We’re looking at a third wave of the virus. Combined with cold weather, which will take backyard parties and strolls through the park off the table, a massive shutdown is going to test us as a nation and as individuals.
For those us who have been able to successfully transition to work from home, via Zoom and email, things will stay about the same. Steve’s job is fine. But others who only earn a living from face-to-face business will be in trouble if the state shuts down again; it’s going to push many businesses over the edge. Please patronize your local deli’s and restaurants, while you can.
Schools are going to shutdown again, and this will be brutal on the kids. Ian’s school has reverted to remote education for two weeks, because two teachers tested positive. We’re better prepared for it than this spring. I have a group of private education centers and tutors ready for Ian. When his school was face-to-face, he was only getting 1/4 of the education that he should have, so it’s not like things were fabulous in September.
My recommendations for parents is to focus on reading, writing, and math. Use online resources and private groups to supplement school. And, when the virus abates, show up with tar and pitchforks outside state capitals and demand compensatory education.
Mostly importantly, we all have to keep our marbles. Without face-to-face interactions with family and friends, I am afraid that we’ll all get a little squirrely.
I am planning on keeping walking around outside by myself and with friends even when there’s a foot of snow outside. I’ll invest in cross country skis and thick boots, because remaining sealed in this split-level tomb is a bad idea.
I have several projects going on, including a non-fiction book proposal and a fiction writing challenge. I am cleaning out my basement. I’m selling books. I’ll be here and writing the newsletter regularly. Projects are super important for my sanity, and I’ve got that locked down already.
In the end, we have each other. If Jonah comes home, then there will be a small crowd here. We’ll pretend we’re homesteaders in North Dakota, like the Ingalls family, and we’ll be fine. I am more worried about my parents and my single friends, who will be too isolated.
In the meantime, I’m making preparations. We’re upgrading our Internet service this month and stocking up the pantry. To finish our job repurposing our home for work and school, Steve and Ian will assemble half dozen boxes of furniture this weekend, and I’m sending off the older furniture with friends and buyers. It is probably too late, but I am going to try to squeeze in some doctor’s appointments. Little things, like trips to the manicurist and eyebrow threader, will get scheduled soon, because there’s nothing more depressing that bad nails during a lockdown.
More sickness is coming. And I really don’t think a change in administration is going to have any impact on this apolitical virus. Let’s keep each other safe and amused in next couple of months. And be sure to vote early!
29 thoughts on “Prepping For The Third Wave”
I think the administration will matter greatly, quickly for the people who have lost jobs and need stimulus and more slowly in terms of the actual disease. Hopefully, if mom’s nurses are careful, she’ll live long enough to be in the same room with more than one of her children/grandchildren again.
I have some snowshoes and am buying a pair for my partner soon to give us some outdoor activity. Definitely planning on walks with friends, and also scheduling 15-30 minute outdoor coffee dates or chats. Small towns are good because you see people you know when you’re out and around. And in conjunction with a project on women and crafts for my WS class, I have started knitting for the first time since the 1980s. Happy to be able to support the local knitting/craft store and it’s a very cozy thing to do.
Our newspaper wrote an article on friluftsliv, the Norwegian tradition of being outside even when it is dark and cold. I guess that’s the outdoors version of hygge.
My coping strategies are wearing a bit thin. I like projects, too, but don’t always have the focus for them. I am still taking pictures and I still have collected art projects that did not get worked on during the last 7 months of quarantine. I’ve purchased some light reading murder mysteries on paper (because I get distracted reading on the iPad).
We don’t have snow very much, but we do have dark and rain. Usually we escape for two weeks of sun which makes the November-January period bearable; this year that is not the plan.
The local ski resort has a 360 pano camera. I might be relying on these cameras for a change of scene. This is Crystal:
But there are amazing cameras all over the world. This one at
let’s you switch back and forth from different views.
bj said, “The local ski resort has a 360 pano camera. I might be relying on these cameras for a change of scene. This is Crystal.”
I’m in talks with my sister and brother to do a joint trip with their families there for early 2022.
We went there a couple times as kids (at least me and sis). Our youngest has been begging for snow.
And, they can be screensavers!
We have a milder winter with a week or two in a row of genuinely cold and nasty or cold and wet and nasty, but with warm breaks here and there. It’s the summer that is unrelentingly oppressive.
My husband and the college freshman have another 3.5 weeks of in-person college (if all goes well), and I’m counting that down, although the two younger kids will be in class quite a bit longer (again–if all goes well). Hometown U. is planning for winter break to be 5+ weeks long.
Here’s what my family is doing/planning to do:
–My husband and 10th grader are playing tennis, pickle ball (?), ping pong and badminton a lot and the 10th grader has been playing a bunch of tennis with classmates.
