Today marks the end of what I’ll call what I assume will be “easy quarantine.” My mother is going back to work and so it’ll just be Sarah and me with the kids all day every day, while also trying to work full time. I’m not sure what we’re in for next week but I can’t imagine it’s going to go as smoothly as this week went – and things weren’t perfect this week.
Reed seems to be mostly unaffected by not going to school so far. He only occasionally mentions one of his fellow “bobcats” (the animal man identifying their grade and classroom) but is super happy to have mom, dad, and grandma to play with him all day. I see glimmers of unhappiness whenever I have to apologize and say I can’t play because I have to work. It’s okay for now because grandma is there, but this is going to be completely different come Monday. I expect that we’ll all start deteriorating mentally in short order.
Baby Jack doesn’t notice a thing, but we’re going to notice some extra money in our bank account that we planned to give to a daycare. They’re all closed now. I think often of the teachers and other workers that are stuck without paychecks because of something entirely out of their control. Businesses large and small are paying workers while they’re closed if they’re able to – far more are closing down entirely and don’t know if they’ll ever reopen. Our family is lucky in that we all have jobs that are work from home (lovingly, #WFH) friendly. Sarah’s team and my team at work are very accommodating, especially with those that now have to take care of kids, so I’m not too worried. There’s a lot of work for my team to do to get everyone in the library squared away with their technology and to support them if they need assistance. I don’t think this will last, though. Georgetown is continuing to pay student workers that can’t work from home so I think my employees and me are safe for now.
At the end of every day this week we’ve taken a family walk around the neighborhood. We’ll usually duck into Reed’s school’s parking lot to kick around a ball in a patch of grass and to get moving. My daily steps recorded on my Apple Watch are down to worrying levels, but I’m losing weight. I think it’s the nerves. I still worry that one or more of us may be sick and not know it yet and that someone might wind up in the hospital.
COVID-19 is a terrifying illness. We have no natural protection against it and young and otherwise healthy people are falling gravely ill. Some are being intubated and hooked up to a ventilator. Most of those patients don’t leave the hospital alive. The last they see of their loved ones is often a hurried rush to the hospital with worsening breathing issues before they’re isolated away from their family for the rest of their lives. I’m scared of being stuck in a hospital, alone, without getting to say goodbye to my wife and kids. I’m scared of my wife being stuck in a hospital, alone, without getting to say goodbye to us. There’s no visitors allowed in hospitals anymore. If you die there, you die without your family and you probably die in a medically induced coma. It sounds awful.
I worry just about this stuff almost every night. I take a small comfort from tucking Reed into bed and laying with him until he falls asleep. Though I worry that this is reckless selfishness if I’m infected and not showing symptoms yet (you spread it before symptoms, which can take up to 14 days to appear). Is it really worth me making myself feel better for a short time if I’m putting him at risk? Thankfully children seem to be much less affected – their case numbers are encouragingly low and their death rates even lower. Still, it can feel like a gamble.
Tomorrow is the weekend, apparently. Most days are starting to blend together. One of us is going to pick up groceries from Safeway. We’ve been lucky to score home delivery windows from both Amazon Prime Now and Whole Foods, but we’re stocking up some more by tossing in a Safeway pickup too. I’m hoping the pickup is smooth and properly socially distanced, but we’ll see. We’ve yet to step foot inside a grocery store since we home quarantined, and I hope to keep it that way for as long as possible.