It’s 11 PM, March 4th, and I’m on my phone placing a bulk order of cold, flu and basic medicines to fortify my home medicine cabinet. For the past couple of several weeks I had been following the situation in Wuhan, and then Italy and Iran. I couldn’t really believe my eyes, and like most in the country, was slightly skeptical that this would or could hit our shores.
However, more and more mathematicians and virologists on Twitter started banging the drum that this virus is not the flu. It’s more contagious than influenza, and we are not prepared. The exponential growth of the sick and dying kept ratcheting up each day, and I was starting to pay attention. I began chatting often with a friend who had an impeding trip to Italy scheduled with her family. Should she go? What was the situation there? Would her family get stuck in quarantine in their hotel? This resulted in me spending too many late nights scrolling Twitter for real-live updates and stories from abroad.
After an hour of comparing prices and products, I placed my order. The medicines I needed- Sambucol, Tylenol, Motrin, cough medicine and throat drops, canned soup- were still all in stock, and in two days would land at my door. This provided a little bit of peace of mind that I could care for my family, if we did get sick. But, schools was still in session, groups were meeting, business as usual.
March 3, 2020- the US now had several cases in Seattle, and I began thinking that this small handful would soon double, triple and then jump higher and higher. It was just a matter of when.
I was very concerned but most people around me weren’t, so life carries on. A week later, my husband and I saw this as a true emergency. Schools, governments and businesses were “monitoring the situation” and noted they would take action if anyone in their commmity got sick. It was clear to me, however, that once someone was sick, it was too late. Mostly out of protest to a world that had not yet reacted to covid-19, I decided to keep my kids home, even though the schools were open. I emailed my reasons, and urged the administration to realize that social distancing was the only way to hopefully keep this at bay.
My home state, a somewhat isolated and rural Midwest state, now had 9 cases and one death. My gut told me if this state had 9 cases, my urban city surely had many more sick people- they just were asymptomatic or not yet tested. Thankfully, as Friday, Saturday and Sunday progressed, the governments and dioceses called for social distancing and the cancelations began.
I ran to our school to pick up my children’s school work and then faced the new reality: I have to now actually take my own advice. We will now be home all day, with everyone home! All day! What would that look like? On this page, I will detail how we are (or are not) staying sane and happy at home.