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COVID-19 update: what we’re doing + why

Man, oh, man, how quickly things can change. Monday, we were just starting to really see some changes in our day to day lives, here we are on Thursday and it’s hard to recognize the world I live in. Moreover, the world we ALL live in. I have been glued to my screens, waiting and watching in disbelief and sadness, while my toddler is none the wiser. What bliss.

UPDATE FOR OUR AREA
Here in Virginia, all schools have been told to close for at least two weeks, with more and more schools coming out and changing that to “indefinitely” – some colleges have already said their school year is over. Public gathering places such as restaurants, bars and gyms have a 10 patron limit, some even going as far as to only offer drive thru or pick up services. The one local confirmed case has been reported to be recovering at home after being discharged from the hospital, while investigations are still on going as to where they contracted the virus. Even so, the hospital is now decked out with two testing tents. Roads have almost no traffic, outside is quieter, even holidays are going by the wayside – I forgot to put Elias in his special St. Patrick’s Day shirt and even Easter Bunny photos have been cancelled.

MAKING SURE WE’RE STOCKED
Items I’m picking up (mostly through pickup services now) include: acetaminophen (adult and children), saline soother nose wipes, flour, rice, sugar, cat food, Nesquik, diapers and weekly needs such as milk, bread and produce.

STAYING UPDATED
I check the local news at least three times a day. This is major for me because I used to NEVER watch the news, read the paper or look online – there are always stories I get caught up in and my mental health suffers, so I just avoided it. Now it is necessary for me to know what’s going on and to be able to make decisions for our family.
UPDATE ON STAYING UPDATED: I’m trying not check my phone every hour because it is starting to cause some anxiety.

TAKING PRECAUTIONS
Yes, I’ve been washing my hands more. Yes, I’ve been wiping my carts down. No, I’m not making contact with strangers. Yes, we are sort of avoiding crowds. Yes, I have taken Elias out with me to stores, but I’m limiting it; if it’s possible, I leave him at home with my husband, but if not and I have to make a call based on how necessary it is to go out. I do NOT go out to stores with Elias – there is just too much going on now and I am too afraid to take him.
UPDATE: We’re limiting our contact with people to immediate family only: I have a feeling a day is coming when we will be limiting our contact to just us.

KEEPING A ROUTINE
We still get up at 4:45am. My husband still goes to work. (Though there is talk of cutting back to absolute minimal staff.) We both workout daily. I’m still running errands and hitting up grocery stores. We’re still having people over for dinner and I’m still walking with my sister two or three times a week. We were already more inclined to order takeout since Elias hit his toddler stride, so that’s an easy one for us. We’re just doing our best to keep life normal.
UPDATE: I will still be doing the grocery shopping, but I have been seeing what can be done through pickup services, figuring out which stores I can cut out and what I can do this week to prepare us and potentially keep me from going out as much as possible.

ACTING RESPONSIBLY
COVID-19 affects literally everyone. Don’t think you have anything to worry about because you’re young? Check yourself. There have been more reports coming out of Italy of people in their 20s and 30s getting critically ill. A newborn tested positive within 36 hours of birth in London. Did you spring up from a hole in the ground like a dwarf? No. You have parents and they have parents, and they probably fall into the higher risk category. How many people who “should” get through it fine have underlying conditions that put them at risk for getting really sick? You have no clue.
STOP TREATING THIS AS IF IT’S NO BIG DEAL BECAUSE FOR SOMEONE YOU KNOW, IT COULD BE.

CANCELLING PLANS
Restaurant night: CANCELLED. Crab leg dinner at Granny’s: CANCELLED. Easter: most likely CANCELLED.
This has been a tough one for me. I am a stay at home mom and I really looked forward to getting out of the house and just getting to socialize. I’m feeling especially down because spring has sprung and Easter is just around the corner. We had planned to see the Easter Bunny, planned to have our normal parade of three Easter dinners to attend, not to mention all the other family events that were coming up. As for now, we made the decision to only do the essentials: work, supplies, medical. Maybe I’ll finally get the house cleaned.

TWEAKING PLANS
After the sadness of cancellations passed (or to be more accurate, the totally uncalled for teenage tantrum passed) I began to plot. If I can’t eat at restaurants, bring the restaurant home – order takeout or cook a fancy meal, set the table nicely, pretend we’re out for dinner. If we can’t have Easter like normal, prepare an Easter dinner, hide eggs in the house (we live in a townhouse, so being outside probably isn’t a great idea), wear something special, video chat the people we can’t see in person. My favorite? My husband agreed to wear a bunny costume so we could still have Easter Bunny pictures with Elias. I didn’t even have to ask: I just said “Easter Bunny photos have been cancelled” and started to tear up. His immediate response was “I’ll wear a bunny costume.” Can we just talk about the kind of thaw that started in my cold, black heart? ❤ Bunny costume? Ordered.

MAKING PLANS
We’re still planning on getting pregnant. We’re still planning our vacation in August. We’re still looking for a new house. And we‘re finishing up finished invitations for Elias’ birthday in mid May. Although there are some uncertainties surrounding some of these things – especially ones that are in the nearer future – we are STILL going ahead with planning them. We will, of course, weigh the pros and cons and make necessary postponements should the need arise. The point is, we haven’t stopped living and dreaming in the wake of everything.

ACTS OF KINDNESS
Now more than ever, the world needs compassion. Distant compassion, but compassion nonetheless. Just in the past couple of days, I’ve been seeing kids and their parents sitting on front porches waving to cars passing by. You can be damn sure I waved back. I’ve been reading about people putting up their Christmas lights to lighten the heaviness this outbreak has caused. People are shopping for elderly neighbors or family members that are too scared to leave their houses. People are pulling out their lawn chairs and vegging with their neighbors, making sure to stay six feet apart. Don’t think for a minute that there’s nothing you can do – a warm gesture and a smile are all anybody needs right now.
This week I’ll be calling my older, secluded relatives and making sure they’re okay, seeing if they need anything. We’ve been video chatting with my sister and nephew every night – our boys love to talk to each other! I’ve been actively searching for small gifts for my husband and son to bring out when we all need a little uplifting. We may even just pull the Christmas lights out this week. 😉

2 thoughts on “COVID-19 update: what we’re doing + why

    1. Isn’t it though? I’m on the fence about putting ours up. I might do a couple strings in addition to our regular Easter decorations. 😁

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