Coronavirus: Living History in 2020
Updated: 3 days ago
The virus that causes COVID-19 is infecting people and spreading easily from person-to-person. Cases have been detected in most countries worldwide and community spread is being detected in a growing number of countries. On March 11, the COVID-19 outbreak was characterized as a pandemic by the WHO.
*This post is fluid and I will continue to add to the post as events occur.
Today, Saturday, March 21, 2020, in Kansas City, Missouri, the mayor announced that a ‘Stay at Home order’ would go into effect on Tuesday. Life as we know it has changed hour by hour in the past couple of weeks and I feel that journaling our experiences as a family would be a primary source for my kids and their kids someday. Mayor Lucas says that we need to impose these measures in order to “flatten the curve.”....just one of several new terms we have been hearing quite often these past few weeks. Here is a local report:
I am using this space as a journal of events as they unfold. Sometimes we forget the details. We forget the people, the positives, the good things, the things our families shared, the things that became a ‘new normal.’
Backtracking to our last week of normal:
March 10-13: Hailey, Jay, and I went on a vacation to St. Pete Beach, Florida. We knew that things were starting to ramp up, and as we sat on the beach, we began to be aware of, and practice “social distancing”, another new term meaning you are to stay 6 feet apart from others. The idea is to slow the spread of the virus to allow the health care system to catch up and not get overloaded. We were able to do that very successfully on our trip especially with the beach, the sun, the fresh air.
We began to notice that hour by hour more things were closing; sports events and concerts were getting canceled. The world was changing in ways we had never seen and we were witnessing it first hand.
The airplane was the only place that we could not practice social distancing, but we also noticed just how clean the planes and airports were. I mean, shouldn’t they have always been that clean? The flight attendants commented that they would be coming through the aisles to collect any wipes we had used because that was something we had been told to do while flying. However, I also hadn’t been able to find any in the stores before I left; my first indication that there was a problem with supply.
While heading home from Tampa, I asked one of the TSA agents as we were going through security if the airport was less crowded. He said yes, and that most of the people were sports teams traveling home from their tournaments and games being canceled. It was stunning to see team after team heading home; their season had come to an end.
Reflecting on that first week when things started to really change by the hour, I realize just how fluid the situation was, and still is, as I write today.
March 13-23 Concerts were being canceled, sporting events were played without fans, then literally the next day they started canceling ALL events with large groups. No NCAA basketball tournament, no NBA, baseball postponed...everything was affected except football. (Sure am glad our CHIEFS got that Superbowl win when they did!) We went from events having to be less than 500 to less than 250 to less than 100 to less than 50 to currently less than 10 in a group.
Then the virus was labeled a pandemic. I kept telling the kids, “We have never seen anything like this since we’ve been alive.” It was hard for all of us to comprehend what was happening because day to day life seemed the same. We didn't know anyone, nor had we even heard of anyone that was sick. But the story going on in Italy was very telling. We knew it would head our way in time.
We have been instructed on best practices for handwashing, sanitizing things such as our phones, keys, credit cards, and even our groceries when we return home from the store. So I canceled my trip to St. Louis, since there are three people I love that are in high- risk categories. At the time it seemed like maybe I was overreacting but I didn't care. I didn't want to think for one minute that I might contribute to them getting sick.
This virus attacks the elderly and immunocompromised more than others. The main symptoms are severe pneumonia, many requiring hospitalization with ventilators to help them breathe. If everyone gets sick at one time the whole thing might be over quicker, but there would also be a higher mortality rate. If we can slow it down, we will reduce the pressure on Emergency Rooms and equipment. Right now, the fact that people are making homemade masks to donate to health care workers because of PPE (personal protective equipment) shortages is crazy to me. Seems like something that would happen in a 3rd world country. Private companies are attempting to make masks and ventilators. Our local distillery, J. Reiger, is now making and selling its own sanitizer and the lines are hours long!
March 23: Tomorrow we go on official "stay at home" restrictions. We are all starting to get into a routine of sorts. For me, it's all backward. I used to get up and work a little, go workout and then have a protein shake and get ready for my day. Now I have found that I need to get up and dressed first, teeth brushed with my full skincare routine and a little makeup just to make me feel productive. Then I try to get outside and jog and walk several times throughout the day and do yoga. Wednesday it looks like I will be able to go for a bike ride outside and I cannot wait!
Students begin online learning today. So far all of the posts on social media have been positive and humorous about parents working at home with their "co-workers".
Today we started to see quieter streets, but I am curious about what it will be like tomorrow.
March 24: 255 cases in MO and 5 deaths as of today.
