Friday, May 15, 2020

Coronavirus Diary - April 21st - 30th

April 21st Tuesday

This is what’s on my mind. With a few states’ governor intent on opening their states back up, what makes anyone think that their upcoming problems are going to stay home? If people from those states travel they with bring their infections with them. That’s what so infuriating about the current situation where the lack of coordination at the federal level has states bidding against each other for vital supplies to combat the pandemic. We are all in this together and we are only as strong as our weakest link. So if Georgia lifts their safe at home order and opens up businesses too early it affects us all.

The other thing that makes me crazy is the lack of testing. We have no idea who has cv 19, who has recovered, who is at risk. The numbers reported are just the tip of the iceberg. 

April 23rd Thursday

Yesterday Minnesota’s governor announced a partnership with a private testing agency and the Mayo Clinic to start providing 20,000 coronavirus tests a day in our state, including the antibody tests. Once they are available I’m definitely going to get an antibody test. For one thing, if I do have immunity to CV 19 that gives me more freedom and confidence in the outside world, and maybe I can be useful in some way.

No we’re not supposed to be doing this, the shelter in place order has not been lifted. But we’ve decided to combine our family units for the purpose of the quarantine. We are all severely limiting our touches with the outside world. If anyone goes to the grocery store they will ask the others if they need anything. And except for walks (and runs) we’re not going anywhere else, especially if we can figure out how to get it delivered.

It was so very very nice to see them all. Sarah is really doing well. Kirby is almost 4 weeks old, a very content little baby. He eats, he sleeps, he makes grunty noises and repeat. We all held him, he ate, he slept. He’s beautiful!

Leo has changed a little. His vocabulary has really increased and you can have little conversations with him. Lee got out the tub with the brio train-set. It also has a wooden truck that has a trailer and logs and Leo found that right away. Before we left for Florida he couldn’t put the trailer on the truck but now he can and he played with it for much of the time that they were here. He sat on the couch with Lee and read a book, one that didn’t catch his interest before we left. He seems to have named both me and Suzanne Meemaw, but we’ll see if that sticks.

We sat around chatting. Lee made tomato soup and chicken salad sandwiches for lunch. Sarah brought us some carrot cake and left with chocolate chip cookies and some banana bread. 

Next week we are going to start watching Leo on Monday and Tuesday mornings. Suzanne will watch him two other mornings during the week because Erik is going back to work full-time (while still working from home). Except for the part where I will have to get up very early so that I can get my run in before its time to pick up Leo, I can’t wait! I expect that we will be doing this for several months, since I think it will be awhile before they feel comfortable sending Leo back to daycare. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

April 26th Sunday

Yesterday I ran 10 miles at “long run” pace, which for me is between 12:10 and 13:40 mpm. I averaged 13 mpm so that’s very good. There were plenty of people out on the rail trail, most of them social distancing very nicely but a few just being oblivious and rude. There was one group of around 6 people that didn’t move over at all as I approached. I had to go way into the weeds in order to get around them. As I passed I said “you know you are making it very difficult to follow social distancing guidelines!” They looked surprised, like huh? I was angry.

But most of the run was good. Beautiful weather, 40’s and 50’s, sunny. The paces feel harder than they should but as the training progresses they should start to feel easier. I hope so anyway!

Friday night I zoomed with the Westie girls for awhile. It was nice hanging out. I wish I had planned better; my manhattan cocktail was gone before the chat started. Then I watched more episodes of Friday Night Lights. I’ve become obsessed with that show. Its not going to take me very long to get through the 5 seasons. 

Last night we had pizza delivered from Joey Nova’s. I tried to order it Friday night but their phone system was overloaded and I couldn’t get through. So last night Lee called them really early, like 4:30, and we warmed the pizza back up in the oven when we were ready to eat. 

This morning we got carry out brunch from Bellecour. Their system worked great. Ordered the night before online. Drove up. Called them, they came out wearing a mask and called my name. I took my order wearing my mask. Perfect! It was delicious too. We have a lot of leftover pastry, but that’s not a bad thing!

