Sunday, July 5, 2020

Week 16: Quarantine blog


This was a busy week around here in both personal celebrations and newsworthy events. In the news, unfortunately, the country's virus numbers are rising rapidly again, and causing many states to start pulling back on their reopening plans, instituting mask policies, and encouraging people to stay at home again. We have also passed over half a million deaths globally since this nightmare began, and the coronavirus task force is back to making briefings to the nation. We also received word this week on what the beginnings of a plan to return to school will look like for our state, and the options aren't that great... but more on that later...

We also had some fun moments to celebrate this week! My good friend and neighbor, Ashley, turned 40, and we were able to celebrate a socially-distanced & "virus-minded" party for her in the driveway, complete with a traditional Southern shrimp boil! It brought back memories of my summers in Maine, and it was a nice change of pace for things around here to finally do something "different"! We also enjoyed celebrating the 4th of July with friends, and although we weren't as close as years past, and party games are a bit a thing of the past now, we still had fun hanging out & enjoying some fun, food & fireworks together! 
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There is no better way to usher in July than this🤣 ... Fingers crossed that things begin to turn around!
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We passed another global milestone of over 10 million cases, and it certainly isn't slowing down anytime soon...
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A few new headlines from the beginning of the week:
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It was sad to see that Broadway is officially closing down until after the new year, but as a result, they released "Hamilton" on Disney Plus, and we had a great time watching it with the girls!
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News is always tricky to discern these days, but we are hearing the first chatters of Trump not having the votes lately (which is not exactly news and certainly not surprising), but the big question is, will he run if he doesn't have the votes???? Only time can tell...
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As I said before, the virus numbers are sharply increasing, and many states are closing places and making new mandates. When I sign in to see this chart that I look at every once in a while, it is now followed by news headlines, so to give a quick summary of where things are across the country...
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A warning to all those complaining about things closing, and having to wear masks & stay home:
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I've decided we needed to get back to at least a few math problems and some reading each day, especially since school this fall is very up in the air, and it is very likely that I will be the kids teacher more than not... I don't want to have the summer slide happen, just in time for me to start having to teach, so we're back at keeping our skills as sharp as we can, if only for a few minutes each day!
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My good friend & neighbor, Ashley, turned 40 this week (she was the last of my closest friends to "cross the bridge"), and we were able to celebrate with her in the driveway! We enjoyed a traditional southern shrimp boil (with crab legs included), and we were even made special celebration masks to wear! We are getting creative with disposable utensils for each family so things aren't touched, individual condiments, hand sanitizer and lysol stations, and we have to talk a bit more loudly since we space ourselves out a bit. But all things considered, we're thankful to have a village that we can weather this storm with together! Happy birthday Ashley!
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Our other sad milestone globally this week is that we have now hit over 1/2 a million deaths. I pray everyday that the end of this is near, and that all of our family and friends are taking precautions and being safe.
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The biggest news announcement this week is that while we don't know exactly what "plan" the governor will have our schools start with in the fall, we now know what the three plans will look like for our school district. There are still a lot of details that we need to be filled in on, but below is a summary of the plans, and we will be waiting to find out which one the governor picks soon (we are assuming it will be plan B, but who knows...). Either way, we need to be ready with our "remote learning" set ups at home, and masks & hand sanitizer for when and if they go back to the classroom...
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When the students end up back in the classroom, they will be given daily health screenings, and be required to wear masks in the middle and high school, with younger kids strongly recommended (but we all know how THAT will go...). 

I hate the state of the world right now, but not nearly for myself as much as for my children. I want them to go to school, hug their teachers, talk to their friends, play on the playground, learn new things, be challenged, & have fun. I pray that we will be back to that soon, and they can adjust to this new "normal" for a while without too much difficulty.
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The official word for our school is that if we start with plan "B", the kids will be split into 3 groups, so only 33% of the population is in the building at one time, and they will have in-person instruction for one week, followed by two weeks of remote learning from home (don't ask me what that means yet, because I don't have a clue), and they will continue through that cycle until we have a break, or we move into another plan. I know there's no easy answer to this school dilemma, and I appreciate the people who are trying to make it work, but I am quite skeptical, so we will see how it goes...
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So we'll have to practice getting out and doing more mask-wearing to get ready for the fall... even though I think I look like Ant-Man in mine!
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One of the highlights of the week was getting to have a Zoom cocktail call with Jenn & Ryan, and we even had a surprise guest show up... cousin Steve! It was so fun to see each other, sit and reconnect, and we're hoping to get a larger cousin call together very soon! It's kind of sad that it's taken a pandemic to make us video call with family more, but it's a positive outcome!
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Brian's moved to a new level of boredom, looking for anything to keep things interesting...
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On the 4th of July, we celebrated with friends at the pool (it's the first year we could go since it's always so busy, and they are still only allowing 100 in at a time, so it was really nice)! We followed our pooltime up with hanging out in the street for some fun conversations, good music, good food & fun fireworks! For more pictures from our 4th of July, check out this post: 4th of July Celebration
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Since we can't have large gatherings, our town streamed our fireworks live on the 5th, and it was fun to get to see those too! We hope you all had great celebrations, are staying safe, and staying home! 
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