Dear ones, welcome to this month’s “A Very Special Coronavirus Edition: Where Bloggers Live, 04.2020,” because, well, this is everyone’s reality right now. We had planned to talk about our work spaces at home…not necessarily work from home spaces as imposed upon us by Covid-19. But the areas in our home where we do our blogging. And the tools, apps, etc., we use to create our posts. That post will be bumped to May. And today, instead, we are talking about the affect of the coronavirus on our lives, our community.
Where Bloggers Live
This fun series is kind of like HGTV’s “Celebrities at Home,” but…with bloggers! Who doesn’t like to peek behind the scenes and see inside people’s homes and lives? Last month we talked about our states. You can read about my beloved Lone Star State, here. In the coming months, this group of 7 bloggers will be sharing our homes, outdoor spaces and kitchens.
Just a reminder: Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After occasionally uses affiliate links. This means that if you click or make a purchase from a link provided I may receive a very small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.
A Very Special Coronavirus Edition
It seems most everyone I follow has dedicated at least one post lately to Covid-19. I probably mentioned it most in my Sentence a Day 03.2020 post. But before that, not so much. Time to catch up now.
Ways Covid-19 is Affecting My Community
The City of El Paso has created a webpage entitled El Paso Strong where citizens can go for information on all things Covid-19. The home page explains how the virus is contracted, its symptoms, prevention and where to get help if you think you’ve come down with coronavirus. From there, users can easily navigate to read health authority orders, press releases, and FAQs.
There is a results page that updates daily the number of cases in the El Paso city and county, the number of negative test results, how many hospital beds, ICU beds, even ventilators are available in the area. As I am preparing this post, El Paso has 153 people testing positive with Covid-19, the most cases are among citizens in their 30s, and those affected are divided almost exactly between men and women.
Cases Mapped Out
For a short time we had a map of the city divided by zip code that indicated which areas were reporting the greatest number of positive test results. I had to laugh. Our home is in the far northeast part of the city. Many El Pasoans look down their noses at the ‘northeast.’ It is kind of the stepchild of the El Paso area…cheaper homes, traditionally more gang activity, fewer shopping and dining out opportunities BUT the best views in the city!!
The ‘west side’ is generally thought to be the more affluent part of town but my daughter’s zip code on the west side had 3 times the cases of coronavirus that my zip code in the northeast had!! We must be doing something right over here. Guess we know how to wash our hands.
I noticed the cases by zip code map is no longer available to view. The city has replaced it with this map.
Our first presumptive case of Covid-19 was announced on 03.13.2020, the day I flew to Kentucky to be with mom. Thankful that in a city of our low socio-economic demographic, with a population of more than 682,000, we only have 153 cases and at the time of this writing, no deaths attributed to Covid-19.
Restrictions Currently in Place
In the 3 weeks since the first case was identified, restrictions have been put into place then amended several times. On 04.01.2020, with 68 cases reported, here are some of the restrictions that were implemented.
- All individuals living within the City of El Paso are directed to stay at home or at their place of residence. Exceptions are allowed if they are performing essential duties, working in an essential business, government, etc.
- Public and Private gatherings of any number of people are prohibited.
Openings and Closures
- Any travel is restricted to approved activities. Anyone returning from travel of 100 miles or more outside the City must self-quarantine for 14 days. PC has a document that he must carry with him that shows he is ‘mission essential personnel’ on Ft. Bliss.
- Bars, lounges, taverns, arcades and night clubs, gyms, libraries, museums, clothing stores are all closed. A number of restaurants have gone to pick-up or delivery of items on their menus. We haven’t tried anything except ordering pizza for delivery and picking up Subway sandwiches. Grocery stores, home improvement stores and businesses like dollar stores where groceries, toiletries and sundries are also sold remain open but patrons are limited in number by an employee monitoring the entrances.
- State parks and hiking trails are still open. But patrons are reminded to: maintain at least 6 feet of social distance from others; choose less populated parks and trails; not park in a crowded parking lot or use a crowded trail; wash hands before and after each visit.
- Adult and child daycare is available only for family members to enable employees who are deemed essential personnel to work as permitted. Because Francisco is a doctor, Lucia could be attending daycare now but the kids have chosen to keep her home since about the first week of March.
- Wearing masks is strongly encouraged around the city. On Ft. Bliss, where PC works, personnel are required to wear face masks. Social distancing is in effect everywhere. Banks are closed with the exception of drive-through services or by appointment only with bank personnel. Schools have been closed since the children went out on spring break on 03.16.2020. And will remain closed across the state until 05.04.2020, at which time the situation will be re-evaluated. This order just came across our landline, television and cell phones as I am typing this post.