I’m on my last mask. Then I guess I can’t put off upgrading the memory on my mac anymore. I’m afraid I’ll break it. Fingers crossed!

Monday April 27th. 

I went to pick up Leo and he was ready to GO! I think the guy has cabin fever! I looked at Kirby sleeping peacefully before we left. He had been doing tummy time and fell asleep on his tummy. Sarah was a little concerned but I said as long as you are watching him its ok. He’s so sweet.

I had rummaged through a box of Dan’s old toy’s and found the Furby, some wooden snakes and a cool toy Porsche. Leo glommed on to the Porsche right away. He played with it the entire time. We went out in the back yard for awhile. I moved the fence so that we could use the patio and hauled out the adirondack chairs and Leo’s chair too. We sat in the chairs for a little while. We went on the screened porch and Leo sat at the table and played with a screw and some brackets that Lee had out for mounting the heater. It doesn’t take much! 

I asked him what he wanted for lunch and he said pizza! He was in luck since we had leftover pizza from Joey Nova’s. He ate a slice of pizza, an orange, some milk and a cookie. He declared it all yummy!

When Sarah came over last week Leo fell asleep in the car on the way home so this time we ate lunch at 11:15 so Lee could take him home a little earlier. Apparently they told knock knock jokes in the car and that kept him engaged. They got as far as “knock knock. Who’s there? Banana!” Lee had to say all the lines, but Leo thought it was hilarious. Jokes for 2 year olds.

Tuesday April 28th. 

Sarah came over and hung out with us all day. It was a really, really nice day. I got up super early to get my run in and she was here by 9:30 and didn’t leave until almost 5 pm. Leo is so good at entertaining himself. He played with the Porsche and the toy phone, and then helped Lee cook. He made matzo ball soup and charoses for lunch, from things he had bought for the seder that never was. Leo had the charoses on matzo and declared it all very yummy. The grownups thought the charoses was a little too sweet; Lee tried a fancy recipe. I thought it would have been better if we had had some horseradish root with it.

After lunch Sarah took Kirby and ran an errand and we put Leo down for a nap. He had trouble settling down, played for a long time and only slept a little bit. Sarah thinks it was because he really hasn’t slept anywhere except at home for a month, since he stopped going to daycare. 

I worked on a mask while Leo slept. When he woke up he “mopped” the floor (he loves to clean), and helped Lee cook dinner. They made chicken tajine, and Sarah took half of it home with her. Then Leo played some elaborate game with the bear and the headphones, and eventually put the bear down for a nap with a blanket and a pillow.

Kirby was the most alert I have seen him (he is one month old today). He still mostly eats, sleeps and poops but we walked around and stared at lights and windows and faces. I think his eyes are starting to focus and he’s almost smiling. He is an amazingly good baby! We did some tummy time with him. He is VERY strong, and doesn’t hate tummy time nearly as much as Leo did. 

Leo has taken to calling ALL his grandparents Meemaw, including Lee. Its pretty funny. “Which meemaw Leo?” “That meemaw,” he replies, pointing. This could get pretty confusing!

April 30

Yesterday was a very satisfying day. I successfully upgraded the memory on my iMac. I went from 4 gb to 20 and it’s noticeably faster. I also fixed the “this website was reloaded because a problem occurred “ error by reinstalling Safari. 

I’ve decided I can make one more mask, I just need to find a scrap of T-shirt material. I should have something that will work in my cleaning rags. Then I’ll donate what I have and stop for awhile. I’m going to need a new project. I do like to sew, but the masks are kind of boring. What else could I make?

In another month we’ll have a bunch of plants to put in the rain garden. The inch of rain we got on Monday filled it up and now it’s got standing water in it. Lee is thinking about temporarily putting a pump in it to drain the water until the plants are established so they won’t drown. They all like water but not a flood.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Coronavirus Diary April 5th - 19th

April 5.

