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Life In The Time Of The Great Pandemic: The The ‘VID/The Flu & My Kid

Last week (or was it 2 weeks ago – I’m not being coy – I honestly don’t remember) my dad called me, which is about as rare as me saying “I heart mayo” because I loathe mayo with the energy of a thousand suns. It’s not that we’re “not okay” or something, we just don’t have much to say to each other – he’s in California, I’m not. But, being alive in the Great Pandemic means you’re generally reaching out to people who you don’t normally talk to.

I’d expected him to say that either he or my mom had gotten The ‘VID because they’re old and they have multiple comorbidities.

I didn’t expect the words that spilled out of his mouth next: “we think Ben either has The Flu or CoVID-19.” I got the details, sparse as they were from them and tried, again, to reach my kid, but because he is a teenager, his phone is often off, which actually makes zero sense now that I’m typing it out, but that’s just the way it is.

ANYWAY.

That made his phone being off all the more concerning. But, I’m a good (wo)man in a storm and I’m all about fact-gathering rather than fear mongering or falling prostrate at someone’s… feet? Prostate? I’m not sure where I was going with that.

He’s in the same state, but not the same county, so I called that county’s health department and after I got through about 46 minute message telling me all the shit I already knew about The ‘VID (and pathogens in general), I was asked to leave a message. My guess is that that recorded seminar makes most people hang up, but I was in the car and had literally nothing else whatsoever to do.

I left my message and expected a return call about… let’s say NEVER? I figured they’d be hammered by everyone in the county to dispel some of the more outlandish things that Trump has said, so imagine my surprise when I got a callback.

Without having spoken with The Kid, I couldn’t really speak to what the symptoms he was facing were. His fever. His cough. But I did explain that he was safe and self-quarantined, and being a hermit and a teenager, had no thermometer OR desire to leave his hidey-hole. She sounded relieved.

When she was asked when he should get tested (this was when we all believed that we’d be able to get tested), she informed me – not unkindly – that “they’re not doing tests for “normal” people.”

Which is, I guess how another – WAY WAY WAY QUEEN OF BLOGS – blogger got herself tested twice (because two is better than one!!) and every asymptomatic celebrity who wants one can be tested in multiples. Me? I’m an OG blogger who’s been radio silent for years now – and my spawn aren’t special enough for a test.

But whatever. Only mildly bitter.

(lies)

The other nurse confirmed what I’d thought: stay in quarantine for 3 days after the fever broke (he doesn’t have a thermometer, I was thinking, but okay). Don’t go out until the cough is gone. All the other infection control protocols were in place, so yay. Oh, and the county hadn’t had a SINGLE confirmed case yet.

I wanted to yell “BECAUSE THERE ARE NO CELEBS AROUND THERE, ASSHOLE,” but it’s not her fault so I kept my grousing to myself. And, I guess, now to you.

Because I was unable to access The Kid for a couple of more days, my dad and I spoke daily – The Kid was on an upswing, then downswing, then up, then down. Finally, The Kid, Himself, called me. I told him what I’d learned from the health department (nothing I didn’t know EXCEPT that you have to have a platinum vagina to get tested). He said he’d called the hospital at one point a couple of days before, because he was coughing so hard he’d pass out.

Awesome.

The gist of it was “suck it up buttercup, you can’t come to the hospital with a cough,” which threw me through a loop.

AWEsome.

I’ve been texting with The Kid and he’s still got the cough and is doing a sleep-eat-play (video games before he passes out again) – cycle, which I’d been doing the week before. Whelp, without the video games.

He has his piano keyboard so he’s keeping busy, but he’s now, like the rest of us, falling pretty depressed. Like him (and I’d be guessing a good number of you as well), I’ve been struggling to even get off the couch. Today marks my first day back on the computer doing something other than watching the dwindling amount of traffic on the road and all of the incantations of My 90 Day Fiance – FOR THE SECOND TIME – which is just absurd enough to keep me from becoming a total slug.

