Coping With the COVID-19 Pandemic. the Panic, the Closings, and the Kids

Updated: Aug 25, 2020

Hello Ladies, it’s Mom Monday. This week I finally broke a story that I had been chasing since February. You can find the link to that expose following this blog post. I also had the distinct pleasure of informing my children that their school would be closed for the month. After making the mistake of leaving my house, I learned a few things about humanity and myself. People are insane. Apparently, when the CDC and WHO tell people to avoid crowds, that is a secret signal for everyone to crowd the grocery store. I also learned through the panicked purchasing habits of others, that in an apocalypse scenario, people favor wiping their bottoms over brushing their teeth, drinking water, and bathing. All I want to know is, what are you planning on doing with all that toilet paper? If any of you are toilet paper hoarders or know toilet paper hoarders, can you contact me? The contact info is at the bottom of this page. Lastly, I learned that while a scared person is capable of the most reprehensible things, a protective mom is capable of so much more. I am no exception. I found out today that there are no limits to what I would do to protect my children, which includes hitting an old lady threatening harm to my five-year-old daughter.

COVID- 19 What’s All the Fuss

COVID- 19 is a virus that affects the lungs. The people who are most at risk are the elderly, young children, people who are immunocompromised, and diabetics. The most important thing to know is that there is no cure. The best way to prevent yourself from catching this virus is to wash your hands frequently. For more information, about the Coronavirus, this click on the Coronavirus picture and it will take you to the CDC website. There are a number and an email on the site. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Stop the Presses! School’s Out.

Sorry, Alice. School’s not out for summer, it’s just out for March. On Thursday, I received an email that said that my children’s school was going to be out until the 31st. Jonathan was my first thought. I called a family meeting with my children and told them that that school would be out. David and Carmen were obviously heartbroken. (The cheering and the dancing were clear indicators of their disappointment.) Jonathan was worried. He kept asking me, “so we aren’t going to school on Monday, why aren’t we going to school on Monday.” Since I had ZERO time to prepare him for this change, all I could do was answer him every time he asked about school. I made the mistake of trying to explain to him that people all over the world were getting sick, and they were closing the schools to make sure the virus doesn’t spread. Well, this opened another can of worms. Now, not only was he asking why he couldn’t go to school, he was convinced everyone had the coronavirus.

Dinner Attire Will be Hazmat Casual

After the family meeting, I answered the children’s the many questions, I finished up some writing projects and got started on dinner. I didn’t go crazy, I was exhausted. All my activity from the day had really taken its toll. So, I mustered up my cooking skills, and with the help of chef mike, I prepared my children a delicious gourmet meal. They were served a delightful amuse bouche avec patate to start, then they finished strong with a gourmet chicken saucisse with a tomato reduction. It wasn’t long before I was calling my children for dinner.

David and Carmen bounded into the dining area like locusts toward crops, but Jonathan was nowhere to be found. I called him again, wondering what was taking so long. As soon as I cleaned up, I geared up to read him the riot act for not coming to dinner when he was called. Then in walked Jonathan donning rubber gloves and a Spiderman mask! I tried so hard not to laugh at my child and to address his anxiety instead. It was impossible not to laugh (Don’t act like you wouldn’t have laughed too.) In a blink of an eye, I went from mom to negotiator. I negotiated for the removal of the Spiderman mask in exchange for allowing him to wear nitrile gloves. I pushed for the removal of both, but it became clear that if I pushed harder, I would lose the mask removal option and add an aggressive episode to the package. Since he had been without incident since the “Valentine’s Day Affair,” and I wanted to keep it that way, I traded him one mask removal, for permission to wear gloves to dinner. It was then that I realized that my son was a tough negotiator.

I finally got them to sit down for dinner. Coronavirus was the main topic of conversation. Apparently, you can get Coronavirus from being a meanie. No wonder there are so many people with the Coronavirus right now. They finish their hotdogs, (yes, I used chef jargon to make hotdogs and French fries sound fancy.) Carmen made the mistake of reaching for Jonathan’s remaining hotdog. Understandably, he got upset, but not for the reason I would have. See, I would have been mad that my sibling touched my food. Jonathan was upset that Carmen exposed him to the Coronavirus by reaching for his hotdog. Never mind that she does not have the Coronavirus. It would appear that my talk about the disease being transmitted by touching translated into ALL touching transmitted the Coronavirus.

