What are we doing to deal with the huge post-holiday Covid surge

The students are still gone, but our daily rates are higher than they have ever been, with new deaths every day and not just people ages 70+.  One of our admin just lost her father to Covid in town. Rates will only spike in mid-January when the students return.

I am teaching one section in person next semester.  This is going to be dangerous.  The course is limited to 15 students and there’s a wait list.  My two covid deniers from last semester are not in it, thankfully. (My other section is online.  I do not have a choice about either.)

Other than that, we are blessed that we do not have to do anything that puts us or our children at additional risk.  Most people are in situations where their jobs require them to be out with the public more than once a week and they don’t have full power to tell people to pull up their masks like I will.  Most people don’t have the ability to get all groceries delivered or done by curbside pickup.  These folks are at risk of getting covid themselves and spreading covid to others.  Those of us who can reduce the spread should because not everybody can.

SO, what are we doing?  (Bolding the things that are fun substitutes rather than sacrifices)

  1. DH and I are working from home when possible.  (Technically DH isn’t working anymore, but hey.)  This means that I go to work and then come home.  I also requested an 8am course so that there’s nobody before me and there’s a big gap after me (since usually classes start at 9:15).  Even so, I wipe everything I touch down with clorox wipes that I had to buy myself (and it is not easy buying clorox wipes!)  Students sit only in chairs that are 6 feet apart, which are actually 6 feet apart after I complained last summer to the department that the original dots on the chairs where only 1 foot apart on one dimension (they now skip rows, including the first row).  I do not let them touch each other.  When they share items I make them wipe them down with a wipe before if I catch them and squirt them hand sanitizer after.  Doing in-class activities has been a pain in the rear and I collected a lot of suggestions from students last semester about what to do and what not– it seems like pairs are doable 6 feet apart but triplets are not unless one person is zooming from home.  Some students liked sharing screens through zoom while still in the same room and some didn’t– one suggestion was for them to share a google doc which I think will work well.  I tell students that if they are the least bit sick they have to zoom in.  I enforce masking.  I don’t let them eat.  If I drink, I do it from behind the plexiglass (which doesn’t cover the entire board area, which is annoying).  If they drink, I tell them to use a straw if they can and keep the mask on as best they can.
  2. We’re only shopping curbside.  In the few rare cases in which we’ve had to go inside the store in the past (ex. the noodle place and the bibimbap place), we’ve made sure to order ahead so that we can just do a pickup rather than having to wait.  Basically I go to work and do curbside library stuff and DH does grocery, target, and home depot curbside (and takeout about once every two months which is not enough, but we do give big tips when we go).  DH and I do doctors visits.  I did a dentist thing this summer because I needed a crown and a root canal.
  3. We’re keeping our kids home (our school district allows us to choose).  This is definitely the safe decision for DC1 whose high school has at least one new case a day and was getting more like 4 new cases per day just before winter break.  Adding to that that mask enforcement and social distancing wasn’t happening in at least one of DC1’s classes (and the teacher caught covid right after we complained to the principal) and the principal sent out pictures of sports team pictures with only maybe 3 people masked… Now that they’re no longer sending out daily emails there’s a dashboard where we can see all the positive cases at each school (only a point in time info, but it does have the cumulative number), and our high school has about 4x as many cases as the other same-size high school.  For DC2 it would probably be fine to go to school– there have only been 8 cases so far and they’ve been drawn out across the semester.  But the virtual 4th grade teacher is amazeballs so we’re hoping to keep her as long as possible.  (It is really interesting looking at the elementary school data– one would think the numbers would map with SES and ability to not work or to work from home, but while the lowest number of covid cases is the richest college professor zone and the highest number of covid cases is the lowest income most working class zone, the rest of the numbers don’t map at *all* which makes me suspect that school leadership is important when it comes to covid spread.)
