Hockey. Poker. Visit family.
Those were my priorities when spring break started.
I followed the Coronavirus news and told my parents they needed to stay in. Mom has bad asthma, Dad has psoriatic arthritis and is on medicine that wrecks his immune system. They needed to stay away from people.
Back then I thought Trump was a fool and people needed to wash their hands.
School ended, I said bye to my students, and we packed our bags for a trip to the casino. While we sat around the poker table playing I listened to so many people talk about how “the virus” was just the flu or a liberal hoax. I kept my opinions to myself and played cards and looked around the room filled with senior citizens in close quarters who believed the Fox News message that this was no big deal.
When I got knocked out of the tournament, the guy who beat me reached out to shake my hand. My original response was NOPE, but that was just my brain screaming at me. Years of polite training had me shaking hands then walking quickly to the restroom to wash the heck out of my hands.
We mostly stayed in the room that trip. It just felt weird.
After the casino we ran home, changed into our jerseys and jumped on the TRE for the trip to Dallas. The Dallas Stars we’re playing and we were excited.
On the ride there social distancing was definitely a thing. Coronavirus was still something on the coasts and something to worry about, but not really stress over.
During the game a news alert told us there was a case in Frisco. The guy had traveled to California. We were a little worried, but we washed the heck out of our hands, so not too worried. I hugged our section usher like always, high fived when we scored, asked the girl sitting next to me if she thought Rads might have the virus since he was sick and away from the team. We lost. And ran to the train for the ride back to Fort Worth.
The train was packed and loud and filled with drunk guys letting world know Coronavirus was no big deal, more people died from the flu, people were just trying to take down President a trump, ‘Merica,
I used hand sanitizer and checked the Johns Hopkins map numbers.
Brian suggested I not fly out the next morning.
I wasn’t worried before the game. But the train ride made me wonder. I wrote my worries on Facebook. Most friends said go. A high school friend in Italy said don’t go. They’d just shut down her country. She said the biggest problem was what happened if I got stuck in Cleveland.
I didn’t sleep. I chose to go to CLE to see my grands and daughter. It had been too long.
DFW security was empty. Spring break and I walked right up. “Welcome to world of flying post Corona” the TSA agent said.
At Starbucks near my gate the manager said it was slow. People were afraid. I ordered my Americano and sat at my gate with my carryon.
The flight was full, but it was a small plane. I wondered if I was dumb to not have a mask.
The first day in Cleveland my district canceled classes for two weeks after break. My district is awesome and aware. We’re going to be safe about this.
My second day in Cleveland the governor and doctor in charge of public health for the state held a press conference. They explained community spread and why the situation in Ohio was serious, why the entire nation was at risk. How we could not stop this, but by practicing social distancing we could slow it, give medical professionals a chance to fight this killer.
My hands were raw from washing them constantly. I sat there listening to the doctor and realized I was an idiot for my last week.
News broke that an AA pilot had Coronavirus.
The Cleveland airport was actually busier than I expected. The flight, a big plane this time, was packed. Lots of people wore masks.
Every cough created tension.
I made it home. Cases started the exponential growth doctors had warned was coming, and that’s with a lack of testing.
I don’t know what’s coming, but the President understands the seriousness of the situation finally and Fox News is covering the virus as a serious public health crisis. hopefully that helps keep people home.
I still have friends on Facebook saying “but the flu.” My old home church had services Sunday—UGH! My parents are staying home. My mother-in-law is staying home…sort of. But a lot of people aren’t.
Stores are decimated every day.
I don’t know what’s coming. But this is where we are.
We start distance teaching next week. We’re getting trained this week. I’m going to have virtual sessions with my yearbook kids today. We’ll find a new normal.