Okay, so before I begin to talk about anything, I need to get this out of my system. But HOLY CRAP, how insane is life right now? SO much has happened since my last post that I feel like I don't even know where to begin.
Maybe we should start before all this crazy even began...
So I learned about COVID-19 in the early days of January. Can't quite pinpoint the exact date, but it wasn't making headlines just yet here in the U.S. And, while I knew it was something serious, I also thought that it would be contained before it even reached American soil. Yeah, I'll admit, I was a bit naive to think that, but I mean we were able to keep other diseases like Ebola and SARS at bay... so naturally, I felt the same about COVID-19. Which is why I went ahead and booked our flights to Hawaii for Ella's Spring Break vacation.
At the end of January, we learned that we were evacuating American citizens out of China because of the outbreak. And when they decided to fly them into Ontario Airport and later re-routing them to March Air Force Base, I became a little more concerned. Because, if you know me, I can be a bit of a hypochondriac and a germaphobe. I take every precaution I can to prevent us from catching the Flu so yes, I was a little scared in what little we knew about this virus. But still, I had faith that our government knew what they were doing so I did my best not to panic.
A lot of people went into panic mode. While others downplayed the seriousness of the situation. I started to have thoughts of postponing our trip, but felt some reassurance that maybe we didn't need to since all flights from China was being closely monitored and people were being screened and quarantined. Everything seemed to be under control. So I did what I could to prepare for our flight. I went looking for extra hand sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer to last us our trip. By this time, people were already panic-buying, because it took a couple of stores to find what I needed. I also noticed all the toilet paper shelves emptying out (seriously, what is up with that?!). Thinking back, I probably should have bought at least one mega-pack of TP, but honestly, I didn't think it would get this bad.
Anyway, if you've been following my Instagram posts, then you already know we did end up going to Hawaii. But a lot of thought went into our decision to finally go, even after we learned of the first confirmed death of COVID-19. We were extremely careful and vigilant at the airport, on our flight (yup, totally wiped down every single thing with sanitizing wipes) and even when out sightseeing, we kept social distancing in mind before it was enforced.
We watched the news of our nation unfold every single day we were in Hawaii and watched how rapidly this virus spread. While Hawaii was probably a week and a half behind California, we couldn't help but feel the fear of uncertainty along with the rest of the world. A lot of people told us to stay in Hawaii, and while it was nice to be with my family back home, we also felt that it would be best to ride this thing out in our own home, and in our own beds. Because who knew when we'd be able to do just that if the nation started locking down.
We did our best to enjoy our vacation and visited with my family as much as possible. Then on March 18th, we made our trip home. Realizing so much has changed in the 2 weeks since we left California. On our flight back to Cali, more people including the flight attendants were wearing masks than our flight to Hawaii. You could just feel the tension, the worry, the fear. I, myself, was anxious the entire flight, hoping and praying that our decision to fly was the right one and that we weren't exposed to the virus. It didn't help when we saw on the news 4 days later that a few employees of the airlines we flew tested positive for COVID-19. When we learned that we could have been exposed to COVID-19, we immediately contacted our doctor to see if we could get tested. They informed us that because we were asymptomatic, we could not get tested. So we were left to self-quarantine and self-monitor for 2 weeks.
Which brings us to the now...
The uncertainty and waiting to see if we developed symptoms is brutal, you guys. Every cough, every sneeze, every tingle or scratch in my throat... I couldn't help but wonder "is this it?" It just sucked. Today marks 14 days of quarantine for us and I am grateful to be healthy. It's been exactly 2 weeks since we flew home from Hawaii and almost 2 weeks since Governor Newsom ordered all of California to shelter-in-place. Life has changed so drastically in the month of March that my head is still reeling from it all. So bear with me as I try to write out my thoughts in a way that makes sense to you... because my thoughts are pretty jumbled up right now that sometimes I can't think straight.
Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever think that this would be our new reality. But here we are. Stuck at home for who knows how long and only allowed to leave home for essential things like groceries and all other necessities. I have to admit, the staying home part is not so bad... I can totally be a homebody. As long as we can still get outside for some fresh air and be able to take walks and ride bikes & scooters, it's all good. My girls and I are easily entertained. But the not being able to go to Target just to go to Target SUCKS. The part about wearing masks when going to the grocery store to grab the essentials SUCKS. Not being able to celebrate birthdays and holidays (like Easter) with family and friends totally SUCKS. And not being able to go to the gym to workout... that one SUCKS royally. Because THAT was my ME time. And y'all know how important self-care is for us mamas!!!
Here's a list of how adjusting to this new reality is going for us:
1. I have definitely amped up my germaphobe habits, that’s for sure. Pre-COVID days, I was that mom that carried hand sanitizer in the car and in every bag I own, I was washing hands (mine and my girls') religiously, spraying lysol disinfectant almost daily - all of it, that was me. But now, I feel like I'm doing it all 10x more. I've also been disinfecting everything thing we buy from the store (groceries and stuff) as well as packages & mail that's been delivered - which can be time-consuming but I'm not taking any chances. Some would say I'm overreacting in a lot of ways, but at this point, I'd rather be super safe than sorry.
2. Daniel is working remotely from home. So that part, I love. Because I don't have to worry about him bringing any germs back home to us. But I also feel bad for him because he no longer has the privacy of his own office to do his work in peace. Our girls are constantly bugging him... especially when they don't get what they want from me, they think they can take it up with Daddy instead. Oh but they love it when he takes his breaks. Because that means they get to go outside for a minute and ride their scooters up and down our driveway.
3. Now that school's closed pretty much for the rest of the school year, that leaves me with the daunting task of homeschooling. And I gotta be honest here... I am NOT built to be a teacher. I can be a mom and teach my kids life lessons and daily living skills. But I seriously do not have the patience to teach anything on the academic level. Nope. I'm more of an Arts, Music, PE and Home Ec kinda teacher. So we'll see how this all pans out. I'm totally gonna just go with the flow on this new life and give myself grace because this is all new territory for me. For us all.
4. Ok, so raise your hand if this you, too... but my laundry load has tripled (feels like it) since we've been quarantined. It's like we've all been changing outfits 2-3 times a day. Maybe because I'm also just paranoid that we somehow have COVID-19 germs on our clothes from being outside all day. Yeah, maybe it's just me.
5. I can't not watch a show or movie now without thinking "omg, they're totally not practicing social distancing!" Maybe this one is JUST ME, but seriously though... I just can't seem to escape this new reality no matter how hard I try! 😂 😂 😂 😭 😭 😭
6. I get to spend good quality time with my family. I'm enjoying having Ella home (even though she was only gone 3 hours a day for pre-K) and watching them play in the yard. And being able to enjoy the little things in life. Like messin' with snapchat filters, perfecting our chalk art skills, and learning to groom our dog ourselves 😂.
In all seriousness, I am truly grateful for the simple fact that I GET to stay safe at home. With my family. Because I know that there are SO many who don't get to. There are people that are suffering and dying all over the world and my heart breaks to see the numbers continue to rise. And to all the healthcare and essential workers who put their lives at risk to fight this for us, they are the true heroes in this.
Stay safe, my friends 😘 and STAY HOME! And if you'd like to chime in on how quarantine life has been for you... feel free to comment below!