  4. We are not having in-person playdates.  I am not at all opposed to outdoor masked playdates, but DC2’s friends only want to do unmasked, so we said no and they stopped asking.  Two of them do have such playdates with each other.  Naturally these are the least safe members of the group– the third friend’s mom is more risk averse and would be safer, but of course, not doing in-person playdates correlates with all those other safe behaviors.  Update:  Just said no to a zoo birthday party after looking at the yelp page for the zoo and seeing lots of maskless selfies (or chin-mask selfies) and people complaining that masking isn’t being enforced.
  5. We have two regular weekly minecraft after-school playdates set up for DC2 and lots of other popup minecraft playdates.
  6. We didn’t visit extended family at Christmas.  Once the second wave hit and especially after the vaccine started coming out, MIL stopped suggesting it.  We now have hopes for summer.
  7. For Thanksgiving we had a socially distanced backyard meal with my sister and her boyfriend.  I was super careful and made sure we had separate tables that were 6 feet apart.  We kept masks on all times we weren’t eating.  I had separate paths set for bathroom use– they went through the garage to the guest bathroom and I had hand sanitizers taped to the door to the house on both sides.  We went through the patio and used the master bathroom or the kids’ bathroom.  For many of the food items (including all the appetizers and desserts), I made sure their table had its own bowls to serve themselves from.  For bigger things like the turkey, they went through first and hand sanitized before and after.  Then I had us use different serving spoons.  I also gave them a separate serving spoon for second helpings but they didn’t end up using it (I’m a bit less concerned about this because it seems like the virus is fragile on surfaces, but still…).  It was a bit tiring having to police the distance between my kids and my sister and I can see how easily if you’re not vigilant “safe” meetings can become unsafe.  Especially if not everybody attending is as careful as you are.  It’s easier to just not, which is why although we talked about doing Christmas at my sister’s patio in the end we just let that conversation not happen in time.  (The next day my kids went in the car for the first time since … last March?-we had to adjust the booster seat-for DC2- and August schedule pickup for DC1… to get flu shots.)
  8. We’ve done a couple of sessions of Crafting with Grandma on zoom, where DC2 and MIL just quietly work on crafts together punctuated by random conversations with DH and DC1 and FIL.  DC1 also did a Crafting with younger cousins on zoom.  (As the oldest by 6 years and very good with kids, DC1 is extremely popular with the younger cousins.)
  9. I’ve started buying a lot more fancy stuff online since we can’t go to the City.  I’ve already gotten a number of you hooked on nuts.com and we’ve spent some time talking about places other than amazon where we’re buying things.  Something remarkable has as well.
  10. Ringfit, exercycle, console dancing games, bicycling, unicyling (DC1 and DH), scootering (DC2), roller skating (DC2), all around the neighborhood, both masked (when outside and there are a lot of people out) and unmasked (indoors or outdoors when there’s few enough people that the road can be crossed if we see someone; this generally correlates with the weather).  I’ve also done a lot of walking around the house watching youtube videos while the kids are out exercising because I don’t want to have to put on pants (if I’m wearing pajama shorts and it’s cold out) or socks.

