check while trying to keep ourselves productive, we have had some positive experiences as well, which is what I’d love to share with you.

How NJ 101.5 DJ Mike Brant's family is keeping positive


So there you go. A small glimpse of where our minds were just a couple of weeks in. Trust me, as time went on, it didn't stay that peachy.

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And it all started on that final day of normal as we knew it.

Friday, March 13, 2020.

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