Panic Makes People Crazy

The following Monday, I noticed that my daughter was coughing. I knew it wasn’t a Corona cough, because she had no fever, and it was mucus-producing cough. However, she was uncomfortable, so I called ahead to her local clinic. On my way out the door, my parents requested that I look for eggs, bread, and rice. So I loaded up my daughter, and away we went. Our first stop was the local Walmart. Yeah, I know. What was I thinking? Obviously, I was not thinking clearly. I walked in and walked right back out. There were lines wrapped around the building. The shelves were empty, (don’t worry, there was plenty of toothpaste and gluten-free bread left. The people were given a choice between starvation and gluten-free bread, and they chose the former. Lucky for people who are allergic to gluten, they will never have issues finding bread. I was more interested in the toothpaste situation. Why was there so much toothpaste left? Is the apocalypse a signal to stop brushing your teeth? You’re going to be mad when your teeth start to rot, and all the dentists are practicing social distancing.) Even with the two-case limit, there was no toilet paper. I got back in my car and took my daughter to the doctor.

Dealing with a Would-be Mob

I arrived at the clinic and got in line. As per usual, the staff’s demonstration of competence is astounding, to say the least. They scheduled my daughter for an appointment in the wrong clinic. They even sent me a text reminding me that she had an appointment at their clinic. The nurse politely asked me to move to the waiting room while they sorted out the situation. Per the posted signage, I put a face mask on Carmen to prevent others from catching her cold. Suddenly I heard a senior citizen start panicking. She was calling attention to my daughter, enlisting other patients to help her. She confronted me about bringing my daughter to the clinic around at-risk people. She told me that if I did not remove my daughter from the facility that she would use violence to remove her. She justified this threat on my five-year-old by stating it’s for the greater good. She was blocking the exit, so I was not sure how she expected me to leave. I was not even sure what her issue was. The common cold does not kill people. I had to nip this in the bud before she got more people on her side. People in a mob give up their identities for mob identities. The anonymity makes them more likely to resort to violence. It’s always highly emotional like-minded individuals placed in extremely stressful situations. What situation is more stressful than being terrified that you will catch a virus that has no cure? “Physical anonymity also leads to a person experiencing fewer social inhibitions. When people feel that their behavior cannot be traced back to them, they are more likely to break social norms and engage in violence.” Mob Violence

I held my daughter’s hand firmly and came closer to this woman. I lowered my voice so my daughter would not hear me call her a witch. (Okay, so what I actually called her is spelled with a different letter at the beginning of it. You get the point.) I explained to her that if she attempted to harm my daughter, the virus would be the least of her worries. I also told her that it would be in her best interest to sit down. I guess whispered threats are scarier than shouted ones. She paused long enough for a few good Samaritans to step in and force her to stop blocking our exit. Shout out to the nurses and the gentleman that was waiting with his wife. I appreciate you for stepping in. (They didn’t give me permission to publish their names, but if you are reading this, may the Lord bless you and your families for as long as you live.) I canceled my daughter’s appointment, gave her some cough medicine when I got home. It was clear that the widespread panic was making it unsafe to take my children anywhere.

Status Quo Ante

Today I spent most of the day writing and playing chess with David. I’m worried that the children are going to go stir-crazy, and my sanity will become collateral damage. Locking myself in the bathroom with a bottle of wine and a laptop is sounding better and better. Except for the inconvenient fact that the house will not survive, and selling them on Etsy is not an option. (I’m joking, but don’t act as if you’ve never thought about it.) So, to keep everyone safe while we shelter in place, I am going to try to keep the schedule the same, even if the location isn’t. I’m hoping that the combination of schoolwork, library books, and crafts will tamp down on the restlessness. It is in this same vein that I sent the children to bed early. Oh, the gripes were real, but they will be alright.

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