The Norm and The Horror

100,000 to 200,000 people are going to die in the US, best case scenario. For weeks we haven’t had enough tests. For weeks news agencies like NYT, WaPo, DMN, Star-Telegram, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and MSNBC interviewed doctors and epidemiologists and virologists and they told us this would happen if we didn’t take action. But our government didn’t take action. Instead of listening to the men and women who devoted their lives to this country on the front lines of fighting against this moment, our President listened to Sean Hannity and other Fox News talking heads. And here we are. On the cusp of the horror.

And now, now we get to listen to Trumpeteers excuse this atrocity of this excuse for government with “He was just trying to give us hope.”

You people have made so many excuses for this man and his kangaroo cabinet. You excused making fun of disabled reporters and “grab them by the pussy” and babies in cages and racist awfulness. You excused it All. The. Time.

And now, you’re excusing the disaster that is unfolding before our very eyes.

My GOD. What will it take?

Breathe. That’s what I’ve got to do. Pray. That’s what I’ve got to do.

Rage against the IDIOCY that brought us here. And know it won’t matter. You will still support this awful, awful man. This man who called COVID19 a hoax by the Democrats. This man who has destroyed our nation in the face of all others. This joke of a President who has lined his pockets with gold and laughed in our faces while doing it. You will support him and people will die by the thousands. The hundreds of thousands.

And that’s where we are. Where we will be. For weeks. For months.

Will we survive? Will our children? Our spouses? Our parents? Our friends?

We could not prevent Coronavirus, but we could have stopped the mass annihilation that is coming, that is already happening in New York.

The first rule of editorial writing is not to preach, the second is not to offend. You can’t convince the opposite side of anything if you offend.

Well when it comes to our awful President and his awful staff, I’ll just throw those rules out because a long time ago we heard he could stand stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and you would still defend him. And here we are. 100,000 to 200,000 PREVENTABLE deaths, best case scenario. And yes, you still defend.

So.

Here we are and this is what’s going through my mind as I mourn. I mourn what was and what I pray will be again. I mourn the nights I could watch news without tears. The days I could check my news app and know it would raise my blood pressure but NOT devastate me. The days I could check twitter without “I tested positive” or “my grandmother is in ICU” or “my husband, a nurse, DIED last night. He was on the front lines of this disease.”

This should not be. We have so many great minds. But it IS because people wouldn’t listen.

100,000-200,000. Best case scenario.

I have a cold. I figure that’s all it is. But how awful I have to worry.

Trying

I have to stop being angry all the time.

This just all feels so awful and it was avoidable. But here we are. And here I guess we’re going to stay until we get to the other side.

It’s terrifying to see the numbers explode. My Mom was in the hospital overnight. That’s terrifying because their county didn’t take this seriously until the last seven days and they’ve gone from no cases to 26 in less than a week. They have more cases per capita than my giant county.

I have to find a way to NOT think about this.

I’m reading A Court of Thorns and Roses. It’s amazing. But I bawled my eyes out when a fairy died because the main character said she didn’t want a fae to die alone so she stayed with him and held his hand and brushed his hair off his face and lied to offer him comfort in his last moments. And all I could think about was all the people dying from COVID in hospitals. Alone. Because to be be near anyone means they could die too.

It’s just all so awful.

I need to try harder to find a way to stop my mind thinking about this. This is not healthy.

Time is Different

This is not normal. This is not okay. This is a crisis and we’re all dealing with it the best we can. Teachers, parents, kids, admin, counselors, all of us. We’re all in this together and it’s okay that it sucks. But we have to make the best of it because we have no choice. I learned this from a Facebook post this morning. Sometimes Facebook is a good thing.

Learned this week: Distance learning is NOT like regular class time. Time flies and everything takes longer than class time. The systems set up for my yearbook class have to be redundant. That’s not bad. It’s just time consuming.

I have to remember this because next week I have to MOVE. Breaks have to be planned or I won’t do them. I won’t even think about them until hours have passed because it doesn’t feel like hours until it’s over.

It’s Friday. I’m tired. More tired than I’ve ever been in my entire teaching career. I miss my kids and my teacher friends. I’m a strong believer in protecting your personal time, but there’s no time for personal time right now.

I can’t imagine doing this with kids at home. But I see a lot of people doing it and doing it well. That’s amazing.

A Better Day

I didn’t stay on the news app. I didn’t look at Johns Hopkins. I didn’t listen to the President speak after 60 seconds proved he still doesn’t understand what the heck is going on and he’s still just an angry, hateful old man.

Katie is sick now. She’s in Ohio and I am so worried.

