Tag Archives: Coronavirus

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.

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.

Stay Home, People. Ugh!

We had to go home this weekend. We’re staying with my mil. I can’t go see my parents because they’re immunocompromised.

We left the empty streets and long drive-through lines of Fort Worth, took the much less crowded than normal 287 to Wichita Falls and one of the first things we saw was a packed pool hall. Down the street a ways, a packed local favorite restaurant.

Last week several pastors here encouraged people to attend church on Sunday. This week people are partying in large crowds like it’s 1999.

I guess they want to get one last hurrah in before things close at midnight. Somehow people here missed the whole pandemic, this is deadly, hospitals aren’t going to have enough beds or ventilators, stay they heck home memo. That social distancing really can save lives.

They missed the memo and it’s TERRIFYING. We’re all busting our butts to do virtual school, virtual freaking everything, changing the whole paradigm, and people are up the road getting together for one last drink. Ugh.

Last week I could almost get it. But this week? Nah. The numbers are public. This thing is exploding.

I get it. It’s scary to think of what could happen to the service industry. It’s scary to think of what going to happen to ALL the jobs, we’re just seeing service hit first.

But here’s the thing: we have to LIVE to fix it after and a whole hell of a lot of people are going to die if people keep gathering in large groups because guaranteed SOMEONE has the virus.

I’m so disappointed in Wichita Falls tonight. I love this town, but how did city leaders miss this memo? Yes, the service industry needs help. This isn’t the way.

***To the people who have no choice but to work, to be out because your jobs require it, THANK YOU. I know it’s not easy to hear stay home when you can’t. The rest of us can, and hopefully by us staying home, you have a better chance of staying healthy.

Comparison is a Joy Thief

If you would have told me social media was going to make me hurt over teaching in the time of Corona, I would have said you were crazy.

But it’s happening.

I’m a mess and there are all these videos and ideas and lessons and shout outs and “We Did Its” and rah-rah-yay! moments and all I can think is WTF?!?! And then I’m in the guilt spiral of why can’t I just be happy for people instead of self-critical about my lack of Yay! And then I’m in a guilt spiral over the guilt spiral over the guilt spiral.

I’m a mess.

But it will get better.

I love you yay people. I’m just not there. I hope I will be. I like being a yay person. This has been a year of non-yay, and that was before Corona. Dang menopause.

Mom

“Mom, I can’t breathe.”

My daughter lives 1044 miles away.

When she said that to me on her call this afternoon, I forced myself to listen and pause.

She’s an adult, a mom. She’s also in the service industry and she’s just left work.

She told me it felt like a brick was on her chest, like it felt when she had pneumonia when she was 12 and had to be hospitalized for a week.

Everything in me freaked out. But I didn’t say drive to a hospital right now. I said “go home and call your doc.” I don’t even know if she has a doctor. She’s in the service industry. She has insurance, but doctors cost a lot of money, even when you’re insured. She goes to Minute Clinic usually, if she goes at all.

I told her she was under a lot of stress. I asked if she was running a fever.

She wasn’t. We talked some more.

And it all came out. The incredibly long lines in the drive-thru, the customers angry, the phone calls to “talk to the manager.”

Yeah. We’re in the middle of a deadly disease outbreak where every single person is at risk and people want to scream at the people preparing their food and drinks. Okay.

It sounds like stress. The customers are dressed, employees are stressed, this Momma’s stressed. We’re all stressed.

And it’s getting way worse out there so we need to learn to deal. I’m going to utilize my Calm App. I hope she will too. And those customers, geez people. If you’re going out, be nice. None of this is easy, none of us have done this before. Breathe.

What a Break

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.

Hello, Old Friend

I haven’t blogged in so long. I used to blog all the time, then it moved to big events, then it moved to every once in a while and then I just stopped.

I don’t know why I feel the need to blog now. I guess a pandemic is the biggest event I’ve been through.

We start learning how to teach while being apart from our students this week. We have no idea how long this will last. Watching the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus map explode I’m worried it will be longer than any of us ever imagined.

We will get through this. We’ll figure things out. Hopefully scientists figure out how to stop this virus, and hopefully we’ve learned our lessons so the next one doesn’t decimate us.

It’s a weird time. For the last week people have argued that Coronavirus is no worse than the flu, that it’s just a political stunt to weaken the President. They’ve blamed the media and Facebook.

It’s scary, really, how people don’t care about facts. How they want to argue with science. How they want to defend the President who refused to take action for two months and led us to the brink of a disaster.

I hope we don’t tip over the brink. I hope we’re able to fix this. And I hope we get back to normal. When we do get back, I hope people see the real need for reform, for universal healthcare and a living wage and fair housing. I hope I’m a better teacher.

There’s no end to this post. We’re finally testing people for the virus. Not enough, but more, so numbers have exploded. It’s a weird time. I definitely regret reading The Stand last year.