Something I want to highlight is that after 3/4 of a year of trial and error:  Zoom calls that are just straight-up conversations aren’t as good for the kids as are zoom activities. Having something that allows comfortable silences is way better than something that forces kids to keep talking.  And with kids, zoom is better than FaceTime, at least for the adult in question, because FaceTime involves lots of running around the house and flipping the screen and playing with filters and basically things that are too frenetic for anyone but the cool auntie (aka, my sister, who is just as bad as my kids with FaceTime).  There are a lot of crazy things they can play with on zoom, but there isn’t as much movement of the camera itself.

Playing minecraft with friends with zoom on in the background is better than just zooming (which was what we did last Spring and Summer until DC2’s birthday got us to research safe ways zie could have a party).  Playing Among Us with DH’s brother’s kids didn’t work out so well, though part of that was they couldn’t get audio to work so everything was chat-based which isn’t as fun.

Doing crafts at the same time with Grandma works better than just talking with Grandma.  It’s almost like actually being at Grandma and Grandpa’s.  We’ve done this twice so far and it’s just really nice.  DH and DC1 stop by and chat while DC2 and Grandma work on their own things.

We also set up an origami teaching demonstration with DC1 and the two older kids of DH’s sister because Nana had all four kids and suggested we try that while she looked after the babies.  So DC1 taught the 7 year old and the 5 year old to make fortune tellers and then did a few coin tricks.

Here’s an ask the grumpies from this summer about things to look forward to in the summer (also has a list of stuff we’ve been buying online).  Here’s a “what are you doing for fun?

What safe(r) things have you been doing?  (Note:  any bragging about doing unsafe things will be deleted.  Keep your secret shame secret and try not to hurt people.)

47 Responses to “What are we doing to deal with the huge post-holiday Covid surge”

  1. Jessica Says:

    -Discovering lots of new games (and online versions of beloved games) via this huge pdf of online games! https://i.redd.it/8rtd5wzaog361.png
    -Recurring zoom dates – weekly, monthly, etc – to take the planning out of it.
    -Netflix Party (Now called Teleparty) to simultaneously watch streaming services while on zoom, very nice for when less energetic but still want to see friends.
    -My boyfriend and I bought multiple new games for ourselves for Christmas. We love collaborative games, if anyone likes those I would strongly recommend Hanabi and The Crew, which are both (pretty cheap) card games that work well for 2-5 players. Hanabi is also available online.
    -Also seconding the fact that zoom crafting is super fun! And I don’t even normally like crafts. I’ve been making one painting for each season as it arrives (pumpkins for fall, Santa’s sleigh for the holidays, need to make a winter post-holidays one next!)

  2. rose Says:

    The elementary school age grandchild reads her assigned chapter books to me on f.time. Works really well for everyone. Have done some crafts and a bit of cooking but for cooking a parent has to also be involved at the child’s home for obvious safety reasons and this does change the dynamics and does not provide a parental break.

    • Leah Says:

      I love that! How sweet.

      Our first grader won’t write for me. She will for her teacher, but even one private meeting a week is a lot. Grandma is a retired elementary special ed teacher. We put them together on FaceTime, and our kid writes a lot for her! It’s so great. Added bonus of grandma time. Grandparents aren’t great with just chatting on FaceTime, so this also gives them something to do.

  3. Natalia Zhukovskaya Says:

    We go on hikes to the nearby parks. Also, we’ve been going lots of neighborhood walks (where we not-so-subtly discuss house styles, sizes, and landscaping – our kids love doing this and then talk about their own dream houses). We bring masks with us in case we run into a bunch of people.

    Our daughter did daily Skype sessions with her best friends during the winter break, where they were planning a re-make of “Just Add Magic” show: they now have a script and they are practicing their roles.

    We do some fun stay-at-home activities, like playing ping-pong (we got a small indoor ping pong table). Using our outdoor fire pit and indoor fire place is nice. Reading to kids (I get to pick the books).

    We watch squirrels steal and eat scraps from our compost bucket – surprisingly entertaining. Also, squirrels attempting to get into birdfeeders. It’s like a reality show, except it’s, you know, real.

    I really like the idea of zoom crafting and having kids read to grandparents over zoom. Will have to give it a try.

  4. xykademiqz Says:

    I do grocery store runs and that’s about it. I did have a crown done at the dentist’s.
    This semester I am teaching in person, will have about 50 people. I hope we stay well. The classroom is large, seats 300 regularly, covid capacity set to 70. Last semester I had about 20, and felt comfortable. With 50, we’ll see.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Getting a crown does not sound like fun. (In fact, it was not fun when I had it done this summer, though I got mine with a side order of root canal.)

      What are your kids at home doing in place of in-person activities, if anything?

