Nothing spectacular has happened recently. The little has been going to school for a week, and we're considering sending the big tomorrow.
The little one has a four-day school week, every afternoon for a few hours. His three teachers are with their eight students all of the time, and they don't share "busy" common areas with the other kids. They have gone to the gym and run around in the playground outside, but aren't interacting with the other common areas, like the cafeteria. They do share a bathroom with another classroom, but bathrooms at least beg for hand-washing after.
So far, so good. Plus he is thriving with the interaction and additional routine. We get a tired lad at the end of the day, and lots of joyous "with my friends" stories.
The big is doing virtual now. Technically they've moved to their hybrid model, and since she's in the B group, she'd go for half-days on Thursday and Friday. This week, no school on Friday, and no school next week because of conferences (already). We're thinking of keeping her home this Thursday, just keeping the same routine, next week is a mini vacation, and then see what has happened with the kids and schools around us in this first month of school.
It'll be after the first week with our school, and a week-long break, so any immediate impact should start showing. Schools around us have had kids back for a few weeks now. We've not heard specific reports, but checking the COVID-19 Weekly Report, and specifically, the school addendum, there's already been an uptick in school-aged infections.
Here we feel a bit paranoid or sometimes too conservative, but we're siding on the "better safe than sorry" bend. If we keep the kids in reduced contact for a little longer than others do, and nothing happens, they miss out on some socialization and direct attention. If we engage too much too soon, and we get sick from something so easy to avoid, which is also still deadly, that seems like the worse decision.
Having the kids home so much is its own kind of tough. While capable of helping them with their school work, it's become clear that we're not teachers. There is a big difference between teaching the kids how to dress and how to do math. Clearly we've been past both, but it's hard to turn back the math lessons from differential equations to sums and quantities... There's a temperament and patience that goes with such teaching, and that's not as in our wheelhouse as we might have thought before. I'm sure she gets a lot more than just better leveled discussions at school, too.
But that's a kind of tough we're able to work through. We've got interruptibility, most of the right knowledge, and when timed well, the patience necessary to help. We've got the space and equipment and all the things to make school from home work with work from home at the same time. Many desks or tables, white and chalk boards, paper and computers and all of the tools are readily available. It really boils down to coordinating time.
So, avoiding the additional risk is what we're trying to do. Since we're generally cautious, but not risk averse, people, this is a wearing shift. We look at the numbers, and like 14 infections per 10,000 people in our area means that about 45 people in our suburb may have active infections, which probably means that we're not likely to run into them in the course of school activities. Of course, teachers and staff and some students come from outside our suburbs, but even if we doubled or tripled, or multiplied them by ten, those 140 infections nearby is not a huge number. If I knew 140 people in my surrounding communities had orange clown hair and noses, I would expect to still never run into someone with orange clown hair and noses at the school. Maybe at the gas station or grocery store, passing or nearby, but probably not interacting.
Of course, again, that's the hard part about this virus; we can't see the symptoms, and there are some symptoms that seem like something else, and people may power through them. We checked the latest, and of the list, I'm feeling 8 of the symptoms, which I know is related to my seasonal allergies because I feel exactly this way at the same time every year. I don't have a fever, nausea, or diarrhea. The rest of the list looks like the symptoms that my antihistamines and hay fever medicines are meant to combat. Still, I'll run to get take-out, pick up something from the drive-up service at the grocery store, or take the kids to the park in the afternoons. All while wearing a mask, of course, and washing my hands or availing myself of sanitizer when I can. So since I believe that my symptoms are seasonal allergies, I can believe that someone else with mild COVID-19 symptoms might think something similar, or I might even be wrong...there are no orange clown hair or noses here.
For the other things, we're just progressing through the days. We both voted early, so now it's just the wait to see how it turns out. The house could be a little cleaner, but we're mostly keeping up. The yard needs a little tending as summer fades, but that'll happen or pass as normal. Similarly, I'm reluctant to pack the motorcycle and trailer in the garage, because that's a sure sign of winter coming; it needs to be done, but not already. Nothing else is weighing on us, except that our fall sports seem to be a bust...just the apprehension of school for the bigger kid.
Everyone is healthy, even with the allergies.