I cut out the mask pieces today. I thought Lee had pipe cleaners but he only had a few and they weren’t long enough anyway. So I ordered them from Michael’s for curbside pickup. They were supposed to email me when they were ready to pick up, but they never did, so I checked on the order and it said ready for pickup, so there you go.

When I went to get the pipe cleaners I also went to Trader Joe’s. They definitely have a system in place. You have to wait outside for a person to leave before you can go in. They spray the cart with disinfectant before you use it. They are only using every other checkout lane. No free samples in the back, Leo would be sad.

Then I dropped some of the pipe cleaners off at Sarah’s for a possible toddler art project. It was nap-time, so I just put them outside the door and tiptoed away.

Everything was quiet and deserted out in the world. There weren’t even that many people out walking.

I had three zoom “meetings” yesterday. One with Sarah, Daniel, Leo and Kirby. One with some of the ladies I became friends with in Texas. And finally one with the Westie Ladies. For the last one we all had our cocktails because it was in the evening. I made myself a lemon drop martini. It was delicious! We had a great time chatting but boy it made me miss them, a lot. I’d like to visit New England this fall but with the current state of the world we’ll just have to see.

April 6.

4 mile easy run this morning, then started on house cleaning. I’m trying a new system. So far I think I like it, it breaks it up into manageable chunks so each day I feel like I’ve accomplished something. Today I did the bedrooms, the hall and the stairs. Tomorrow I’ll do the kitchen and the mud room. Wednesday I’ll do the bathrooms and Thursday I’ll do the living room, dining room and entryway.

I made more progress on the masks. I sewed the pipe cleaners to them, using a zig zag stitch. I was afraid I’d break a needle but it was actually pretty easy. I have enough for 18 masks. Now I realized I need bias tape to use for ties. I have some, but not nearly enough. Back to Michael’s I guess!

Boris Johnson, the prime minister of England, is in intensive care with covid 19. Karma is a bitch, as they say. He was reluctant to have England shelter in place and put it off. 

April 7

John Prine died of covid 19 last night. I’ve been sad all day about this. I went out this morning to find bias tape. I was going to go to Joann’s but they aren’t open until noon right now, so I apprehensively went to Walmart. But I needed have worried. They had only one entrance open, only letting a few people inside at a time, sanitizing the carts between customers. I wore a mask, and used wipes when I got back to my car. The bias tape pickings were pretty slim. There wasn’t any 1/2” wide which is really what I need, but there was a few 1” and 1 pkg of 2”. I think I can cut these down the middle and make them narrower so that they will work. Its that or order it off of Amazon where they are saying it will take a couple weeks. 

Its a beautiful day. The dogs did some sunbathing; I cleaned the bathrooms. 

Sunday April 12.

It snowed like crazy today, around 6 inches of wet heavy stuff. I worked on masks, ate too much pie, not much else. First day I’ve been bored. Thought I would start the milkweed seeds indoors but I can’t find the little starter pots with the plastic hood and heat pad so I ordered it from Amazon.

I’m running 5 tomorrow. It’s going to be cold, windy and icy but you know Id still rather do it outside. Tuesday is a speed workout so I’ll probably do that on the mill. Hopefully by next Saturday’s marathon pace workout I’ll be able to do it outside.

April 14. Tuesday.

I ran my first speed workout today. 8x600 @ 10k pace. The first 6 repeats went great and then a mini blizzard blew through. I got pounded by snow and could hardly see! Then it stopped and the sun came out but the trail was covered with about 2” of snow, so my last 2 repeats were slow.

April 15. Wednesday.

I put the pleats in all the masks I’ve made so far, 10 of them. I claimed one for myself and tried in on.  It looked great and felt very comfortable. I feel like it offers good protection too. I went out later in the day to pick up a sympathy card for Amy C’s grandmother, who died of Covid 19 yesterday. Very sad. 