      • xykademiqz Says:

        My 4th-grader has Facetime playdates with his best buddy almost every day, the two of them set their own schedule; he plays with another kid on occasion, otherwise he’s just on his computer, or watching videos, or playing with Perler beads, or drawing. Oh yes, he does piano, too, and he’s pretty good about practicing. He’s on electronics too much, but there isn’t much else to do, and it’s pretty cold for lots of outdoor time.

        My 8th-grader seems to be in frequent contact with at least some of his buddies via Discord. They play various online games together on the PC. With his other friends he’s in touch via Snapchat and plays another set of video games on the console. Without the pandemic, he’d be playing basketball and I’d be driving all over state all winter and spending my weekends in random gyms; I do not miss that. He’s been doing amazing academically since the school went online, he’s got complete ownership of his work, doesn’t have to be reminded or prodded as he needed to before. This ability to organize how he spends his time has done wonders for him.

        I’ve pretty much given up on controlling electronics as long as the kids seem content and happy. We do have plenty of family time, impromptu conversations and goofing around, and the kids are in a good mood, so I think we’re doing all right.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I sometimes wish DC1 were on Discord… zie hasn’t really kept up with any of hir friends at all. DC1 has been similarly flourishing with remembering to turn in completed work and so on this year. Way less prodding!

  5. First Gen American Says:

    Need more ideas here as well. Winters are cold where I live so there is a limit to the amount of outdoor play dates we can do. We were invited to one this weekend but the kids and I froze our butts off skiing the day before (because the lodge is closed and there’s nowhere to warm up) and they didn’t want a second weekend day outside.

    I did make a triple batch of cutout cookie dough and delivered it to kid’s friends and they all made cookies together but separately. I think more group projects like that would be fun. We did a lot over the summer like doing tie dye’s and all the various cooking experiments.

    We also had another computer die over break so a couple of my younger son’s friends will be participating in a build your own computer activity this quarter.

    Board games have also been fun.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Decorating cookies with Grandma was also a fun online craft! Delivering dough to friends is so clever. I wonder if DC2 could get hir friends interested– some of them have been saying they’d like to try things besides just minecraft.

      • First Gen American Says:

        Was also thinking of doing group vanilla extract activity, a fake invest in stock market club (there’s gotta be an app for that), and various building with wood projects (but honestly, all the dads are building stuff with our downed cherry right now, the kids are less interested).

        But the challenge is I have limited capacity right now, so for every 10 ideas maybe 2 get implemented.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        ohh, I hate invest in the stock market things– they’re always short term and give such bad lessons(!)

        Most of the things I’ve implemented take 5 min or less to set up because that’s what I have. DH has more time these days but he mostly spends it directly with the kids instead of facilitating the kids doing things safely with others.

  6. Debbie M Says:

    Unfortunately, I feel that very little from my new activities qualify for boldfacing, but I’m pretty introverted, so I’m still okay.

    – We do a lot of home-body activities, especially reading, playing video- and board games, and playing on the internet, as usual. And my roommate and I get along great 24/7, so I am perfectly find through all this. He’s more extroverted and more likely to get cabin fever, so it’s harder for him. Sometimes he has work, though.

    – I use curbside for library books – actually I have gotten more into inter-library loan, feeling less guilt now that this is basically all that we’re allowed. But I miss browsing.

    – We shop less frequently, and try to go right when they open for smaller crowds and fewer germs floating around (many probably settled overnight?).

    – We get restaurant take-out once or twice a week, even though there’s so much styrofoam. We try to order things that save well or reheat well after the trip home. We’ve tried eating in the car, too, but it’s so much more comfortable at home. Advantages here include subbing or adding some of your own ingredients (I use my own sharp cheddar instead of paying extra for American; I use my whole wheat tortillas and tell them to not pack us white tortillas) and you can save more kinds of things when they give you too much (like chips, salsa). We’re eating a lot of migas breakfast tacos made with leftover chips and salsa.

    – We stopped socializing in person with our friend who still goes to bars and gyms. We still see our married friend couple who live out in the middle of nowhere when they drive into town to avail themselves of our recycling cart. We stand outside six feet apart outside with masks on until someone gets too cold or bug-bitten.

