Day 8

E:
After school/work this morning, M went on a walk with her friend A and they were together (6 feet apart) for 5 hours.  So great.  M said they walked on opposite sides of the street for much of it. Her heart feels happy from time with her friends and it makes her all glowy.  It’s wonderful.

M and I took a bike ride.  It was the first time I’ve ridden a bike since recovering from two surgeries on my R. knee over the past year and a broken wrist from a mountain biking accident.  What a year…who knew this one would top it?  I’m just grateful to have my physical body back and working right now to take care of these kids and myself.  I know that there are many out there who are compromised to begin with, and my heart goes to them.

Anyway, riding bikes up the county road was so much fun.  Liberating.  We went for about an hour.  There was bit of a chill in the air.  We passed the cows and moo’ed at them loudly.  We had a contest to count bird nests.

Then I did the dreaded shopping trip.  I left the kids and drove to town.  Since we had pre-ordered, the car was loaded up by market staff – he looked exhausted.  And he wasn’t allowed to accept tips. He told me that today the max amount of pick-ups allowed was 60 (between 8am and 8pm), and tomorrow they are doubling that to 120.

Early evening, M set up “spa day.”  She painted my nails…black with green sparkles.  We steamed our faces with green tea and bath salts, then did masks. So sweet.  And so fun…and it was awesome.  This was followed by a whole regimen of products.  And truly it felt fantastic.  Especially after the grocery run…the best.

Then M helped me make pizzas. He rolled the dough and threw it up into the air.  Covered in olive oil and sea salt, homemade sauce, feta, mozzarella, peperoni and black olives.  He did a great job.  So fun to cook with him.  And we had salad…hooray.

I can honestly say that the quality time I am spending with the kids has dramatically increased in the past week since we are all out of our old routines.  I am so grateful for that.  I know that there are a lot of people suffering right now.  I feel the weight of that, too.  I worry for my brother struggling on the farm, for my mom who is home alone…and also, I very much trust the lights in them. They are both so bright.

M:
Day eight was a pretty good day. I got to see Anna and we hung out and walked around. We barely talked about the virus which made it a lot better. It felt like we were just hanging out like we used to. It felt good to be there for her. I miss all my friends and I wish I could be with them, but in some way it feels like we are closer than ever. There’s no drama or fighting, it’s just positivity. We are all going through this together and we all support each other. Every day I hear something new about how much longer the virus is going to go or how we might be stuck like this for months. These things are all very hard to hear because I want to be with my people again. I hope that after this ends, We will all be closer and we won’t take advantage of being around each other. I wish that we all already had corona because then we would be immune and we could hang out. There’s so many things that I wish were different but I have no power over them which makes me feel helpless. My friends and I text all the time and that makes me feel hopeful. I couldn’t imagine going through this alone. Everyday I think about how excited I am for the future and how grateful I will be when it gets here.

M:
Today we woke up and did our school work from 9-12, after that we went on an hour long bike ride. When we got back I played games with my friends for a while. My mom then went to the grocery store to pick up food we had ordered on Sunday. When my mom got back we ate food and I helped make pizza. After that my mom and I watched a show then went to sleep.

A Colorado Family’s Home Journal, the Coronavirus Edition…Day 1

Day One.
by:  E, M & M

E:
Today is the first day of our family COVID-19 journal.  We have been in self-isolation since Monday.   The slow realization of what this means is dawning hourly upon each of us. Everything from…maybe we shouldn’t drink all the juice in one day to what do you mean I can’t see my (fill in the blank…best friend, lover, dad, Roxy the dog)?

We have started a routine. No sleeping past 9am.  This only applies to one of us as the other two are up early drinking tea, making coffee, checking in on the news, listening to music. At 9am, we all sit down with our laptops and start working.  Fortunately, the kids’ school is totally rocking, and they are working on assignments and participating in online classroom chats.  It is hard to describe how much gratitude I have for these educators.  I am working, too.  Thankfully.