I worked all day with little breaks. I was able to send two finalized sections to the yearbook company so that’s super helpful mentally.

I was not able to work on anything else for school unless a student asked specifically. I hope I can figure out how to juggle this. I can’t imagine having kids at home too.

A lot of great happened today. A J1 student interviewed people to make a layout happen, a photoj kid sent in an interview. Two of my editors worked with me on our list. One let me know she was working. A LOT of good is happening. It’s important to remember that.

The News Isn’t The Enemy

Today, again and again, I saw this comment: “I just don’t know what to believe anymore.”

Usually the comment was preceded by someone saying the person had posted an article from a newspaper that wasn’t true, and “you know how the media is these days. They just want to create chaos and hurt the President.”

I’m just shaking my head at how we ended up in this place where people won’t trust facts, will call facts just someone’s opinion, where people will say a newspaper is out to get the President who said Coronavirus wasn’t a big deal, who is right this minute saying we’ll go back to normal by April 15, who lies every time he opens his mouth…yeah, no. They’re not out the get the President when they question him or when they interview a doctor who gives facts that fly in the face of Trump’s words. They’re just reporting.

It’s exhausting.

My hometown has 10 cases of the virus. I keep thinking back to those large crowds last Friday, about how two weeks ago the pastor encouraged church attendance.

You know what would have really helped? People listening to the doctors in the newspapers instead of the politicians saying all the alarm over Coronavirus was nonsense. Prayers for us all.

Here we are with SO MUCH INFORMATION at our fingertips and we still choose to ignore it.

I just don’t get it.

All that said, I have to limit my news consumption (I say while watching the news). It’s too ouch right now, too awful. I know the facts. I’ll read DMN or Star-Telegram and WaPo, watch the evening news, and maybe click a couple articles on twitter. I can’t keep spending so much time watching and reading this.

Update on granddaughter: she is doing better. Her extreme fatigue is worrying. Today Katie and Sam were sick too. This is such a scary time.

I started today in a better place because I finally slept. I need to go to bed now to do the same thing tomorrow.

Lots of Prayers

When I got the text, my stomach dropped.

We’re going to the hospital.

A phone call later and I was even more afraid. Olivia, going on day four of fever and cough, was struggling to breathe. Their doctor told them to go the closest ER.

When she got there the ER staff was upset she’d been sent there. No tests. Not for the virus and not for the flu. They were out of tests. To be on the safe side they did a chest X-ray.

Fortunately Olivia is okay. She’s sick but *not THE sick, but for a few hours I was terrified. I prayed, I posted on Facebook asking others to pray with me. I made myself do the virtual meeting with my yearbook staff because I can’t be in Ohio and I can’t fix this. I wish I could fix it, but this isn’t one of those fix things.

Hopefully Olivia will be better soon. Today has been a tough.

The day started early. We were in WF because Brian had to work.

I grabbed my yearbook server last week, and since I would be working, I brought my server with me. We packed up and hit the road early this morning. And realized almost two hours later I’d left the server in Wichita.

So we continued our social distance through driving and came back to pick up the server.

When I get home tonight I hope I sleep. I know I’m not leaving the apartment until I have to. I might not leave until all this is over.

Praying constantly for Olivia and Nora and Katie and Sam and everyone in Ohio, praying for Wichita Falls and EMS, praying for all my students and friends, and praying for the nation. There’s a lot of ugly, but there’s a lot of beauty too.

Huge thank you to all who prayed with me today. That was so, so scary.

***updated to add Olivia wanted food and was able to stay up a little for the first time in a couple days tonight. She was a sick, sick five year old. Hopefully tomorrow she’s even better. *The doc said her symptoms were consistent with COVID-19, but she wasn’t sick enough to do anything and they couldn’t test. The girls’ dad is sick too. Pray for him also.

I Can’t Sleep

I want to sleep.

But when I close my eyes, I worry about my grand babies who are running fevers in Cleveland, a hotspot in this war against an unseen enemy that rages across the world.

I worry about my daughter who just took a 30-day leave and her partner who didn’t. So far away.

I worry about my students and the kids at school who depend on the campus to be a safe place.

I worry about my parents. My mom’s lungs have been awful her entire life. My dad has to take medicine that destroys his immune system but helps his arthritis. They’ve been so careful, but….

I worry about the damn yearbook that I love.

I can’t sleep. I want to. I’m so tired. But I can’t.

No, Dan Patrick You Evil Spawn of Satan

Dan Patrick saying grandparents are willing to die to save the economy is where we are. He’s not alone. It’s all over the Internet. Right wing nuts saying let the old people die and keep the economy going.

