Quarantine Week 5

Is it day 892 in quarantine? Because it sure feels like it.

I got out of the house last week. I had to drop off the kids’ completed homeschool packets and pick up new ones. At the first school, they had a drive-through type thing where you didn’t have to get out and be around anyone. The people who gave the new packets had on masks and gloves. At the second school, you had to get out, ring the doorbell, open the door, go in and hang out in the tiny lobby with four other people working, and no social distancing whatsoever was being practiced. No masks or gloves, either. Gah.

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Replace “Utica” with “the school” if I caught something from them.

I have finally accomplished something in the quarantine. I wrote three short stories over the past week. Hence my not being on WordPress much. Thirty pages written and edited multiple times. I’m very happy about that. The deadline to submit the stories to be considered for the anthology was today, and I submitted them at 1:30 in the morning. I hope one gets accepted. *Fingers crossed* One of the stories was a continuation of another story that I published, one was about a single mom finding out her kid as autism (I love the “capture the emotion of the moment” type stories, so that’s what I usually write), and one was a horror type store, which is new for me. I am close to having enough completed short stories to self-publish a book of stories of my own. #Goals

Any little bit of emotional regulation BG has improved on is long gone. I really don’t know what to do with her now, but we’re talking several severe meltdowns per day over just anything. (They make her old meltdowns pale in comparison.) It feels like she spends an hour per day shrieking. And to make it worse, she’s biting herself a lot and has several big bite mark bruises on her arms. I really wish her therapy place would have done the telehealth visits so her therapist could help work with her on this some. We have several strategies to help BG with regulation, but they aren’t helping at all. I am at a loss. This quarantine stuff is rough on everyone, but is really taking a toll on her.

Easter was good, shrieking aside. We got the kids stuff to keep them busy for their baskets — LEGOs and board games. We did an Easter egg hunt and then goofed out for the rest of the day, which isn’t all that different from most days. I had planned to make a chicken casserole for Easter lunch, but we had some electrical issues. My husband was trying to spray a wasp outside and sprayed one of the fixture and then we lost power for a while. Everything is good now, though. My dad came over to drop off a go-kart for LM today and helped fix things. It was weird to have someone else in the house for a bit.

What is social distancing? Hint: You can go outside. - UCHealth Today

I’m glad everything is working now.

If y’all are looking for a new show to watch in quarantine, check out Superstore. One of the producers from The Office created it. Much of the first season is rocky (much like The Office and Parks and Rec), but by the end of that season, it has me for real laughing out loud. It’s on Hulu.

How are y’all doing? I tried to catch up on some blog reading earlier — if I missed yours, drop a link in the comments.

Quarantine Brain Dump

We’re on Day 25 of Quarantine. I haven’t left the house once. My husband has taken care of our essential runs so far and will probably continue to do so, as I don’t want to take risks having asthma. The girl has gone to the doctor a few times, and the boy went with his dad to Aldi once. We have been able to get the majority of our groceries at Walmart Pickup (which shows zero slots during the day, but all the slots open up just past midnight, so we lucked out figuring that out). He’s able to find the other odd things (mainly meat) at Aldi or Dollar General.

BG’s COVID test came back negative. The first one got bungled by the lab, so she had to get it done a second time, plus a chest x-ray and more blood work since she is STILL running a fever. (She’s on Day 25 of a fever.) Outside of tiring out easily, being crankier than normal, and having headaches, she seems okay. She rips through the house acting like her normal self at times, and you wouldn’t know anything was wrong then. (Five minutes after the dancing or running, however, then you’d know.)

The doctor did a test for mono and what my husband referred to as a broad spectrum virus test. The test for mono was negative, and we haven’t gotten results on the latter. The doc said if she’s still running a fever this week, then they’ll have to do a blood draw with an actual needed in her arm. She’s already having severe anxiety about that, so I am hoping and praying this fever just disappears so that won’t be necessary.

And speaking of anxiety…that shit has been real. I was pretty calm about all of this initially. “Wash your hands and stay at home. Easy-peasy.” But then anxiety hit like a load of bricks, and panic attacks over this mess have been frequent. “What if I get it? I take forever to get over bronchitis, so this would be hell. And how would I keep my kids from being all over me? And, wow, it looks like I do have it because I can’t half breathe now. Oh no, must have it. And what if the economy completely fails and people fight over basic supplies (more so than now) and try to rob us to steal what we have?”