Leo ran a fever for a day and then went back to normal. I went over there today to give Sarah one of my masks and some other stuff. I got to see and talk to Leo through the glass screen door. He was happy to see me and didn’t seem upset that I couldn’t come inside. Maybe he’s just getting used to this strange new normal.

There were more people out today it seemed. Without sufficient testing its just so hard to say what’s really going on. Apparently in Iceland where they are testing close to 100% of the population, around 40% of the people have the antibodies but never had any symptoms. 

We ordered plants for the rain garden and I started milkweed seeds inside today. If they all germinate I will have a bunch of milkweed plants!

Thursday April 16.

Its sunny and slightly warmer today. I’m in a cheerier mood today. I had a good run this morning, nothing special, just 5 miles at an easy pace but I felt good even though it was cold. 

I worked on masks a little, did my nails, ordered stamps to support the post office. The John Lennon stamps are sold out so I got Sesame Street stamps instead. There are ones with Elmo on them so I figure I can get stickers or something and mail Leo a surprise.

Friday April 17.

Yesterday Lee started having a sore throat and a cough. This morning he was running a low grade fever (99ish). He takes Motrin for arthritis so its probably artificially low. He seems to feel ok, but there are no tests to be had so we just have to assume. He called our dr and there’s no point in isolating from me or the dogs, thank goodness, but he really needs to not go out until he’s no longer sick. They say 7 days from onset of symptoms AND 48 hours with no fever without meds. Its worrisome but selfishly at least initially I was mainly worried about how in the world I could keep Harper away from him if she knew he was in the house. Basically if we tried to isolate him in the guest bedroom she would just sit outside the door and cry. 

I mailed 5 masks to Gail this morning. I used click and ship and was very proud of myself until I realized my box wouldn’t fit in the mailbox so I ended up having to go to the post office anyway. I wore my mask and I was only inside for a second. Then I got my car washed. Strange the things that are considered essential services!

Minnesota’s governor is expanding what outside activities are permissible. So the marinas are opening which will make Lee happy. 

Saturday April 18.

Lee’s fever has been normal for 24 hours and his cough is mostly gone. He wore a mask to walk the dogs this morning. Until he is out of jail I need to be the one to do all the errands. Of course the man can’t sit still so he’s been doing yard work and house projects all day. I don’t think he feels at all sick now!

I went on a fun sort of run this morning. One of the Facebook running groups I belong to is focused on the Boston Marathon. This would have been the weekend of the race if it hadn’t been postponed. So they had a virtual challenge. For $20 you got a medal if you ran any distance, as long as the last mile was your fastest. The $20 goes to their pet charity, The Second Step, that advocates for victims of domestic violence. I had on my training calendar to run 8 miles, with 4 of them at marathon pace. So what I did was 2 miles warm up, 3 miles at marathon pace, 2 miles cool down, and then 1 mile at marathon pace minus 10 seconds. I did well, especially considering that it was the first workout of this sort this training cycle AND that I chose a hilly route, since San Francisco is hilly. At the end I had Lee take my picture with my medal. It wasn’t the same as a race, but it still felt good.

This afternoon I drove to Apple Valley and picked up our 1/2 a pig from Andrew. Its the farthest I’ve gone since we got back from Florida. Wore my mask when I got there as did Andrew and no contact involved. And we’ve got lots of meat now, which might come in handy if there is a shortage. And even after driving for over 40 miles total I STILL don’t need to get gas. I haven’t filled up my car since we got back from Florida.

Sunday April 19.

I’m making sourdough bread today. One loaf of raisin coriander whole wheat and one loaf of flax and sunflower seed whole wheat. I also fertilized the new trees outside. And off and on I work on the masks. I finally got around to sending Angela more postcards to translate. It is an absolutely beautiful day outside. Lee is busily making a cushion for the storage bench in the bathroom and making trim for the linen closet. I think he feels completely fine now. Another day or two and I’ll feel confident that he’s not about to keel over. Still to be safe he needs to stay home until next Tuesday. So I’m doing the grocery shopping tomorrow. 


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