Monday, March 23, 2020

The Dads Must Be Crazy CoronaBlog Day 7

DAY 7:
It happened. I had my first major oops moment of staying home. I washed a load of laundry and upon removing it from the machine, I found my wallet in my pants pocket. Turns out, I had actual cash in it, too. So I’ll call this a break-even moment. Can we agree on that?

Today is Sunday, and typically Bobby, and Craig, and I would be getting together to talk about some topic or another for our Dads Must Be Crazy Podcast. Obviously, we aren’t doing that today, but have no fear as we’ll be having a new one posted this week (we planned ahead) so that you’ll have new content to listen to while you’re stuck at home. In the meantime, make sure you vote in our games bracket!

Over the past couple days, I’ve managed to cook multiple meals and have leftovers for lunch for 2 to 3 days after. Like Bobby said in his Day 6 entry, now is most definitely not the time to let food go to waste. This is, of course, one of the easiest rules to follow for an adult, and one of the hardest rules to follow for a 5-year-old. Rayna just simply doesn’t get it, and I have to remind myself that she’s still in kindergarten. In her mind, this is just a long break. Making dinner, though, and announcing what it is, and having the nightly response be, “Eww!” when it’s something decidedly not “Eww!” is a bit frustrating.

As far as my outlook on things, I’ve begun watching the news only when there are press conferences on rather than keeping a news station on nonstop. I am sick and tired of having news stations - the 24-hour kinds, not our local ones - air multiple opinion shows that all have one person, or five people, telling the public that there is only one way to think. The world is not that simple. Billy Joel has a song with the lyrics, “Black and white was so easy for me, but shades of grey are the colors I see.” He’s right. Many of the pundits are seeking where to place blame and how to spin this whole ordeal so that it makes their opinion hold greater weight, and it’s grown tiresome to watch. So what I do is watch the Cuomo pressers, the White House pressers, note the stark contrast between the two (unless Dr. Fauci is speaking), and then make my own opinion. And if I have nothing nice to say about one or the other, I try to keep it to myself unless I’m asked. It’s something a lot of people should try.

One last thing, and this is a tough part to write as there are so many ways to interpret what I’m going to try to say here. That is, we’re quickly learning what is deemed essential and what is not. Along with that, there is a growing number of people who are posting on social media that the essential personnel deserve higher wages or hazard pay or more praise or some other sort of compensation. I get that, but it’s too soon to say that just because someone is essential they’re more deserving of x, y, or z. Again, shades of grey.

Here’s an example: My wife is a physician. She’s on the proverbial front lines of this. She went to school for eight years after undergrad to be properly trained in her field. Obviously, as a medical professional, she’s considered essential. No question there, from just about anyone.

A few high school seniors I’ve had the chance to substitute teach work at my local Tops. These teenagers, and their colleagues who are in supervisory and management positions, have also been deemed essential. Also essential are the supply chain workers (think truckers) who have been working to make sure each of our local stores is as stocked as can be during these crazy times. I think it’s safe to say few will argue about these folks being essential.

My point is, we can point out the essential people among us, and we can thank them, and we can praise them. In fact, I’m sure there are a great number of you reading this right now who will agree that educators are essential, as are our schools. And if you agree with that last part, I’m willing to bet you’d agree, at least in part, with this sentiment: Being an essential employee and being a skilled employee are two very different things. It’s a terrible way to describe everything going on right now, but it is true. We’re all learning first hand that not everyone can do or be everything. There will be some things we can figure out how to do on our own, but there are pros in different fields for reasons. We need to keep that in mind. 

Not sure if I explained that well enough, but I hope you all get what I’m trying to say.

The weekend finally comes to a close. I have to say that I am going a bit stir crazy at the moment. I have some home improvement projects that I want to start but most of them require me to be outside. I will have to wait until the weather improves. Speaking of weather, the last I checked it was supposed to rain most of the week. Boo!

I can tell the stress of the situation is starting to show on my family. My kids have a bunch of energy they need to burn and my wife and I aren’t sleeping that well. There were less new cases Sunday than there were on Saturday. That is good news. We could all use some about now. Especially since the state has gone on “PAUSE” until at least April 19th. That means more of the same for about another month. 

On a brighter note, the grocery store actually had bread. The meat department was still ransacked and there was actually bread on the shelves. There was a run on eggs as there were none in the dairy section. It seems a lot of people are still worried about being shut in for quite some time. With the “PAUSE” I mentioned above all non-essential workers are required to stay home. Grocery stores, doctors offices, and other stores deemed essential will remain open. This includes hardware stores, wine and liquor stores, and mail will still get delivered to include packages. 

I know there has been a lot of talk about Chloroquine in the news. I wish they would approve this for the virus so the world can get back to life. I have taken this drug before. Not sure if I wrote about this in a previous post or not… Anyway I had no side effects from the medication. That won't be the case for everyone though. I can say I did not get Malaria while in Southeast Asia, which was the intent. 

So, Monday is upon us and back to the bump and grind. Kids get back to school work, parents become school teachers again, and the world keeps spinning. 

I went out late Sunday night to lock up the garage and it was eerily silent. There wasn’t a sound of traffic, no sounds of people around at all. It reminded me of a winter morning after a big snow, just before the snow blowers start echoing through the neighborhood. There was simply no sound. As a friend of ours said when I mentioned it in a chat, “that’s good. It means people are staying home.”

Wendy took three of four girls out for a hike Sunday afternoon. They had to get out of the house. While they were gone, I had the last child finally practice her instrument. She played her trumpet for 40 minutes. In that time, she practiced the music that she was assigned, and then used the piano to figure out how to play one of her favorite songs and translate that to the trumpet. It was pretty impressive.

We had sort of a lazy weekend. It’s far too easy to fall into that. We need structure to keep things going. There are so many things that need to be done that we now have time to do. We shouldn’t squander it. However, it seems like we are. I already have the primer and paint for the entryway and stairwell. We’ve had it for some months. It’s time to do it. Maybe I’ll tape it off Monday night and start Tuesday.

I don’t know about all of you, but it seems like I am way more tired than normal. This doing nothing can really be exhausting. I could take naps several times each day. I fight that urge since I’m already having issues sleeping at night. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in over a week. Part of that is my tendency to dwell. What if one of us gets sick. Wendy and I are both considered high risk. Will my parents be able to get home from Florida or should they stay there a bit longer? Is that a tickle in my throat? Why do I have a headache? In the end, I toss and turn most of the night.

This has only been one week of sequestered life. It seems longer than that. Usually when we’re off, we still have some interaction with other people. This time, it’s just us. The kids are definitely getting on each others’ nerves. Which in turn gets on our nerves. I don’t understand why they have to be so loud all the time. We’re in the same room with each other. I can hear you just fine without the yelling.

Monday is the start of a new week. I have big plans for myself. I need to finish cleaning out my library. I need to prime and paint. I need to finish some editing on the last podcasts that we have for both The Dads Must Be Crazy and Shenanigans. I want to work on finishing writing my book. Most importantly, I want to get all of us on some real schedule after mostly failing at that last week. It would do wonders for the kids’ attitudes. And mine.