Quarantine & Other Things

December 23, 2020

Hello. Rather than go into details regarding our current situation, here are some other goings on while we wait things out (and hopefully all stay healthy). Thus far everyone is physically okay. Yeah, I’m anxious. But it is what it is at this point.

We knew there were some risks in sending the kids to school. I sometimes try to think of radically different scenarios (ie, I had quit my job and homeschooled all 3 kids beginning in March?) that wouldn’t have us in the situation we are in, but I think we made our choices thoughtfully and knew we were at >0% risk.

3 classrooms, 2 healthcare jobs, 1 additional child care provider, high-COVID area –> high # of risk inputs. I accepted that. Hopefully we will come out on the other side okay.

1- I made Pinch of Yum’s chicken meatball recipe (as recommended by LagLiv!) and it was great. So easy to make meatballs in the oven and the flavor was spot on. Kid-approved too (initially rejected outright by one, but they changed their mind when everyone else liked it. Peer pressure?).

2- Gretchen Rubin announced the 2021 challenge to Read 21 in 2021. 21 = at least 21 minutes/day, not 21 books. Love this process-style goal! I already sort of wanted to read something every day, so perhaps I’ll use 21 minutes as my minimum amount. Still working on my 2021 reading list (I really liked planning this mostly ahead in 2020– helped my library hold game immensely). I have a number of books I bought in a pandemic haze that I haven’t read yet too — will all be put on list.

3- I signed up a running/training challenge (bought a membership to AMR Many Happy Miles) . . . just in time to be stuck in the house, lol. Though I had no plans to start until January anyway, and we do have a treadmill so there’s always that option.

4- Trying to figure out the right architecture for our Q days. Thus far kids are okay but . . . we have a ways to go. We just added in mandatory reading time at 1 pm for at least 30 min (screen time may begin at 1:30 IF toys are all picked up).

5- YOU GUYS I ORDERED THE A5 Hobonichi 5 year journal. FROM an online shop based in Finland (because it was sold out everywhere else). Because stress. I am excited for it to arrive though! Need these little things to look forward to.

C O M E O N 2 0 2 1!!!! We are ready for you.


  • Reply Cathy December 23, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    I’m going into my 2nd year of Many Happy Miles. I didn’t do every month – sometimes life interfered, but overall enjoyed the changing workouts and monthly focus. I finally feel like I am getting back to pre-child running comfort. I also do my own strength workouts and though it takes a bit more planning, you can definitely fit in beach body.

    I love that idea of reading for a certain amount of time. I think I’ll have to add that into my 2021 goals.

  • Reply Amy December 23, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    It’s not a moral failing to have been exposed to Covid! With so much emphasis being placed on minimizing our personal risks it’s easy to feel like we must have done something wrong if we’re ever exposed — and, I imagine, immense guilt at inadvertently exposing others — but not everyone can stay home all day every day. There is some measure of risk involved (in every respect, not just Covid) and the risks you’ve detailed of school, work (that can’t be done from home!) childcare, etc are all well worth the rewards. Those of us who have to leave the house from time to time have to accept the possibility of exposure or infection and just do what we can to minimize — since we can’t eliminate — that possibility.

    Good luck with the next however many days you have — hope you have good weather and can get outside! Hang in there.

    • Reply Natalie December 23, 2020 at 10:17 pm

      @Amy, I couldn’t agree more! So well said. My 9 year old daughter is in school because for our family, the risks associated with social isolation (depression, anxiety, obesity) are greater than those with COVID. Everyone’s family is different, and there are so many unknowns. But if we all stayed home and did not go anywhere, society would literally fall apart. No one is at zero risk unless you are completely cut off from society– and that does not sound very healthy to me.

      Sarah, thank you and Josh for what you are doing for your patients, and I agree with Amy that you should not feel guilty at all! I hope you and your family all continue to feel well.

  • Reply Irene December 23, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    That is my kids favorite meatball recipe! Love pinch of yum in general.

    We have been able to maintain almost 0 level of risk because we can work at home but if school was open where we live my oldest would be there. Absolutely. Unfortunately many people didn’t actually lockdown *ever* and our kids can’t carry the brunt of that forever. Frankly my kids are better about distancing and masking than many adults and that has changed my view in school compared to the beginning of the pandemic. I guess we all make our own judgments now about what incremental risk we can manage and I have a lot of sympathy for all of us who are actually trying. Its been so long and it’s an uphill battle while bars are open and people are hosting 100 plus person weddings. I hope no one is giving you a hard time about this exposure. Especially when you and Josh are carrying so much emotional load as physicians.

  • Reply mamaMD December 23, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your exposure and quarantine. We have been through it twice (both childcare-related) and it was incredibly anxiety-provoking. I also felt a lot of guilt (especially since I am on maternity leave right now and technically didn’t “need” the childcare). In any case, we were lucky that everyone tested negative and no one got sick either time so I am sending good vibes out into the universe that your family will also do well!

  • Reply Diane C December 23, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    I have the Five Year Journal from Levenger and I love being able to look back on what life was like on that day one, two, three, four years ago. I will finish out my current one this year! Levenger had a sale on these journals earlier this year and I bought three of them (theirs aren’t year specific like the Hobonichi). It’s strangely reassuring to look at the stack of blank five year journals and know that in twenty years I will probably be writing in the last of the batch. A little bit of future predictability,perhaps?

  • Reply Jenna December 24, 2020 at 8:05 am

    I’m curious about your statement about not running during quarantine. I would think outdoor running or walking so long as you were not in a crowded park area or running with a partner would be okay. I’ve run outdoors almost every day since March 2020 and I’m never close enough to another person to consider that I could infect them or them me with any virus. I run in the street, facing traffic (asphalt street preferred to concrete sidewalk due to impact on feet and knees). I am lucky to live in a city that has wide streets and big shoulder lanes.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 24, 2020 at 9:10 am

      honestly, it probably would be okay but technically does not follow the ‘rules’ to the letter. i hear you, though.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns December 24, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Don’t feel guilty about your exposure. It is unfortunately impossible to completely limit your risk. We sent our son to daycare and I felt a lot of anxiety between being pregnant and high risk/on steroids which put me at higher risk of getting more sick if I got Covid. But my husband and I both have demanding jobs. Our house isn’t set up for a nanny and we truly love our daycare so felt it was best to stick with it, even though it put us at higher risk for Covid. Daycare was our only risk for getting Covid – we are extremely careful otherwise and our daycare did the best they could do. There were 2 cases in our sons rooms at 2 different times and in November when case levels were horrible here, nearly every class had a positive case and closed down. I think 15 kids got it plus some parents. That really sucked but we lucked out and did not get it. Now I just hope we stay healthy since we have a newborn!

    Good luck with your quarantine. I hope you all stay busy and don’t lose your mind!

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