    – We changed our in-person monthly craft night to a shorter but weekly Zoom craft night. I miss sharing the snack foods and carpooling, but these events require a lot less planning ahead. The socializing is still good, and I like your point about comfortable zoom silences. The reverse, too: if some people hog all the talking, it’s nice to be able to be doing something else you like at the same time. I do miss having sub-groups for socializing. Note: our definition of “craft” is quite broad and has included, in addition to fiber crafts, beading, and making Halloween costumes and dog toys: mending, addressing wedding invitations, and cracking pecans. Basically anything where you can still pay attention and, when it was in person, that didn’t make too much of a mess.

    – Go for walks outside. I saw lots of people yesterday playing in the snow–and virtually every one of them had on masks! Outside! Probably because they help you stay warm. We even have new sidewalks in my neighborhood! Which I mostly don’t get to use because everyone else is on them, so I walk on the other side of the street.

    – Of course no more travel–no day trips, no sightseeing trips, no visiting far away friends and relatives, and I’m still storing a bunch of stuff for my mom who’s a thousand miles away now. No festivals (actually, we did go to a backyard holiday craft fair this year–six craftspeople literally outside in someone’s backyard with masks on). No library activities (book clubs, board game nights). But technically you asked what we’re doing, not what we’re not doing.

    – I remind myself that my New Year’s resolution is to stay strong against covid.

    Some of my friends have been doing primitive camping adventures, either alone or otherwise with only people from their own household.

  7. gwinne Says:

    Thanks for the shoutout!

    –Thanks to your rec, my third-grader is now doing the zoom/minecraft combo with other third-grade cousins.
    –he also zooms with a friend, and they share screens and who knows what else; I try to ignore and actually work
    –we’ve been doing some virtual shows/plays, some of the live streamed sort, some prerecorded. I try to make a big deal, with printed tickets, snacks, etc.
    –local business takeout Friday since several weeks into the pandemic, when it seemed that takeout was ok
    –also nuts.com [why why why did you tell me about this?!]
    –large jigsaw puzzles (300 pieces if we want to do in one day, but mostly 750+ that linger on the dining table)
    –Tiny Boy has gone sledding with friends, because I live in the land of snow and ice
    –we bought a rowing machine. might still get treadmill, as it’s getting too cold/dark too early to walk comfortably as much as I want each day. and a teenager might be convinced to workout if they could also watch TV

  8. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    US Citizens:
    Celeste p suggests calling your members of congress (two senators and representative) and say:
    1. You support the Raskin resolution to establish a permanent non-partisan body to determine the fitness of the president to continue to hold power.
    2. You support impeachment of President Trump for sedition (among other reasons in the articles of impeachment).
    You can also ask them to encourage Senator Cruz and Representative Hawley to resign for sedition resulting in 5 (or more) deaths and putting the lives of members of congress in jeopardy.

    Info on where to find your MOC’s contact information here: https://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/activism/ Alternatively, 5calls has scripts! https://5calls.org/

    And please don’t say, “I’m not going to call because my representative is a democrat/republican. They are doing it anyway/won’t listen to me.” The bad guys are calling even with republican/democrat MOC, so the bad guys are who they’re hearing from. They need to hear from sane people. They need to hear from you. Otherwise democrats will give up and republicans will do worse. If enough people make their views known, those republicans will flip back to sanity, or at least start doing less bad stuff. If not enough sane people make their views known, the democrats will keep delaying things until the news cycle changes. CALL.

    You may wonder if you can call again if you have already called. The answer is YES. Don’t call twice a day about the same thing, but you can definitely call again, especially if you have new information to add like about the Raskin resolution.

