Well, it’s been less than two weeks since my last post, and things have kind of hit the fan. Coronavirus cases have exploded exponentially in the US and across the globe. Here’s a current screenshot of the case tracker map from Johns Hopkins. And a friend shared on FB a comparative map from the CDC of US cases over a three-week period starting on March 1.
Individual US states as well as entire countries abroad are locking down externally by closing their international borders and internally by shuttering schools, as well as nonessential businesses, and imposing curfews, all hoping to slow the spread of the disease. News coverage has been completely taken over, and everyone is being personally affected on some level…unless you’re lucky enough to be wintering in Antarctica. : )
On Friday, March 13, the schools in our area announced that they would be suspending classroom learning and switching to online. We were supposed to start alternating telework days for social distancing on campus the following Monday. But that lasted about half a day, and they sent everyone home, so those two things lined up nicely. A few days later the schools told everyone they would not be reopening for the duration of the school year. So I guess I’ll be teleworking through June regardless.
On day three of online learning, my son’s six-year-old iPad finally gave up the ghost, so I had to go online and order him another one. My ex was the tech guru in our family and used to just give him his old iPad every few years when he bought a replacement. I am nowhere near that savvy, so I just got the cheapest and newest one I could find at Best Buy. It arrived this morning, so we should be back online soon.
Working from home has been an exercise in frustration. We’ve always used 20 different platforms to do different things from time and attendance to flight reservations to performance evaluations. And now we had to figure out a half a dozen new ones just to be able to organize video conferences and share documents that all seem to lose their formatting the minute you send them. (I seriously cannot wait to get back to an actual desk someday.) But I’m sure I have a much lighter workload compared to some people…like all of our instructors that had to figure out how to suddenly transfer their classes to an online platform.
I used to order my groceries online from Safeway and have them delivered every couple of weeks, so I didn’t have to schlep them up to the fifth floor of our apartment building (even though we have an elevator). Now when I go online there are no delivery dates available. I tried to shop through Instacart instead, which has higher fees, and could still only get a delivery a week away. The last delivery I did get from Safeway had a full page of items that they were out of in the inventory. Happily, the little shop in our apartment complex is still open and has yet to run out of toilet paper, bread, milk, or eggs.
Sadly, I’ve only been able to drive my new car a few times since we went to teleworking almost immediately after it arrived. And Carvana did text me to let me know that they wouldn’t be able to process my vehicle registration transfer as soon as hoped as the VA DMV was now closed. But I did pop out one morning for a pneumonia shot from my doctor. We took a drive on Saturday to see the cherry blossoms in Kenwood, MD, since the DC Cherry Blossom Festival had been cancelled, and we weren’t on lockdown yet. Every now and then we pop out and go through the drive through at Taco Bell. I guess even those outings will be curtailed now.
I have no idea how this is going to affect our move to Geneva this summer. August is late summer, but still…Switzerland currently has over 10,000 cases and has locked down the border. There’s no official word out yet on the summer transfer season, but I asked my supervisors what they thought, and they recommended that I extend my lease. So that’s a bummer, but the last couple years have taught me not to be emotionally attached to your future plans.
On the bright side, I would’ve been spending just as much as rent in DC on childcare in Switzerland. And I actually am saving quite a bit of money at the moment on things that have been suspended or cancelled. If this craziness does last through summer, I’ll save thousands in summer camp fees. Here’s a short list of what I’ll be saving so far:
Before/after school care $400/month
Spring break camp $360
Trip to DisneyWorld $800-1,000
Cafeteria Lunch (work) $50-150/month
Anyway, I could not write any of this without acknowledging how lucky we are that we are safe and well at home here in the US. Our situation is merely a string of inconveniences compared to the true fear and horror that some countries are experiencing.
Wishing you and your loved ones all good health.