It goes downhill from there. LM’s one trip to Aldi (sigh, which won’t happen again) aside, we are doing all the right things and taking all precautions. I made masks for our family, plus a bunch of extra for my husband to drop off on the porches of higher risk relatives. I’m new at sewing and they look shitty, but they are effective, which is all that matters. I don’t know how necessary it is, but we’re sterilizing the groceries and anything else that comes inside. So we are doing everything within our control on this one, hopefully it’ll be enough. And I wish that were enough for my anxiety. Depression has been real, too. I stopped taking Wellbutrin at my doc’s advice a month or two ago, and it has been really rough. Really bad timing on your part, depression. Couldn’t you wait until we were out of quarantine? I’m taking the medicine again and hopefully it’ll take effect soon. Irritable me > depressed and irritable me.

I’ve had to resist my MIL’s attempts to get the kids. I understand she wants to see him, but we’re not seeing anyone right now. They’re high risk, but they go about freely without much care for their health (or anyone else’s health), gah. Their mentality has always been “When it’s our time, it’s our time.” (Even in hurricane and tornado warnings.) One of her other grandchildren visited from out-of-state last week, and she was NOT happy that I wouldn’t bring BG — who she knew was still running a fever and didn’t have her COVID results — down to visit. “It’s just family, so it will be okay.” Gah again, because that’s not how this virus works!

I miss people. I was trying to be more social, getting out and attempting (but failing because I’m awful at such things) to make friends before this. Being mostly cooped up at home when the kids were at school with hardly anyone to talk to wasn’t fun, so I was pushing myself. Oh well. I’ll push harder when we’re out. I think I might even become a hugger after all of this is over, so watch out, world.

Thank goodness for Facebook and memes. I never thought that’s a sentence I would write, but there it is. I desperately need that humor right now, and these COVID memes do not disappoint. And then there’s the whole Tiger King thing, which has some brilliant memes, too. That was quite a show, one that is very difficult to look away from, no matter how much you think you’d never watch such a thing.

Image may contain: meme, possible text that says 'People watching Tiger King "I can't believe people like this exist." People from South Carolina:'

FYI, my house has been pretty darn tidy throughout all of this, and I’m staying on top of keeping clothes folded. It’s easier to not have a laundry mountain when certain individuals don’t want to change clothes on a daily basis. I have not been on top of my writing, and I have a deadline in a week. Unless I can quickly pull something out of my ass, I don’t see making it.

I hope y’all are doing well and staying safe.

Enjoy Your Plague-Cation

We went from thinking, “Maybe we should try to snag a spring break cruise for the family” a couple weeks ago to “We ain’t going nowhere…and it’s a plauge-cation, not a stay-cation” super fast.

The coronavirus has hit my county, and we have several cases right now. We were told on Friday that the schools would be closed for two weeks, and then today the governor announced that all schools across the state would close for two weeks. Most of our schools aren’t able to do e-learning properly yet, but the teachers are supposed to be putting together packets for the kids to work on at home. So I guess we’ll finally get a taste of homeschooling, which I’d thought about doing with the kids in the past. My husband’s boss had his group working from home full-time again starting a couple weeks ago, so we’ll have plenty of togetherness.

I found out that one of the coronavirus patients in my county is a relative, and that she had visited my in-laws a few days before we did. They aren’t showing any symptoms yet, thankfully. My FIL has had such a rough time with his health that I’m not sure how he’d fare with that. He’s in his upper 70s, as well. The kids and I, on the other hand, all started running fevers yesterday. The boy hasn’t been coughing, just a fever, and the girl and I have been hacking our heads off. I’m hoping it’s just a cold, because our house is certainly not a stranger to getting the crud! We decided on Friday afternoon after we found out about my relative having the virus that we wouldn’t go anywhere just in case. We had already bought groceries (including a pack of toilet paper that we actually needed, which I’m sad to report that I learned today is single-play garbage, RIP my butt), so we didn’t have to worry about that.

We’ve been coming up with ideas for what we’ll do with all of this extra quality time we’re getting. So far, most of it involves movies. The boy wants to watch all of the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Marvel movies. I’m too lazy to do the math, but that may very well get us through this whole thing. After I feel less yucky, I plan to catch up on some projects I’ve been meaning to get to around the house. I already caught up on my laundry, which is nice. The girl’s plan is for me to let her use my phone to play games whenever she wants.

The one single good thing about this virus stuff has been the memes. I know a lot of folks don’t like people joking around about it, but humor has always been my way of dealing with tough crap, so I’m enjoying the memes. Here are a few of my favorites:

Image may contain: one or more people, possible text that says 'When your friend starts coughing Just look at the flowers. scenesofamodead'

Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'James Breakwell, Exploding Unic... @XplodingUnicorn Me: Everything in the world is canceled. I can finally get some writing done. Narrator: He did not get any writing done.'

Image result for coronavirus memes

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and outdoor, possible text that says 'Currently at the border in WV.'

Are you social distancing yet?