What I’m Doing Differently
- Most significantly, I am staying at home. Have only been to the grocery store and to the postal annex.
- Wearing a mask when I do go into a public place. I had an old N95 mask from a box we bought when PC had an upper respiratory infection a few years ago. Then Lauren ordered us both new N95 masks. Can you see me sporting my mask on the security screen in the photo below?
- Washing my hands longer and more often. I have a small bottle of hand sanitizer attached to my purse, and wipes in my purse. But when I am home I wash my hands with bar soap. Thinking it might be a good idea to wear plastic gloves when going into public areas.
- Taking off our shoes, spraying them with Lysol, leaving them in the garage for several days. Both of us really prefer wearing shoes indoors to going barefoot or sock-footed. We have switched to wearing crocs (PC) and flip-flops (me) in the house for the time being.
- Washing my hair more frequently. That might seem strange but I usually only wash it twice a week. Now, if I have been out in public, I want to wash my hair and shower when I get home. Oh, and change clothes, too.
How am I filling my time?
Trying to tackle a mix of chores sprinkling between them with some of the hobbies I most enjoy.
- Blogging. And blog reading. Trying to keep to my blog schedule that I put together the first of the year.
- Quiet time. Almost every morning. Using several books for my devotional and enjoying aromatherapy. Doing some journaling, too.
- Crafting. Made 2 spring or Easter crafts this week. Some spring frames to hold photos of my grands in their Easter outfits (when I get the pictures from my girls). And some Easter cutlery wrapped up to look like carrots.
- Reading. Started our online book club’s latest book, Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown. Finishing listening to The Dressmaker’s Gift by Fiona Valpy.
- Scrapbooking. In particular, my granddaughters’ births. This is a wellness goal. Not scrapbooking their births but doing an artistic activity weekly.
- Cleaning, decluttering, organizing our home. I always do spring cleaning this time of year. But concentrating on organizing, neaten some of my storage solutions, closets, this year. Following Taylor’s 52 week decluttering schedule, here.
- Working out. We are walking every day, riding bikes, doing some online videos for seniors (not 12th graders), and running in the nieghborhood.
- Yard work. Pulling weeds. Cleaning and brushing the pool. Hoping we can afford new patio furniture.
- Helping Cady with homeschooling. Cadence is in the 4th grade and her school district is taking this homeschooling stuff very seriously. Poor baby has hours of assignments. I have helped some with science and math…I know, that is crazy, right? And we have just finished our first book together. She has also played Barbies for me. Cady calls it putting on a show for me. She plays and I watch. And interact with her Barbies by asking them questions.
- Playing with Cia and stalking Cami. I have watched Cia in the tub several times during the quarantine, and played dinosaurs with her once (we both had plastic dinosaurs and they hung out with each other via Facetime). Cami just lies there most of the time. Always looking adorable, of course. Although she is learning to roll over. But mostly, Cami is just adorable.
And Winding Up With…
- Supporting and encouraging my mom, mother-in-law and father-in-law with their personal crises. This week I arranged mom’s new personal care apartment via text message and phone call and photos. And today she was released from rehab to her apartment today. My brother snapped this photo outside her apartment window.
Have your social media feeds blown up with coronavirus safety tips, prayers, quarantine fill-in-the-blanks, and funny memes? Mine have. And most of the time, I read the tips, send up the prayers, fill in the blanks and laugh at the memes. But some days, when I feel weary from all of this, I ignore all of the above. So, I am going to share a few memes I found funny but will totally get it if you just pass right over them.
I am thinking maybe we could sleep in the guest room and feel like we are staying at a bed and breakfast.
That one really made me giggle.
So, how are you hanging in, guys? If you were writing this post, what restrictions would be impacting your life? How are you filling your days? How many cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in your community? Hope you will take a minute to visit the blogs of the other gals in this great group.
Bettye at Fashion Schlub
Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks
Em at Dust and Doghair
Iris at Iris’ Original Ramblings
Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style
Julia at When the Girls Rule
Leslie at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After
Since I started this post, our number of cases has gone from 153 yesterday to 192 today, Wednesday, 04.08.2020.
The cases in my area of town have gone from 3 to 12. No more gloating for me. State parks are closed. And this policy was just released for the wearing of face masks on Ft. Bliss.
Had high hopes of having the kids over for Easter but it looks like won’t be possible. It will ham and all the trimmings for two. But I still hope we can get dressed up for dinner and enjoy Easter church service online. Wishing you a blessed Easter or Passover or long weekend. Stay healthy, sweet friends.
Hugs and kisses,