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Sobbing over the back-to-school display in the grocery store? It’s the coronavirus blues

School supplies. <span class="copyright">(Laurence Mouton / Getty Images)</span>
School supplies. (Laurence Mouton / Getty Images)

In the grocery store the other day, I passed through the “back to school” aisle and promptly burst into tears.

Not the salty-sweet tears that fill your eyes and hang on your lashes before sending a perfect drop or two down your cheek to remind you that you are still alive in an emotional way. Nope, these were throat-spasming sobs, complete with instant mucus production and primative guttural sounds.

It was … excessive. Especially considering how much I, into the ninth year of my third child’s education, hate back-to-school supply shopping. The possibility of not being forced by tradition into increasing our family’s already prodigious collection of erasers, colored pencils and backpacks is one of the few benefits (besides, you know, avoiding a deadly virus) of the online schooling my 8th-grader faces.

Even so, the sight of spiral notebooks and glue sticks sent

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