COVID19 Parenting


October 20, 2020

Family 5K

We survived our first virtual 5K as a family on Sunday, held in support of A’s school. It was actually really fun. I decided that a 1 minute run / 2 minute walk would be doable for A&C and challenging without being torturous. I think I nailed the ratio – it was definitely hard (esp for C) because kids are allergic to pacing, but they got it done! G came in the stroller and ran for short portions.

In order to stay entertained, G pointed out Halloween decorations and the rest of us counted Biden vs Trump signs. I believe the final count was something like 22:11.

There did not seem to be any association between political signage and Halloween decor, though I was paying attention!

PS: I have a photo of A at the finish line but she’s not awake right now to approve it and she does look quite sweaty and DONE so I’m going to refrain from posting!


Remember when I was posting this all the time? There is definitely an element of pandemic fatigue at play; I can’t deny it. I got tired of looking at the graphs. Mercifully, we held really steady in September. The cases are possibly creeping up (but not ascending the way they did over the summer, my GOD that was insane!).

possibly a slow climb?
(As one might recall our state reached heights around 15% over the summer – now hovering just below the 5% mark)

One thing I do have to say about my area (South FL) is that testing is very easy to get now. It’s free, there are multiple community sites, testing is available for children, and most results come back in ~48 hours or less. There are a few places you can get even faster tests.

Are things perfect? Of course not! But we are in a better place than we were ~4 months ago with respect to quickly identifying positive individuals so . . . progress.

I am also glad our county’s schools are open even though I know that other states are operating very differently with lower rates of infection. A’s elementary school has about 40% going in person; this is actually on the high end for the county based on what various patients have told me. I think there is still so much fear/uncertainty. Which is understandable.

But there’s also a cost to keeping kids home — and not an insignificant one. I know at least one kid around A’s age who is staying home alone with security cameras serving as virtual babysitter. Cannot be good but I think the family did not feel they had any other safe or viable choice.

Olive & June

On a VERY unrelated note, here’s my amateur Olive & June mani on top of the incredibly juicy novel I am tearing through (Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West).

Do I think this nail polish kit has some sort of magical powers that allowed my nails to look amazing and/or professionally done?


BUT, I do really like the colors, and it’s handy to have all of the tools in one place. I did like the cuticle cream and felt the topcoat was decent. I also liked the remover & “eraser brush” quite a bit given that my initial application was far from perfect. I would buy from them again (but not for a while b/c I now have a lot of nail polish!). I guess I would say I’m a fan but not a Superfan.

$80 for the whole kit seems pretty reasonable when I routinely spent $50-60 on one mani/pedi.


  • Reply Amanda October 20, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Sarah – hi! I am a new poster to you but have been following your blog and obsessing over BOBW podcast for the last few months since finishing my residency and fellowship training (I’m peds NEURO w a 2 year old daughter). I’ve listened to almost every podcast episode and it’s had such a positive impact on my life. I’ve implemented so many tips and tricks from you and Laura (I’ve also now read most of her books) that have increased my happiness. One of them is keeping a “to-read” list and a “books read” list, which I started in July. Minor dramas and other catastrophes was the first book on there and was such a fun read! Just wanted to say thank you for all that you do and for sharing your story with the world, I’m sure it has made such a difference to tons of people like me!

  • Reply Cranky Mom of 2 October 20, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Our numbers are climbing up too, along with anecdotal reports of people just being dumb/ deciding they don’t give a shit any more. Like a friend just told me about a ~20 person work dinner at a restaurant her husband is expected to go to and I have a relative who just took their 1&3 year olds on an international trip to a resort and posted pictures of their unmasked kids in the indoor restaurant. Meanwhile kids are home safe from school for the foreseeable future and thanks to our powerful teacher union that is likely to continue until cases are essentially zero so…. not any time soon. I don’t know any kids in the situation you described but my older child tells me regularly she doesn’t have many friends and doesn’t seem to really remember before the pandemic any more. I’m having a really down day and just angry that so many people are being so selfish and my kids are paying the price.

  • Reply Cranky October 20, 2020 at 9:25 am

    I am wondering if my kids are going to have school at all this school year. They are definitely home until well into 2020 and since our rates are going up it’s not looking promising. Meanwhile I hear stories about 20 person work dinners at an indoor restaurant or international trips with a 1and 3 year old with increasing frequency. I wish all these people who are “finding a way to live with the pandemic” by essentially doing whatever they want had any idea how horribly hard this is on kids who are stuck home. Not to mention kids not getting regular therapy because let me tell you play therapy for a kindergartener does NOT work over Zoom. I bet there are many many other kids being left home alone like the one you mentioned. I am having a really down day about the lack of hope for the foreseeable future

    • Reply Cranky October 20, 2020 at 11:29 am

      Sorry for the duplicate post – I don’t know why the first one didn’t show up for a while 😔

  • Reply omdg October 20, 2020 at 9:48 am

    Interesting. The JHU website (here: says that the positivity rate in FL this past week was 12%, and that it is conducting 1.1 tests per 1,000 people, which appears quite low compared to other states. Believe what you want I guess.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 20, 2020 at 10:40 am

      That is really really concerning that they are so different. I’ve been believing the state website b/c I guess I don’t want to believe the official dashboard from DOH would be lying but that is scary.

