#COVIDchaos – what we’ve done, what we’ve learned

It’s been more than 10 months since my first #COVIDchaos post. This picture is from my first post on March 16, 2020. I really thought I would be done writing about this by now, but here we are.

On that first post, I reported there were 560 cases in the United States. Here’s the latest stats:

  • 95.5 million cases worldwide
  • 24.1 million cases (and 400,000 deaths) in the United States
  • 262,000 cases (and 3,525 deaths) in Kansas
  • 47,000 cases (and 340 deaths) in Sedgwick county

There is now a vaccine that is slowly being rolled out, but there are also more strains of the virus that are more contagious than the first one.

Our local mask mandate has been in effect since July 3. My kids have not had in-person, five days a week “school” since March 13, 2020. My kids have been “to school” (like in a building) for a total of 26 days since March 13, 2020. #PandemicSchool

COVID-19 is definitely something I would not want to experience again, and we’ll never go back to life “before COVID.” But here’s what we learned, what we did (or didn’t do) during this pandemic. This is just a partial list, I know I am forgetting some important details. This list is probably pretty boring to read, but more for family historical purposes. πŸ˜€ 😷

What we have done (or not done):

  • Cleaned out garage.
  • Cleaned out both storage rooms.
  • Fixed all the little nick and holes in the wall and painted them.
  • Painted the single car garage door.
  • Painted part of the siding on the east and back sides of the house.
  • Grilled out every week (sometimes twice a week).
  • Visited state and local parks and historical sites (Oxford Mill, Sand Hills State Park, El Dorado Lake, Cheney Lake, Pawnee Prairie, Oak Park, Mushroom State Park, Cowley County waterfall, a sunflower field, Chase County Lake, plus more).
  • Upgraded our Wi-Fi.
  • Walked the dog twice a day.
  • Built a shoe shelf.
  • Eaten in a restaurant about five times since March 9.
  • Played Scattegories via FaceTime with Oma & Papa and the Hilgers.
  • Played Monopoly City – a game we’ve had for 10 years, but never played fully.
  • Sorted Lego sets and put together the good ones.
  • Had Zoom calls with Hilgers, Oma & Papa and Grammy, Ted and Aunt Lisa and other friends.
  • Cleaned up leaves from the backyard.
  • Rearranged home office space and bought new furniture, chair and bookshelves.
  • Haven’t had to buy dog poop bags because we are finally using up all the plastic bags from grocery story pick up. #plasticbagoverload
  • Drove to Colorado for some much needed fresh air, mountain views, and outdoor social distancing.
  • Found a new sport – disc golf. The boys play multiple times a week, play during league, and have inquired about starting a disc golf club at school (school clubs are on the down low during the pandemic 😐 ).
  • Spent lots of money on new discs because the discs ended up in the water or lost.
  • Watched interesting shows like Tiger King (we can’t unsee it), Schitt’s Creek (so funny), Cobra Kai (must see for GenXers), Ozark (what a dark show).
  • Watching Marvel Movies in order (Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Wasp, Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home).
  • Put up Christmas decorations on November 14, the earliest EVER.
  • Wore masks during small gatherings and sat at different tables during holiday dinners.

What we have learned

  • Graduated tax brackets did not exist in the U.S. until the 1930s (part of Scott’s “tax lesson”)
  • Some things about investing money (again, part of Scott’s “lessons”)
  • I talk and type loud when I work.
  • How to wash our hands properly.
  • Americans go from 0 to full panic mode in about 3.2 seconds.
  • There are a lot of stupid shows on TV (marble racing).
  • The correct way to pronounce the Star Wars All Terrain Armored Transport vehicle is At-At (rhymes with hat-hat).
  • Eating expired food probably won’t kill you (from watching Eating History on the History channel).
  • Ali needs lots of naps (we suspected, but now this has been confirmed).
  • Some Marvel movies are WAY better than others.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey is one weirdo movie.
  • During a pandemic, the grocery store might be “out” of random items.
  • People have strong opinions about wearing masks or face coverings.
  • Masks are on back order.
  • It’s hard to enforce a mask mandate.
  • It’s really hard to wear a mask at soccer practice, and to find a mask that is comfortable and cool when you are exercising in 90 degree humid weather.
  • Airlines keep a “no fly list” of anti mask wearers who are not allowed to fly during the pandemic because they refuse to wear a mask.
  • Home office supplies and furniture are on backorder.
  • Home gym equipment is on back order for 1-2 months.
  • Bicycles are in high demand.
  • If you travel during a pandemic, you need to know which states have what travel restrictions.
  • Parents have strong opinions about in-person and virtual learning.
  • Conspiracy theories are alive and making the rounds on social.
  • I may never go back to wearing “real” clothes.
  • The boys would rather attend “hybrid” school (2 days in person, 3 days virtual), than “regular” school (in person, five days a week) or “virtual” school (full remote only).
  • It’s hard to visit colleges during a pandemic (because no colleges are allowing outside visitors on campus).
  • Where the “good” disc golf courses are.

What got cancelled/delayed
(hint: basically everything)

  • A dermatology appointment
  • Orthodontist appointment – which delayed Zach’s “braces off” day
  • Hair appointments
  • Two work trips, plus visits to out of town offices
  • Spring Break
  • Tux rental for prom (we rented the tux, but the store closed so even if prom wasn’t cancelled, we still couldn’t pick it up)
  • Club soccer league play
  • Club soccer tournaments (five tournaments)
  • Club soccer practice
  • Apple’s announcement of the newest emojis
  • All sporting events from March-August
  • ACT test taking (twice got delayed, was finally able to take it in Dec. 2020)
  • All special events
  • Riverfest
  • The 2020 summer Olympics
  • Movie releases through 2022 (in fact, movie theaters are closed)
  • New TV shows
  • Summer vacation to New York City (delayed until further notice because even in Jan. 2021 some attractions there are still closed.)
  • City pools (won’t open until summer 2021)
  • State fairs
  • School club participation
  • Start of the 2020-2021 school year (delayed by three weeks)
  • End of season soccer banquet
  • National Honor Society induction ceremony
  • College visits (most are not doing in-person visits)

New words/terms

Among all the changes to daily life, we have also learned new terms and words that are now used in everyday living. I wrote about them here.

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