–Husband and 10th grader will probably go to the outdoor climbing silos at least a couple times over winter break. They’ve also been doing a lot of rollerblading together. There’s a dam where there are literally MILES of smooth surface, ideal for skating.
–Our 2nd grader is doing Inktober.
–She has also signed up for a school buddy system where she will be paired up with an older student and they will be pen pals this year.
–I will be sending the 2nd grader to the therapy center during Thanksgiving and Christmas break, probably 2 or 3 times a week.
–We’re planning a backyard BBQ soon for the college freshman and her old classmates who are at Hometown U.
–I’m planning/hoping to do a late May or early June 2021 trip to see family in WA.
–The 2nd grader has a 4-day weekend right now, and yesterday she and I finished sorting and reorganizing her playroom. We’ll hopefully do her bedroom over Thanksgiving break. I’m looking forward to hosting my BFF’s toddler for indoor playdates after the pandemic, as I think she will loooove the 2nd grader’s playroom and doing girl stuff with the 2nd grader.
–I also plan to do homeschooling with the 2nd grader during her school breaks, as we did this summer.
FYI, I am in SE Mass and it is effing snowing right now and has been for the last 5-6 hours. I just had a Zoom meeting with a student, and behind her was a sunny Arizona background.
“FYI, I am in SE Mass and it is effing snowing right now and has been for the last 5-6 hours. I just had a Zoom meeting with a student, and behind her was a sunny Arizona background.”
Is it even legal for there to be snow in October?
A law was made a distant moon ago here/July and August cannot be too hot/And there’s a legal limit to the snow here/In Camelot.
y81 said, “A law was made a distant moon ago here/July and August cannot be too hot/And there’s a legal limit to the snow here/In Camelot.”
But others who only earn a living from face-to-face business will be in trouble if the state shuts down again; it’s going to push many businesses over the edge. Please patronize your local deli’s and restaurants, while you can.
Yes, well. I stopped going to this pretty good Italian deli near my house when the owner obnoxiously refused to follow mask regulations for himself, his employees, and his customers. I’m hoping that this coming wave puts him under and the day it does I will celebrate by going out to lunch (at a different place, of course).
Jay said, “the day it does I will celebrate by going out to lunch (at a different place, of course).”
It would be a shame if that place went out of business too, though…
Our schools here in Madison, WI have not been in person since March. This entire school year has been virtual and we aren’t seeing that changing any time soon. No activities/no sports/no nothing. Current 7 day positive test rate is close to 25%, and it is currently 30 degrees F, so for us, it’s not coming – it’s here. (But you’ll be happy to know the bars/restaurants are open and they keep trying to have Big10 Football, even though 16+ people on the college team have COVID right now.)
We are investing in cross country skis and ice skates for the entire family – and broke down and bought a Peloton. If we can keep moving, we will survive.
“…and broke down and bought a Peloton.”
Remember when everybody laughed at Peloton? Wow, that was a long time ago.
The family and I have started watching this:
It’s a French-made documentary/travelogue that moves along the Silk Road, starting in Venice
Yes, keeping moving is key.
So annoyed that Americans have prioritized bars over schools. So sad.
You should ask the teachers’ unions about that. They have been resisting in-person instruction. They have some political power, I’ve heard.
Have you heard of the lockdown in Paris? The schools will remain open, but that wasn’t enough for many Parisians: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/paris-lockdown-coronavirus-gridlock-road-stations-gare-de-lyon-b1446500.html
As part of the new measures, residents will be forced to remain at home unless documented proof can be provided to authorities to justify anyone’s reasoning for being outside. Social gatherings are also banned.
It is believed the new rules, which French president Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday evening, will last until at least 1 December.
If you close all the opportunities for adults to gather in large cities, people leave. If the public spaces are unpleasant or closed for long enough, they don’t come back. Some of them won’t come back because they can’t afford to pay rent. That applies not only to people who work in restaurants/bars, but all the people who work in the industries that support restaurants: food & beverage wholesalers, linen companies, etc.
You are presuming that it’s an either/or choice; either schools or restaurants/bars. What you are proposing is that cities and states prioritize people with children over people without children. Many people who work and live in cities live in tiny apartments. The restaurants, bars, and public spaces are more important for them than for people who own 3-bedroom houses in the suburbs.
And, as a side note, closing bars and restaurants doesn’t mean people stop socializing. It continues, sub rosa. (Local high schools have had continual shut downs, due to the discovery of parties.) It continues without any controls on social contact, because the whole thing is forbidden:
Cranberry said, “Many people who work and live in cities live in tiny apartments. The restaurants, bars, and public spaces are more important for them than for people who own 3-bedroom houses in the suburbs. And, as a side note, closing bars and restaurants doesn’t mean people stop socializing.”
Those are fair points.