(most days)

TL;DR

My kid sounds like he had CoVID-19 but was to normal, per the health department (who also stated that there were no confirmed cases in that county) he was too normal to be tested.

The hospital told him that if he had a cough – one of the dangerous-this-may-kill-you hallmarks of CoVID-19 – he couldn’t come into the hospital.

So my kid likely had CoVID-19, but it’s unlikely we’ll ever know,

He’s depressed now, I’m depressed, hell, everyone I know is depressed.

But, I dragged my ass to the computer to give you a taste of what it’s like in my world.

Now we need to hear yours: we are none of us alone; we are all connected.

Please, login here, or send an email to becky@bandbacktogether.com or stacey@bandbacktogether.com to let us know what life is like in YOUR world.

In The Time of The Pandemic: Funerals Are For The Living

We at The Band Back Together Project are looking for your stories of what you’re going through in the time of the great pandemic. Please share your stories with us. You can use this to login, or you can send your story to becky@bandbacktogether.com or stacey@bandbacktogether.com.

Please share this around – we are none of us alone; we are all connected. You never know who’s lives you’ll change with your words.

 

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.

If we are to believe in the afterlife, we believe that they are already in a better place, A place where the beauty of the flowers, the churches, and the songs pale by comparison. The love they feel far outweighs the love they feel from those in attendance of their comital.

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.

If we are to believe that there is no afterlife, then they are already gone. The end. Fin. They will not feel the love, appreciate the flowers, or hear the songs. Those in attendance will tell stories, feel the sweet release of a good cry, and maybe – just maybe – gain some semblance of closure. But those who have died will reap nothing.

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living. 

Today, we gather to celebrate their contributions to the enrichment of our lives. We are there to comfort each other; to try to make sense of the loss of their light in our world. We fortify ourselves against the pain of their passing with hugs and sweet words of our loved ones, and words of our faiths.

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.

My aunt passed away today and amidst the concerns for the containment of CoVID-19, we are not permitted to attend the funeral. We want everyone to be safe.

Funerals are not for the dead; they are for the living.

I love you, Aunt Netta, and I will always miss your light.

Love,

Tonya.

 

Life In The Great Pandemic: Coping with a Pandemic

I’m stressed. There is a lot going on out there, it feels like the information changes every day. My kids are home all day, every day. They don’t get to run around with their friends, even if we do see them while we are out for a walk. The news coming out of Italy gets more bleak by the minute, and I wonder if we are doing enough to stop this before it hits us like a runaway truck.

I worry about being able to feed my family long term, assuming this continues, which doesn’t feel like a stretch. I worry about my family, all of whom live at least 175 miles away. I worry the grocery stores will have to close because all their employees get sick. I worry that all medical personnel are burning themselves out and will suffer tremendously for it. I worry about the scientists working day and night to give us concrete answers.

This novel coronavirus has kicked my anxiety into full gear. I spend my days and nights imagining all the worst case scenarios. Sleep is not relief from this. The tension in my shoulders, jaw, whole body never releases. Taking a complete, deep breath seems impossible. My brain is a squirrel on meth stuck on a hamster wheel.

I talk to others online about their concerns, and I find all of them relatable. Maybe not in a specific detail kind of way, but in a general kind of way. I’m not a single mom struggling to care for her special needs child with no extra cash to even start to stock up on basics I may need. I’m not a new mom feeling isolated after building my routine around meeting up with friendly faces three times a week. I’m not the mom of a medically fragile child, panicked because people just can’t take this seriously.

I’m not these specific people. But I understand their struggles. Yesterday, I wrote a little post full of sass about how to survive. The sass hid the truth. This is not normal. It is not sustainable for our mental health. I need my friends and support system as much as anyone. And I need to support people just as much.

If you read this far, thank you. If you find that you just need to vent your fears, write them out here. You can post it anonymously, even we won’t be able to identify you. If you have some kind of resource I can link to that would help some of the people I listed above, shout them out. We will link anything that will help.

