Minute By Minute, Hour By Hour

While the world at large is fist-fighting over toilet paper and going to the store wearing garbage bags over their heads with the eyes cut out …

Veruca was pissed as all get-out that a) I wouldn’t let her go to bestie’s Quinciñera practice, and b) I kept her home from school on Friday.  The Quinciñera is a HUGE event with several costume changes and a choreographed dance with her friends that they are practicing weekly with a dance instructor. According to V, the girls will also have “outfits” they will wear for the routine itself. This is an event not unlike the planning of a wedding.

V insisted bestie will “cut” her from the dance. She would rather contract a deadly respiratory virus than not be able to dance at the Quinciñera. She doesn’t even care if it’s with half a lung.

Friday afternoon she made a rabid phone call to me over missing school and the handouts the teachers distributed for the weeks they’ll be out. I told her to email her teachers and remarked that I know she wasn’t the only one out of school today. She was, she hissed, since all of her friends went to school today and she missed her computer science test – a class, mind you, she dismissed just 3 days ago as one where they “do nothing every day.”

Her school announced Thursday night, shortly after I said she’s not attending Q practice, it was closing for two weeks as of Monday. So I decided she’s not going to school Friday. Softball practice has also been cancelled until April, which also pissed her off because it’s all just “stupid.”

Meanwhile back in college-land…Todd’s college closed Wednesday until the month’s end though he’s working from home every day and fielding apocalypse-type emails from faculty and staff… and Opac finally got the word around 9 pm Thursday night that students should pack up all their belongings and go home by Sunday. They will finish the semester online. He was packed up and home roughly 3 hours later.

O’s friends were “excited” that he was home and he wanted to have them over Friday night. I said to Todd in the morning before I left for work and I quote, “I cannot stress enough how important it is to limit face-to-face contact and/or have any unnecessary contact right now with anyone who doesn’t live in the same house.” Apparently there was a miscommunication and suddenly Opac had friends pulling into the driveway after we “thought” there would only be three coming over. He ended up rounding everyone up and they all left. Not exactly the outcome I wanted, but better than a bunch of young men shouting over the pool table all night and spreading disease on every surface in the basement.

I woke up Friday morning at 6, the warm knowledge that my kids and my husband were all home in their beds and the irony that it would be me who was going to the job in a healthcare facility, and me who has the best shot at bringing this virus home. I listened to CNN on my way to work, which I haven’t done for weeks for various reasons. And, as I parked my car, I knew why. My anxiety was climbing and I had a full day ahead to try to NOT focus on the elephant in the room. I’m not a particularly assertive person, but this virus has motivated the zero tolerance in me. “It’s just allergies” does not exempt you from wearing a mask. Sorry, not sorry. Seriously, why do people argue?

For what it’s worth, we are getting daily (at the very least) updates on COVID-19. Masks are being kept at the front desk and are handed out to patients/parents/guardians who have a cough. The days of dad wearing a mask in solidarity with his coughing child are currently over. No cough – no mask. We are getting calls daily about the virus, and parents who are beginning to cancel well visits. (V had one scheduled this week that I just cancelled.)

The hospital is limiting visitors to two healthy parents only (no family or siblings) and I believe that is to be the norm going forward in ambulatory settings as well. Except, how to explain to families that they cannot bring siblings to appointments? We are asking the respiratory and exposure questions on the phone now. However, please note that we know what you know. We do not have any inside knowledge.

Todd and I went grocery shopping Wednesday after V left for school – roughly 7:30 a.m. – and there were few people there. There was one multi-pack of disinfectant wipes and it landed in my cart, which I quickly covered with other items – hearing tales of fist fights over Chlorox wipes, I had no intention of getting a black eye for the sake of clean doorknobs. I also contributed to the Great Toilet Paper Famine of 2020 and picked up a 12-pack of Scott tissue. All the plusher TPs were already gone. And forget hand sanitizer.

We returned yesterday because our previous $300 shopping trip did not take into account O’s permanent return to the household. This woman, who already had 3 gallons of milk in her cart, kept backing up as she bent over to peer into the milk cases until she had completely cut Todd off.  And then had the audacity to be annoyed and snarky with him. Really?  REALLY?! I wanted to slap a bitch, but Todd steered me away and reminded me that people are under stress. A little common courtesy people! We’re all in this together – a smile and a little kindness goes a long way.

It’s Sunday. I’ve been writing this since Friday with numerous edits and interruptions. V is staying with her dad until Wednesday, while I work the next two days. She has calmed down since Friday, enjoying the peacefulness there without “O and his loud friends.” Todd has gotten a lot done, both with work and household/car stuff, and driving me nuts with frequent updates from the Johns Hopkins’ map of up-to-the-minute stats on coronavirus cases. He’s currently building Legos on the dining room table.

Neph was here yesterday and I can hardly believe the next part of this sentence…Opac helped him change the oil in his car. I made ham and cheese sliders and a double batch of cookies, dragged out the old Lego boxes, and drank tequila until I fell asleep. Opac took off with a friend later and didn’t come home until this morning and now I have to have another pain in the ass conversation with him about unnecessary social contact and the risks to the old folks and his Type 1 sister.

Stay safe ya’ll.

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