Today my friend, Dr. Stephanie Davis shared this article about the importance of slowing down the virus: https://acoep.org/main/news/5553/?fbclid=IwAR10H2hiUKLn6V2GdLk4uRt7Vf7pk1vwNvy4QDfOfX4hnZmqgsDWNpCID7A
She is an ER doctor at St. Lukes and has been posting valuable information that we can trust. Last week we brought donuts to the ER at St. Lukes Plaza. as a thank you for all of their hard work.
It seems there is still confusion and some anger over exactly was this new "stay at home" order means. I didn't see many people on my walks today and I hope I see more tomorrow since it should be warmer outside.
Having Cam and Hailey here has been much more fun than I imagined. After graduation, Cam was planning on moving and working in St. Louis, so to have him here feels like a gift. There has been laughing, hanging out, walks, and great conversation. I have gotten to help Hailey (the one that makes fun of me when I don't "get" technology or social media) with ZOOM and Facebook so I'm pretty much winning at the mom game right now. It has also been great to have her here to collaborate with on our business. She even got her first promotion this week!
March 25: Today feels like the first glimpse of what might be a long haul. Thankfully, I have a long bike ride planned today. I am calling it "Laura's social distance ride". I. am going to ride a route that goes by my friends' houses and stop to wave and say hello from a distance.
Today there is also a “Bear Hunt” planned for the community. Houses put teddy bears in their windows for kids to look for as they wander around the neighborhoods. This is so good for the community!
And on that note, I am going to share the one thing that has me a little anxious and doing a lot of “self-talk.” There is the phrase, “Stay Home.” Instagram has stickers with the phrase, there is a #stayhome and some even used #staythef(*&home. I believe it was designed as a quick way to remind people of the importance of ‘flattening the curve’ by slowing the spread. The less you are out and about, the slower it will spread. We are not trying to eliminate this disease but slow it.
The problem is that some are taking it to an extreme and “self-isolating”. I don’t believe this is healthy emotionally or physically. And the sad part is that they are shaming others on social media. I had a friend comment “please face time your neighbors” when I said I was enjoying the sunshine and talking to my neighbors (at a safe distance) I don’t know if she missed the part that I was being responsible or not.
Last night as I was reading about a fun family activity called “Bear Hunt” where houses put stuffed bears in their windows for families to walk by and try to find, there was one person that was unhinged about the entire thing commenting that this is not responsible and we should all be home.
That said, the rest of the group commented on how that is not what #stayhome means, but the fact is, there are people out there that think we are trying to eliminate the spread which is nearly impossible. Another Facebook friend shamed a girl that posted she had Covid-19 and reposted the post saying “This is why we stay the eff home.” Gang, unless we are told to isolate, I will continue to follow the guidelines. And I need to spend less time on social media for sure.
March 26; Yesterday my social distance run was amazing! It was so great to talk in person with my friends and everyone was genuinely happy to see me! I decided I want to do this weekly now. I have to say that I was really craving some good cardio and muscle fatigue. I got home and Jay had a firepit going and we all sat around and grilled hamburgers and for a few hours, things seemed normal.
Today I went on another bike ride. After I got home and showered, my friend Chris came over to take a family photo of us on our front porch. She is wanting to use her photography skills to take front porch photos and give them to people for free if they would donate to a local small business. This is such a great idea because many families are all home right now. We didn’t get dressed up or anything. We want this to remind us of this time.
March 27: 100k cases and 1500 deaths
GM is now being ordered to make ventilators. The car company!
My friend Chris started a PORCH PROJECT. My friend goes and takes family photos on their porch (social distancing of course) while so many families are back together again due to kids home from college and parents home from work. She shares those photos with them and then instead of paying her, they make a donation to a small business.
3/28 It is SUNNY today and warm! And super windy but that’s okay. Hailey and Evan and are on a hike at Hodge Park, jay, Hailey and I went for a walk to get coffee at Hammerhand. They serve coffee from their front door:) I went around a used a Clorox wipe on all of the door handles, light switches and anything that our hands come in contact with. Also doing some spring cleaning. I don’t know that Clorox will help, but I suppose it can’t hurt. I do have a bottle in the car and I wipe down everything every time I come into contact with people.
Last night I woke up with indigestion. For whatever reason, I am sure related to all that is in the news about Covid, I got a little panicky about the idea that I might get sick. What would the rest of the family do? Could I handle being alone for so long. People getting sick are sick for at least 2 weeks. And who might I have infected? I feel like we are getting close to more people around here getting sick. It is a strange feeling. And I cannot believe how deep I feel like I am sleeping. I do think I have some allergies going on at the moment.
I just had 2 group messenger calls with my groups of girlfriends! Tonight we are ordering mexican from Jose Peppers. It feels like a good day.
Positive and encouraging: My ongoing list
3 girls on blankets studying 6 feet apart in front of the middle school
People are generally kinder to each other and talk more openly
Intentional communication through zoom calls or FaceTime
Families are walking together and eating together
People really want to help others
Dogs out walking