Lots of love, but don’t touch me,

Stacey

Coping in the time of Coronavirus.

We are in uncharted (for our times) territory. Never have we been asked to isolate like this. This means that there are a LOT of parents at home, all the time, with their children. It’s something they’ve likely never experienced. If you have never had the pleasure (sarcasm) of not being able to take a break from your children because there is nowhere to take them because nothing is open, you are very likely feeling the stress. And it is very, very likely you are scrambling for creative ways to get a damn break! So, I compiled a small list of things you can do. A bit of background on me, I have three kids, ages 14, 9, and 8. They’re pretty fun to be stuck with now. Now. But I experienced this whole isolation thing a bit when they were tiny toddlers and a second grader when a tropical storm rolled through and flooded everything. Nothing was open, there were no parks that were safe to go to, it sucked the life from my soul. As a result, I had to get creative. (Note, this is not the time to be super duper concerned about every second of their day. It’s just not.)

  1. Put your headphones on and blast some music. They’re short, they’ll be okay for like 15 minutes.
  2. Lay on the floor and let them race cars on your back. Are you away from them, no. Are you engaged with them, also no. Bonus: put out a bowl of goldfish and take a 15 minute nap. But not if your child is tiny.
  3. Nap when they nap. Naps are the tits.
  4. Read. Sit down with your book and when one of them tries to talk to you, tell them that you are having quiet reading time. Invite them to grab a book and do the same. No time like the present to start teaching boundaries. Parenting does not mean being at their beck and call.
  5. Make a pillow fort. One for you. Not for them. Put a sign up. Bring your you snacks. Growl at anyone that tries to come in.
  6. Join our group on Facebook or hit up the forums on here. We will listen, commiserate, and most importantly, not judge you for saying your toddler is a jackass. Because it’s true.
  7. Take a long shower. Or bath. Whichever, but lock the door. Booze is optional.
  8. Exercise. Find a fun new video on Youtube. Dance along with a music video. Move your booty.
  9. Give up your rigid schedule, if that’s stressing you out. This is not the time for schedules, we are all just trying to survive.
  10. Paint something, make something out of salt dough, be creative.
  11. Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and write. Put pen to paper and write a page about things that are weighing on you. Write about how this has impacted your life. Write about how it has shifted your priorities. Or how it hasn’t. When you’re done, put it on the internet or don’t, but save it. Someday, you will look back and this will be a glimpse of history.
  12. Use your kids like dolls. Dress them up, put them in scenes, take their pictures. (And then share them :))
  13. Swear around the kids. Loudly. No one cares. Just don’t swear at them.
  14. Get silly. Get sad. Get stressed. Get crabby. These are all normal reactions to what’s going on. Whatever you are feeling, feel it.

Self-care for parents of littles right now, we see you, we know it’s not easy, and your ‘me-time’ isn’t going to look the same for a while. Grab it where you can and lean on who you can while staying healthy. We love you.

Do you have more ideas? Shout them out!

 

The Band’s Mascot of the Week: Little Leo

We at The Band Back Together Project know how stressful life – especially during these dark months – can be. So we’re going to brighten up your week with one of our Friends of The Band Facebook Group Thing because who doesn’t love an adorable animal picture? 

If you’d like to submit an awesome picture of your animal, you may do so by creating an account and adding media to a post about your animal, or by emailing becky@bandbacktogether.com or stacey@bandbacktogether.com!

My parents were moving across country (California) and asked me to take their cat in and I was all YAS because he is the sweetest and cutest cat – if you’re His Person. They’d named him after some Romantic artist I can’t remember, but I decided that he was Leo. Specifically, Little Leo. He was TINY.

He was one of those one person cats and thankfully, as I lord over Nathan frequently and with gusto, he loves me best.

Now that he’s not given free run of the house or the outdoors, he’s well, he’s chunked out.

He’s now called Big Fat Leo and we love each and every one of his rolls.