  9. CG Says:

    We have gone skiing (with everyone wearing masks), sledding a bunch of times, and have continued to play tennis outside with hats and gloves on. In fact, last weekend we went skiing on Saturday and DH played tennis outside on Sunday (it was around 25 degrees when he played). It results in a little bit of cognitive dissonance but that’s okay. Youngest does outdoor masked playdates on all but the coldest days. I have no idea what they do but they’re often out there for a couple of hours. Oldest and friends have been playing football with masks on Mondays in the park. All three of our kids do facetime and play minecraft for about a thousand hours a day with their friends and sometimes together. I do a weekly walk with my best friend and occasional walks with other friends. A neighbor friend’s dog and ours are buddies so she and I get together and chat while the dogs play. I think in the future we’ll always play winter tennis when it’s dry enough. It seems crazy that we never did before.

  10. omdg Says:

    We continue to let Dyl play with her friends masked outside (though not this past week). We still go for walks, and bought some LED flashing lights and headlamps so we could go in the dark. The deer look really creepy at night staring at you with their green eyes. We play board games occasionally, and a lot of Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch. Dyl started talking with her friends back in Philly online and plays minecraft and roblux with them. I do Beachbody workouts, go for walks, and sleep. We try to order in most weekends. Dyl does horseback riding lessons once per week, and started taking Italian on Outschool. She does a drawing class online with a friend also, which she seems to enjoy. I continue to feel guilty about leisure time for myself. :-( Otherwise things are going great. I feel like we could do this forever, but hope we won’t have to.

  11. bogart Says:

    Thank you for the recent activism reminders (not that this isn’t obvious but the detailed nudges have been helpful!).

    So, pandemic. Well, numbers are bad so we’re trying to stay extra hunkered-down. We were already ordering groceries delivered and not going “out” much of anywhere, though we will spend about 5 minutes, masked (just one of us per instance, even if others are present) in a food establishment to pick up takeout. I may push back on this, but pizza (available via delivery but there is a local place we’ve supported a long time that DH likes) is one of the small pleasures in DH/DC’s life at present, so maybe I won’t. DC still has orthodontist appointments. We are not doing routine dental visits (like you I did need a crown and got that done). At my request, DH recently canceled PT appointments (for something PT didn’t seem to be helping with, though he is continuing to do the exercises at home just in case) and, more regrettably, a blood donation appointment. We know, we know, but…

    We are committed to virtual school for DC through the end of this year. Last fall he did join in some tennis groups and we MIGHT do that again, but … the numbers. DC and DH play golf; we all play disc golf together, DC and I take the dogs for walks pretty much daily (walk = in the woods, ~45 minutes). We do some yard work (mostly small-scale tree work) in our (large, treed) yard. I ride and I jog. DH and I bike some.

    DC is doing OK (not great) with school and playing a lot of Minecraft and engaging with friends via Discord. He practices basketball skills solo, a bit. Every other week or so we get him together in person with a friend (the same friend every time, another low-exposure family) and they either hang out together outside (climbing trees, building dams, etc.) or we go hiking as a group. It is not a great time to be an only child, though on the other hand, there are no sibling squabbles in our household.

    It is tedious (but obviously — obviously! — we are incredibly fortunate and should not complain). We are not where it is cold (obviously), but lows are in the 20s or 30s and highs in the 40s or 50s, so it is not warm and it’s been pretty rainy.

    I am telling myself that within 60 days things will better. Obviously that is not guaranteed and could be patently wrong, but I am hopeful: even if many other things go wrong, we will be back on daylight savings time in 60 days and more afternoon/evening sunshine will make a bunch of things easier than they are otherwise.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Called again this morning! Today the house votes. I am so glad that 5calls updated. It is much easier to just have everything there so I don’t have to go looking for it.

      The numbers are so awful. Our ICU has been at 130% capacity for almost a week. I don’t even know how that’s possible.

      All the outdoors stuff sounds so fun, though not those low temperatures or rain.

  12. pts Says:

    If *one* person gets a subscription to BoardGameArena, they can host games with friends! So I bought one and have been hosting games with a few groups of friends/family. We sometimes do zoom, but usually just a conference call (discord or other) — we’re busy looking at the game rather than at each other anyway.

