Back on track with the 21 Day Family Connections project. Today’s activity has us creating a family capsule. What a perfect opportunity to capture some memories of our “New World” – where we spend our days at home, listening to the news reports and waiting for THE BIG DAY – the day the numbers of dead, hospitalized, and sick are so low we feel comfortable being around other humans again. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive report. It might not even be completely accurate. It’s hard to write about a crisis when you’re still in the middle of it. I’m just scratching the surface of the past few months. There is simply too much to say. But I want to record what I can. NOTE: This post is not meant to compare my experience with others, nor do I mean to minimize the suffering of those who have lost loved ones. It’s purpose is simply to record this period of our lives.
On February 11, Scott and I returned from a quick trip to Iceland for my 65th birthday. I had finally stopped coughing following a nasty virus that knocked the #$%@ out of me from December 28 – January 9. In fact, Scott wasn’t feeling too great that week either. We were in Boulder, CO visiting our daughter’s family and helping with the 2.5 year-old who just had his tonsils and adenoids out. (It turned out we really weren’t too helpful.) We got flu tests – negative. Just a bad virus. It will pass, the doctor said. The cough was now intermittent. I could wear the same pair of underwear for an entire day. (Sorry, if that’s TMI, but it is what it is.) My low-grade fever just would not go away. I went back to doctor for another flu test. After poking halfway into my brain, (hopefully loosening some cobwebs up there!) the doctor gave me the results: negative. It was the middle of January. Just a bad virus.
By the first week in February, I was feeling more like myself. So we went to Icleand. Reports of Covid-19 were on the evening news, but that was “in Europe.” We’ll be fine here, we said. I wore a mask on the plane, just in case.
Scott didn’t feel so great on my birthday, Feb. 9. We were “overseas” so I got a little concerned. I wore a mask to sleep that night. But, he was fine the next day! A couple days later we headed home. Just to be safe, we wore masks on the plane. Scott didn’t argue. (FYI – we haven’t yet gotten the anitbody test, but are definitely considering it.)
The day we got home I found out we lost a very sweet teacher to the flu. Harley had underlying health conditions but it still was quite a shock to hear of a 28-year-old dying from the flu. The town stepped up sanitation in our building. Wouldn’t want to get the flu. Things in China weren’t good. But that was “over there.” We’ll be okay here.
At the end of February, I went to Salt Lake City with my friend, Cheryl. Scott went to San Diego. We were given hand-saniters at the RootsTech conference we were attending. There was maybe a couple people wearing masks. Life was pretty normal.
The was becoming more prevalent. Italy. Austria. Spain. Borders were closing. Flights were canceled. Cruises stranded. We started to wonder. Will we be okay here?
On March 12, I was at work. Our receptionist got a call. Her son’s school in the neighboring town had suddenly closed. It was 10:30 in the morning. All the kids were being sent home – someone said three kids had been diagnosed with Covid-19. (I don’t know as that was ever verified by the way.)
Our school system closed that afternoon.
It’s now been 68 days. Since we are “elderly” (when did 65 become elderly?) we have been very careful about exposure. I made almost 75 masks for friends and family. Groceries ordered online. Liquor delivered. Zoom calls. Zoom meetings. Zoom birthday celebrations. The only people we’ve seen are the delivery folks (at a distance) and a few socially-distanced
“sidewalk visits” with family.
Today Connecticut’s stay-at-home orders will see some relaxing. If we do venture into public, it is mandatory that we wear a face covering. Other states have lifted restrictions more quickly than Connecticut but we are in the “hot-zone,” a tri-state area that includes New York, pretty much the epicenter of the crisis in the United States. As of yesterday, there have been 1.54 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US. 90,694 people have died. In Connecticut alone, there have been 37, 419 confirmed cases and 3408 deaths. We are not okay.
Wow. This is not like me. I usually don’t succumb to the dark side.
Okay. I’m done. I need change the tone of this post. I don’t mean to diminish the seriousness of our situation. It’s not good. Terrible things are happening to people as I write this.
Many years ago, when he was a little boy, Scott’s mother placed a sign over his bed. It said, “This too shall pass.” (If you know Scott at all, you might be able to imagine what would have prompted her to put that sign up!)
And she was right. Whatever the current situation might be, it will pass. We need to be ready for whatever that may be. And whatever it will be, you can count on the American people to respond. After all, we led the world in some of the best responses to this crisis the Internet has ever seen. I’ll leave you with this. (Gotta leave ’em smiling!)