      I can’t speak to the state as whole, but the availability of tests in our county for any community member (ie, when I took G & we got tested, I did not identify myself as a health care member or anyone ‘special’) does seem to be decent. And while 48 hrs isn’t amazing it’s better than the >10 day turnarounds we had in july which were essentially useless.

      • Reply KGC October 20, 2020 at 10:55 am

        I listened to a podcast a few months back (might have been the Daily?) and they interviewed a woman who had worked for her state’s health department. She had become really uncomfortable with what she was being asked (instructed) to do regarding COVID data – manipulating/omitting such that the numbers looked more favorable for reporting. I do not recall which state she was in or if she left her job over this (I think she might have) but it was really concerning to me, as a very numbers- and data-based person.

        It definitely made me think hard about who to trust for reliable data…and I’m not sure of the right answer. I’d like to think the JHU tool is good, but it also may have some bias or flaws in data collection. Bottom line, as I think most of us in science/medicine know: most people can manipulate data to make it show what they want it to show and justify the caveats in doing so. Sooo…who knows what the real number is, but I bet both the FL DOH and JHU could explain why their numbers are what they are and why they are different from each other!

  • Reply Haya Finan Mckinley October 20, 2020 at 11:07 am

    omg on the security cameras as babysitters!!! if that is not a red flag that parents are not getting the support they need, i don’t know what is. what would the consequences of that be if someone were to report it?
    our numbers here are climbing too and it is pretty unsettling. having our 4 yo at school has been great for all of us and i really don’t want to go back to full lockdown like the spring. so far a lot of schools have had cases and lots of classes have had to close/isolate, but no full school shutdowns have happened yet and no discussion of shutting down all schools has come up yet. my fingers are crossed.

  • Reply Grateful Kae October 20, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    My sister lives in Ireland and she said they just went back into government mandated “lockdown” again. All non-essential businesses are closing again for 6 weeks I believe and she said they have been told to not travel more than 3 miles from their home and are to only interact with one other choice family for the duration of lockdown. However, the schools are staying open, which is a huge relief to my sister with 3 young kiddos. It is interesting how keeping the schools open there seems to be a MAJOR priority/ viewed as a most essential area, which I think is pretty awesome!

    • Reply Gillian October 20, 2020 at 5:51 pm

      Emily Oster just published a piece (in the Wall Street Journal maybe) where she discussed the data about school. There is really no data that school increases spread. My kids’ school was just featured in a New York Magazine article. In our county just over 8000 kids have been in school in person and there have only been 4 cases of Covid reported among those students. Based on all of that I think keeping school open should be a HUGE priority.

      • Reply Irene October 20, 2020 at 8:14 pm

        It’s so clearly not a priority to anyone with out kids. It’s been really really discouraging to me. I can’t believe the nonsense that’s open in my state (casinos? Really?) but not only is there no school there is no plan that I can see…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 21, 2020 at 5:30 am

      That is so interesting. I wish it was considered a priority here.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns October 20, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Cases are growing here in MN but it’s mostly in the rural areas where there are more covid doubters… My nephew’s school took a BUS OF PARENTS to a FB game 4 hours away – despite the fact that their HS had moved to virtual due to a bunch of girls on the VB testing positive. That is just insane. My sister and BIL took the bus, of course, because they are covid doubters. I know people are getting fatigued by the restrictions so it’s just going to get worse now that it’s colder – we are currently in a snow storm and will get 3-5″ of snow which is not normal for MN in October and so depressing… Our son has been home with us for the past week+ as a girl in his class at school tested positive, so we all have to quarantine for 14 days which has been tough but is obvioulsy necessary. We all tested positive last week thank goodness.

    Interesting about the Biden v Trump signs. I have yet to see a Trump sign in the area of Minneapolis where I live. But Minneapolis is extremely blue so it’s not surprising… would take some guts to put up a Trump sign. I’ve been enjoying the variety of signs, my favorite of which is “bye don”. Ha.

  • Reply KatherineB October 21, 2020 at 6:07 am

    I live in England and one of the few things our government has done right this autumn is the priority put on trying to keep all schools open.The same applies really throughout the UK, although in some places there is a two week autumn holiday rather than the usual one week. Allowing university and college students to go back in person, even if much learning has been online hasn’t gone so well though with plenty of students locked down in their student accommodation. The message has been more about how damaging it is for kids not to be in school, especially disadvantaged kids, rather than so much the childcare isues of schools being closed, but the effect is the same. Many schools are having to send year groups or bubbles home at short notice which makes the childcare challenging but at least everyone is trying and recognising that keeping schools open is a priority, even in areas where yes pubs, bars, casinos and the like are being forced to close again for a period.

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