I keep meaning to add entries whenever someone goes somewhere, to help with our self-tracking, or whenever something happens worth noting, related to the virus, or house, or whatever. Intentions aside, I'm not great at it.
Yesterday and the day before, the wife made a trek to grab some drive-up purchases and take-out food. There were few other groceries she wanted that required a dash in the store, with distancing and masks and so forth. She's made one or two others for other drive-up and take-out in the last week or so, too. I haven't made any treks out in about a week; I've been out of the house, but not out of the yard.
We have joined the COVIDaware MN app, to help with contact tracing. Made "by" the State of Minnesota, it uses your phone, which is always with you, to note where you are, and "tag" others in those areas at those times who later report testing positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day window. So far, no contacts; we're either doing great, or the app doesn't work. It helps that we're mostly at home. It'd be neat if all of the delivery people that come to the house also had it. I put a poster (from their site) on our front door to help promote that idea.
A day or two ago our neighbors alerted us to the theft of their car. Ours was stolen for a day in the middle of the night earlier this summer. Theirs was stolen from their garage. They had started the car to warm it, opening the garage door just a small bit to let the exhaust out. They made a quick dash into their house to give the car time to warm and fetch their things. Upon returning to the garage, the door was open and the car was gone!
I reminded them that we added a Ring spotlight to our garage, in part because our car was stolen, but also just because we have a Ring setup going with the doorbells, and it gave me an excuse to put a really smart light out there (we didn't have any alley light before). I offered to look to see if we caught anyone arriving or departing during that time. I did check, and around the time in question, our other neighbors also drove away, the wife set the garbage cans out for the trash collection, and an unrelated set of wet marks appeared around a puddle in the alley. While the wife was there, the whole dragging cans around activity was captured, as the Ring recognized a person and grabbed a minute of video. For the other events, they were just captured by happenstance with the roughly every-thirty-seconds snap that the Ring saves. The wife doesn't recall seeing anything untoward, including their garage door partially or completely open, never mind someone absconding with their vehicle.
I've seen people zip by on bikes and the Ring doesn't have time to recognize them as people, and people drive by in cars all the time and aren't captured. To see if it makes a difference, I changed the setting from "people mode" to any movement, with a little bump from the "everything" setting, hoping to avoid leaves moving as an event. It now captures every car that drives by, as well as just about every squirrel that runs through the alley. It has captured people also, but it's inconclusive if they would have been missed before or not; no one has been captured (or witnessed) zipping by on a bike. Curiously, it hasn't caught any of our regular overnight raccoons. They may not be out as much now that it's colder, I'm sure.
In the house, things are fairly regular. Both kids have fallen into regular routines with school-from-home. It's a little easier on the 4th grader, as she no longer laments that she's stuck at home while others get to go into the classroom, as no one goes into the classroom. She's gotten into a little better routine keeping up with her school work, and after much coaching and trying to find the right tools, seems to be better able to recall instructions from her teachers. This helps a lot, as many of them are in Spanish!
It's a little tougher on the 4yo, as he no longer goes to his classroom. We're not as well-engaged in the school activities as they were, so he'll do his planned activity in the first few minutes after they break from their first session, and then get manic or start napping in the interluding hour before the second session. The sessions last about a half hour, and include reading and coloring and singing, and a snack. He's engaged in about two minutes of each activity, and then the rest of the time is trying to get him to have some Zoom respect. I've realized that even though he's bouncing around, he gets the instructions and understands what's expected. He can then execute (as a 4yo) what is expected, in just a few more minutes. Then it's off to play with cars or iPads or video games on the TV.
We are trying to help manage screen time and get both of them off and onto other things. It both seems a little hypocritical, as I spend my entire day on screens for work and entertainment, and counter-productive, as they need the screens to engage and perform their tasks, a little more for the older but still for both. Certainly the spans of Roblox or Sponge Bob games could be reduced. Time flies when mom and dad are both in meetings or doing things for work, though, and it's hard to tell who's done what for how long.
In virus news, we and everyone we know, are still healthy. I've had one intern at work who had it tear through their household, but all were well with mild symptoms. Others have known people or had scares, but any tests have come back negative. We received self-administer tests in the mail yesterday. We're going to hold onto them until our COVID app warns us, or we think we were in a compromising situation, or start having other real symptoms. I joke all of the time that I've got about 8 of the 11 symptoms on the CDC website, but most are because of regular or seasonal allergies, or having everyone stuck in a house that we frankly could keep a little cleaner.
We're waiting for the Electoral College votes next week, to hopefully put an end to the entire election mayhem. I understand the desire to want to get it right. I think the rhetoric is obnoxious, though, as the same fraud-criers this time were the settle-down crew last time. I also want it to be fair, but I'm beat down, and now just want it to be done. I do want change, so no "let it ride" until it works out. The EC vote on Monday should align well-enough, if not exactly, with the media projections so far, which have Biden greatly ahead.
Everyone is healthy.