Jesus Lord God. What is wrong with these people?

When this whole thing started, right wing nuts like evil Dan Patrick and Donald Trump called Coronavirus political. Someone please buy these bozos a science book and a history book and tell them to shut the hell up.

The problem now is every response feels political. It shouldn’t, but it does because anyone with a brain listens to these guys, watches their non-actions, and says “what the heck are you guys smokin?”

In a few years I’m going to look back on this post and I swear to God I hope I’m able to laugh at the idiots that talked themselves out of power because they are killing the earth, killing the middle class and NOW they want senior citizens to sacrifice themselves and they want Americans back at work, no more trying to control the nightmare that’s coming. And really, really?! Why don’t they bother to read some damn reports that will show it’s not just senior citizens dying and we can stave all this off by flattening the curve and staying home?

There are whole histories written about this because hello, idiots, Coronavirus is NOT the first pandemic and SCIENCE works.

Idiots. Idiots. Idiots.

I was so furious when we drove into my hometown and people were partying it up in the hours before Abbott shut it all down at midnight. People like Patrick and our current President are totally cool with this virus killing millions. It’s just the price of doing business.

Elections have consequences, folks. We’re going to pay a big one for Trump. He’s not a Republican. I don’t know what he and Dan Patrick and the rest of the people calling for this are, but this is not normal.

Links:

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/03/23/texas-lt-gov-dan-patrick-says-bad-economy-worse-coronavirus/

https://apple.news/Al5Ik7ZibSgCvCg3U-mN2mg

https://apple.news/ACWv5Ghq2QMy31Kk6V7sMmQ

https://apple.news/A7kfcRYoFQuyYW3kXbefdmg

https://apple.news/ArfGhhGmPQP6f7dzZPAqW0

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/journal-plague-year-180965222/

No Pollyanna Here

It’s hard to focus enough to read a great book. I keep wanting to check social media my news app, the Covid case #s on the Johns Hopkins map. We jumped ahead of Spain today. We’re behind China and Italy.

The teachers in my old district have to report to school this week. Friends from other districts said they have to too. I don’t think people are taking this seriously. I don’t think they’re listening to Dr. Fauci or reading the data. They think science is political. They were told it was for years. I hate that we’re all going to pay for that.

I feel bad for this post. I feel like I should be finding the rainbow in the storm. But dammit, we’re at the part of the storm where the mile-wide tornado in bearing down on your town and people aren’t following the weather preparedness rules. And half the people are up on their roofs shooting video on their iPhones because they think this is business as usual.

I need to force myself to use the Calm app. To work. This isn’t healthy. I know it isn’t.

God, please help calm my mind.

This is my mother-in-law’s new puppy, Tanner. He wants to cuddle or bite everything. He’s a source of joy in the madness.

Friends at my old job called me Pollyanna. I worked HARD at finding the positive. I’ve tried so hard to reclaim that me, but she’s just not here right now. She’s been taking a break since Nov. 9, 2016. She’s on an extended sabbatical now.

God, please help me be a source of strength for my kids tomorrow. Help me just be a bit of normal in a world that has lost its norm. Don’t let this awful everything I feel show up in my work.

Sweet baby girl does NOT like to walk on her feet. She runs around on her knees like an Olympic sprinter, though. She’s precious and wonderful and completely chill. She was running a fever yesterday but is better today. She’s too far away but it’s better we’re apart.
She’s her mother’s twin. My heart, my love. The opposite of her sister in personality. Also too far away. In the middle of a hot spot right now. Yesterday her county had over 90 active cases.

I have this thing where I downplay my emotions, where I say I’m such a baby or my problems are so tiny compared to everyone else’s. That spirals into a dance of guilt and what ifs. I’m not doing that this time. I’m embracing what I feel. I’m allowing myself to work through it.

God, give me peace. God, give us peace. God, you are bigger than I even know. You are a God of science and faith and the two don’t have to be opposing forces. The idea that they do is a lie.

When all this is over, and it will end, we will have a lot of work to do. God let me be up to the challenge.

So Then The Dog…

The new puppy grabbed my Birkenstock off my foot and ran out the door, through the sunroom and into the backyard then started attacking it like the shoe was trying to break into the house.

I chased the dog and yelled for it to “put my shoe down.”

Puppy thought I was playing a new game and ran around the muddy back yard, still with my shoe, still attacking it with its puppy shark teeth.

Eventually I won. But the dog sure had a good time. I figure the neighbors were home since everyone is home.

Glad I could provide the entertainment.