    HIKES. Love hiking. Obviously harder to do super long ones with kids, but as a kidless person it’s a great way to feel extremely normal for a day. I wear a mask on my chin except when I see someone (like when they’re 50 feet away maybe?) and then pull it up until I’m well past them. Other people…well, I’m in the south. I try to pick less-popular routes, but in general only 30-40% of people are masking when I see them. At least it’s a quick pass usually, and most try to give as much space as possible.

    I’ve also done much more exploration of local trails and greenways in my area. I’m in a large southern city and honestly there are some super duper nice 2-3 mile trails and ~5 mile paved paths through wooded areas! Again though, not as many masks as I would like, so I try to go at off times (like when it’s cold/rainy/early/dusk). Knowing about these is great though – I wouldn’t have sought them out pre-covid, but I will definitely keep using them afterwards.

    Finally, I have given up on any sort of aspirational reading and instead am going through my favorites from my teen years (such a mixed bag) and re-reading a bunch of british murder mystery series I like. Going for comfort and familiarity these days, I guess.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I, too, have been rereading British murder mysteries. Alas, I am on my last Hercule Poirot (since I refuse to read Curtain). But I have several of her non-series left.

      (Sorry you were in spam! I don’t know why it took so long to dig you out, I swear I checked the filter earlier today, but maybe not?)

  13. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    I enjoy going to work because I get to sit in my peaceful, plant-filled office alone and not be bothered or interrupted or whined at!

    The kids have a standing weekend (outdoor!) playdate and the parents sit 6 feet apart on camp chairs and drink hot beverages. It’s actually pretty fun for everyone! Also lots of hiking in our beautiful rural surroundings and board games.

  14. Matthew D Healy Says:

    I’m deeply grateful that our local CoOp (NewPi Coralville, IA) has an excellent curbside pickup service.

    Regarding your 8AM class: mask and distance are both great but you should also get a CO2 meter (available on Amazon for under 100 bucks) and if the number gets above 800 or so then shriek about ventilation to your Administration. CO2 is imperfect but is the best proxy measure readily available for long-range aerosol virus risk.

  15. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    Not much new stuff: My kiddo has been introduced to the wonders of Zoom chat so they sometimes sit on their Zoom playdates telling their friend: “ok, let’s type a silly thing! Ok I sent my silly thing, now YOU type a silly thing!” It’s sort of funny.

    We have JB playing Frisbee, soccer, and catch in the yard, and throwing the ball for Sera to fetch. They also run sprints with Sera. They also help us with yardwork and cooking.

    Also they do lots of small chores that help around the house.

    Ooh I have to go back to yell to them MoC about the Raskin thing. Off I go … (Ditto bogart, thank you for the detailed nudges because with my regular brain fog I have a tough time remembering to do all the things and then DOING them, it’s even worse right now.)

  16. accm Says:

    We’re not allowed to socialize, so Minecraft playdates it has been lately. One kid has become enthusiastic about baking and learning to cook; the other still prefers to just eat the results. 95% of groceries delivered, but I will occasionally pop into a store to pick up things that only one place sells. Masks are required in indoor public spaces, so this feels OK. No travel since a short local vacation in July. Kids are in school because that is a local priority and transmission events have been rare in schools here. My own teaching is all online and I’m getting tired of the same set of walls, but that is such a small thing.
    Oh, the FaceTime filters! And the kids have figured them out for Messenger Kids and Skype, too. It’s overwhelming for me, let along their grandparents!

  17. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    DC2 was invited to a birthday party at the zoo in the city. So we went to the yelp page, which is full of people complaining about masking not being enforced and selfies and group pics of people not wearing masks or having masks around their chins. So… no zoo for DC2.

  18. Good Things Friday (100) and Link Love « A Gai Shan Life Says:

    […] I’m grateful that Nicole and Maggie keep sharing their political activism with specific actions we can take as […]

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