So we have our work time, then it’s lunch.  Then we go outside for a hike, a walk, etc.  As of today, we are going with one other family that we are very close to, and it’s hard to stay six feet apart.  What’s harder is reminding the kids to stay six feet apart – they are mad at us for being so annoying and we are frustrated that we have to be the enforcers.  But we are making light of it too.  Today our friends brought pieces of yarn cut to six feet so that we could hold the ends while we walked – to be sure we were the appropriate distance.  (The girls started it yesterday when they brought a tape measure – to make fun of us –  hilarious.)

We are fine on food. Cooking feels so good.  It’s so normal and I feel like I can support my kids, our health and our spirits through meals.  Maybe it’s the Jewish grandmother in me.

We had a blowout today. This is hard on 15-year-olds. They want their friends and I understand.  The anger needs to come out at someone, and that someone is the enforcer…mom.  Today the anger finally turned to tears…for both of us.  And that felt much better.  This is sadness.  Loss, shock…and just totally beyond the realm of comprehension.

Everything has slowed down. We listen to each other.  Dinners last longer.  We get frustrated with each other.  We navigate how much screen time, how much time is ok to spend in one’s own room, how much milk we should use in a day, do we should go to the orthodontist or not (cancelled), do we should play pick up soccer outside or not (not), who is doing what, why are there people in that restaurant? Why are we home?  I am making a list of chores as I think of them and still haven’t tackled one.  It is supposed to snow tomorrow.

We started an email between all of the neighbors on our block so that we can be in touch. I’ve never really liked the phone (except for when I was 15).  I’m accepting the fact that I will talk on the phone to stay connected to the people I really, really love a lot.  And I will enjoy it.

We are doing our very best. I’m so proud of the kids.  Despite the massive adjustments, I  feel positive in my core.  There are dolphins and swans swimming in the canals in Venice.  The water is clear.  They can see fish.

M:
Day one has been one of the most emotionally filled days of my life. I feel happy that the world’s nature is coming back to life and that I get to experience this time while living in a safe environment. On the flip side, I feel unbelievably sad and alone. I feel like I’ve lost all my power and the thought of having months of this makes me want to cry. I’m allowed to be with my family, but when I think about it, my friends are my family and not being able to be around them kills me. I’m not allowed to hug the people that give me life. I am starting to learn how some people feel in the fall when everything is getting dark and they have to stay inside because of the cold. I have never felt like that because I love the winter, but this time of the year is when the flowers start to grow and the trees get green. The animals are supposed to start coming around more. We aren’t supposed to have a global pandemic. I got in a fight with my mom today because of the tension. We yelled at each other and that sucked a lot and I just wanted to keep screaming. I was so mad because like a normal teenager, I was blaming her. I was blaming her for not letting me see my friends because I thought it was her fault. After I took a moment, I thought about the severity of this situation and there is nowhere to place the blame because it’s no one’s fault and at the same time it’s everyone’s fault, the world is simply fighting back. I am beginning to come to terms with the fact that this is going to be my life for a while and I think I’m about to accept it. Today I facetimed my friends in Telluride and they told me about how state officials are coming to their houses and testing them. They told me about San Miguel county shutting down. This made me realize that I’m not going to see them or my dad for longer than I thought. I went on a hike today with my friend and it felt so weird staying six feet away from her. I love her and all I want is to hug her and go through this with her. We still get to talk, but in the future we might not even be allowed to leave our houses.  Even though I have all these sad emotions, this whole “quarantine” thing might have a silver lining because I will bond with my family and we will learn things about each other that we would have never known. The world is falling apart but saving itself at the same time. We are all experiencing an event in history and I know it will be hard then easy then hard again. We have to remember that nothing has ever not gotten easier. And in the whole grand scheme of things, a couple months doesn’t seem so bad. 

M:
The first 24 hours of school being shut down have been weird. We went on 2 walks and had to stay 6 feet apart. We did our school work from home from 9 -12. We can’t go to other friends houses but we are still having fun. The one bad thing is that we have to stay 6 feet apart. I had an orthodontist appointment scheduled for tomorrow but we cancelled. I also can’t go up to Telluride because nobody is able to leave San Miguel County. I won’t get to see my dad and dog until April 3rd at least. That time is expected to change so most likely longer.

Sending everyone out there so much love,
E, M & M