“And, as a side note, closing bars and restaurants doesn’t mean people stop socializing. It continues, sub rosa. (Local high schools have had continual shut downs, due to the discovery of parties.) ”
It absolutely true that socializing (to some extent) will continue. But not to anything like the extent of the risk posed by bars and restaurants. The groups will be much smaller, and to a much greater extent composed of people already in contact with each other. So the Covid spread is limited.
The contrast with bars and schools, I see, is that Covid is very easily spread through the first, but much less likely to spread through the latter. In the most recent outbreak here in NZ, there was zero spread through schools – even though several pupils were infected and attended school during the period when they were likely infectious. Whereas bars, church services and social meeting places have all been associated with significant spreading events.
The middle-class flight from Paris is following the same trajectory as I’ve seen in reports on New York (although at a heightened speed). People who have alternatives (e.g. 2nd homes) are the first to go. Followed by young people with parents resident elsewhere (boomerang kids, we call them here) – who have somewhere else to go and minimal ties in the big city.
People without these options start looking hard for employment options elsewhere – they can’t afford to jump ship right now…. but they’re looking hard for options.
We had the same situation here with our hard lockdown. People with 2nd homes in the regions (often beach houses), re-located – even after lockdown – despite being specifically instructed to shelter *in place*. There was a lot of angst in these rural places about this. Outsiders buying up everything in local shops, and (potentially) bringing Covid to rural places with minimal health services. Unfortunately the police didn’t follow up effectively, and local (illegal) roadblocks were put in place in some areas to turn back travellers (this caused much controversy!)
School provision also impacts directly on the people who have no choice, but to remain. People living in small apartments also often have children (especially the ‘working classes’) – having schools open, and children encouraged/required to attend will not only give the family a break (and a bit more space), but keep those at-risk kids at school. Which is worthwhile, in itself. These are the ones who are inadequately served by remote learning options (if they can access them at all). there also needs to be adequate provision for the children of essential workers (Dad’s a policeman, Mum’s a nurse) – they need to know their children are cared for- or they’ll leave (and the city will be even worse off).
Idle question. What happens when a doctor or nurse treating Covid patients who has been working crazy hours and either missing their own family or putting them at risk gets a patient whose family is shouting Covid-denial at medical staff and insisting on a visit without a mask or something?
If you demean skilled people, eventually they just go somewhere else.
MH said, “Idle question. What happens when a doctor or nurse treating Covid patients who has been working crazy hours and either missing their own family or putting them at risk gets a patient whose family is shouting Covid-denial at medical staff and insisting on a visit without a mask or something?”
I don’t know the specific answer to that question, but I do follow a crusty pro-Trump pediatrician on twitter (@JoeSilverman7), and his practice routinely fires families who do not follow practice rules on COVID. A recent example was a family that got fired after the mom lied about kid’s COVID symptoms in order to get the kid an athletics physical. They also do pre-screening via video apt, as our pediatrician’s office does. I should have mentioned, but at our pediatrician’s, the testing happens outside. My teen never left the car. A nurse came out in a moon suit to test him.
Also, many medical and dental practices are only allowing one extra support person with the patient indoors, so there wouldn’t be a lot of superfluous people in any case.
Here in NZ – no access to medical premises until you were wearing a mask. If you want treatment, comply….
I had to do this when taking Mr 13 to have a potential dislocated thumb assessed. Had to mask-up to go into the emergency room at the hospital. Security guards present to ensure that you put the mask on and did not remove it…..
Not aware of it happening in hospitals – but in other areas – if you removed the mask, as an act of protest, people were arrested and charged:
I recognize that this is a completely different social environment to the US.
“I recognize that this is a completely different social environment to the US.”
At least regarding medical facilities, I believe it’s the same.
At my kids’ dentist, the hygienist comes out and does a car temperature check of anybody going into the building, and at our pediatrician’s office, there’s a table at the front entrance where they do a temperature check and give you a sticker to signify that you’ve been scanned.
As Jay has noted, things can be much laxer in small local businesses, but any national chain or large business tends to be pretty strict about masks. At my big local grocery, I’d say that probably 95% of people are in full compliance, with about 1% no-mask outlaws and maybe 3-4% people with their noses sticking out. It’s been like that for 4 months now.
If I were medical staff in the Dakotas, I would want to fire all my patients (like the crusty pediatrician) and leave.
I was thinking of my cousin who is a doctor in that area. But I don’t know him well enough to ask.
I presume the hospital staff calls security. If security can’t handle the situation, they call the police. Of course, if you instruct the police to stand down, eventually the workers will leave, and the subject population will be left without health care. https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/philmatier/article/Rampant-shoplifting-leads-to-another-Walgreens-15654730.php
y81 said, “I presume the hospital staff calls security. If security can’t handle the situation, they call the police.”
Ultimately, all rule-keeping and law-enforcing comes down to…law enforcement.
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