Tuesday, March 17th
The government has not officially quarantined us yet. My husband and I fear it is imminent. All the public figures are preaching “social distancing” and have just begun to get the COVID-19 testing rolling in our city. There are no cases yet in our county, but it’s only a matter of time. (There are less than 20 cases in our state.) Businesses are starting to close or sending people home to work. St. Patrick’s Day events and celebrations have all been cancelled. There is a lot of fear and uncertainty swirling around right now.
It’s scary out there. We are hearing all kinds of news and people are responding. Many are racing to the stores to stockpile and sundries before it gets really bad and that’s causing problems for a lot of other people. That in turn is creating a lot of panic. There are also many of people who still aren’t taking the threat seriously. The government is issuing statements left and right about what is happening and trying like mad to keep everyone calm. I won’t lie. We’re kinda terrified.
I have decided to journal this experience and share it with the world. On a regular basis, I’ll give a little insight into what our quarantine world looks like. I imagine as a small family of three in the midwest, our story won’t be too different from the rest of you in the same situation. But, it might provide a little entertainment for you. We’re all in this together, right?
What we are doing:
Our family is already social distancing, rigidly. The business shutdowns are rolling in and of course, that makes it all the easier. We normally have a dinner on Mondays with our immediate family. That’s been suspended for now. I miss my mom already. Last week we had our friend Rachel over for dinner. We started a new tv series Orphan Black. I think it’s going to be a long time before we get to pick that one up again with her. It makes me sad. It’s really good!
We’ve seen this coming – we saw the initial news reports from China on Reddit in December and have stayed tuned in to what’s going on. I keep a well-stocked food supply but we’ve been stockpiling a little. Buying two jars of peanut butter instead of one. Picking up markdown meat and putting it in the freezer. No panic buying, just a little extra. This last weekend we bought some stuff we wouldn’t normally; a case of Diet Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew, some candy bars, and ice cream. Yes, we are still low carb – but if we are stuck at home and shopping becomes difficult, I’m not going to make an issue of it and I want some comfort food!! (I’ve already been stress eating.) I went to the Big Lots up the street yesterday before the daycare pickup and bought Easter candy. They didn’t have a very big selection and I didn’t get much… but it’ll have to do. We’re not shopping out again for a long time. Not sure what that means now, but we’ll figure it out like everyone else. For now, we’re minimizing the risk.
A really hard decision
Tonight, my husband and I made a very hard decision. It was that tomorrow was the day to pull our son from daycare and keep him home for the duration. It was one of the most difficult decisions to make so far in this situation.
Is it too early to do this? Am I overreacting?
We’re going to lose our spot – what if this only lasts a few weeks? Then what will I do?
What am I going to do with him all day?!! He’s going to get bored!
We don’t have enough stuff here to keep him occupied.
I’m not ready to homeschool a preschooler. I don’t even know where to start. There’s too many different resources and I don’t have time to figure it out.
For some of you, this may be a no brainer. And I might agree with you in a few months. But, right now, this just isn’t what fun looks like to me. I work from home and my husband currently out of the home. We expect him to get the word he’s being sent home to work any moment now. Having a three year old running around makes it extremely difficult to do anything that takes longer than four minutes at a time without interruption. I don’t currently have a ton of work, but I do have one website I’m in the middle of rebuilding and I don’t know when I’m going to find the time to do anything with it… I love what I do, I love my customers, and I do not love building with legos and watching Daniel Tiger for hours on end. Frankly, this is why he’s in daycare. This is going to be rough for me.
Also, it shouldn’t go without mentioning, I adore our daycare provider. She’s a fantastic person who I genuinely like. I trust her. And, she’s great with the kids. She’s just a couple blocks away, so we walk to and from daycare each day. That allows us some fantastic quality time together. We’ve currently been exploring how nature is changing. (He’s so excited about all the squirrels running around right now. We saw a hawk last week.) It’s one of my favorite parts of the day. (Will we have to stay inside soon??) While he’s at daycare, he gets structure and interaction with others. He gets a variety of things to do and he’s exposed to all kinds of new ideas. He’s making friends. I don’t want him to lose that. And I don’t want her to suffer either. I know we’re taking away income from her. All of this is to say this was a really hard decision for us. I have been struggling with it for a while now.
But I don’t want him to bring anything home to us. I know he’s unlikely to get sick, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. I’m scared of getting COVID-19, even though we’re generally healthy people and don’t have a lot of risk factors. I know I probably wouldn’t die if I got it, but I have a history with pneumonia and bronchial issues, and we’ve had so much sickness since we’ve become parents it’s unbelievable. Why take the risk? Plus, I have the older people in my family and social bubble to worry about. I do not want to lose my mother to this. Period. And what if he was a carrier and he took it to preschool and someone’s mom died? Nope, it’s just not worth it to be that person. So, we’ve pulled him. Maybe it is too rash of a decision, but based off of what I’m seeing online, I’m just not willing to risk it.
Like many other Americans, this is all new. We don’t know how to handle it, we are polarized with fear, we are glued to the news. We are taking it day by day.
This quarantine entry has ended up a lot longer than I expected so I’m going to end it now and I’ll explore more tomorrow! Thanks for sticking with me so far. Hope you come back for more!