COVID19 life

Some COVID-ish Things

March 30, 2021

I haven’t shown any COVID-19 data for a while.

Mostly, this is because nothing has changed for a while in South FL. Happily, hospitalizations in our health system seem to be down somewhat. But cases just continue to chug along around the 3-5K/day rate for the state.

This latest positivity graph bothered me a bit, with the uptick at the end. Are fewer people being tested? Are some of these positives asymptomatic? I know of at least one fully vaccinated person who tested positive recently – zero symptoms.

That said, we are definitely living more freely than we have, thanks to the protection of vaccines + my understanding that the kids are very low risk for serious illness. FL also announced anyone can book a vaccine appointment as of 4/5! MONDAY! Just hoping they continue to have significant effectiveness against variants. I know the data is not looking as rosy everywhere (and this isn’t even entirely rosy).

I also hope that the frenzied spring break activity doesn’t add too much to the case load. But I guess we’ll see.

Examples of things we are not doing yet:

Indoor dining @ restaurants

Indoor group meetings/gatherings

Group indoor workouts (though to be fair . . . we weren’t doing all that much of this before!)

Family air travel (though hoping to be able to do this by fall holidays)

Examples of things we were not doing before, but now feel okay about:

Booking family driving-distance travel

Planning things like camp with confidence (last summer we didn’t send the kids anywhere; this summer they will be at day camp all summer)

Some indoor masked activities (this weekend: ice skating!)

A can basically skate, C fell about 834734 times but still enjoyed it, and G happily rode this seal the entire time

I recognize that when I post things like this, it can incite . . . feelings in others. I (really, we – Josh is included) are basing our decisions off of what we feel are reasonable risk/benefit calculations, including what we currently understand about vaccines.

But I also wanted to share a portrait of #liferightnow since it is quite different than 6 months ago (or even 3 months ago). Just hoping it will continue to go in the right direction.


  • Reply CBS March 30, 2021 at 7:20 am

    I think hearing people’s decision-making is helpful. We haven’t had Covid and are not yet vaccinated, so this March hasn’t felt different than last March. However, 50% of the UK population is vaccinated, rates are quite low (2% positivity, like 400 new cases a day in a country of 6 million). Things will start to open slightly in the coming weeks and while I’m not rushing to do things, I am looking forward to having a coffee or lunch outdoors, meeting up with a friend for a walk, etc. We can do backyard meet-ups but have delayed any family reunions (all family lives a plane ride away) until we are all fully vaccinated. They are doing doses 12 weeks apart so it’s first vaccine + 14-15 weeks which feels a bit brutal. Hoping for my blue letter through the mailbox soon.

  • Reply Lori C March 30, 2021 at 7:23 am

    Sarah great news. Isn’t it nice to feel like things are gradually moving towards normal? I am now fully vaccinated (yay!) and I never appreciated vaccines more than I do now. I’m glad when my baby girl arrives in August she will hopefully have antibodies based on recent AAP findings.

    We are relaxing a bit too, partly due to the nice weather which allows for some comfortable outdoor get togethers. We just booked a local night away during the kids spring break and I can’t wait! We will likely just swim in the indoor pool (a real treat in our still winterish weather) and not much else, but kids are counting the days. We also signed up for camp and the boys will be starting soccer soon.

    I am hopeful!!

  • Reply A. March 30, 2021 at 7:54 am

    I like to see numbers because the vibe is so different from one place to another; here, we have reached 6% positivity rate in my canadian province and we are probably about to go in a total lockdown because 6% is considered very high and severe. So, no normal here, still only seeing people outdoor at min. 2 meters distance but the good weather helps everything.

    • Reply Karen March 30, 2021 at 10:35 am

      Envious of your circuit breaker lockdown! Presuming you are in BC and wishing we would do one in Alberta too! We are so close to the end (or at least to every adult having one dose): it would be great to avoid a third wave

  • Reply Jamie March 30, 2021 at 8:02 am

    I think this type of post is helpful. My family took advantage of very very low numbers in our area last summer to have (outdoor/masked) fun. I had no regrets when we were locked away from Halloween till March between covid and snow- I think everyone fared better. I’m looking at current state similarly- yes, there could be a vaccine or variant issue, but right now things are relatively safe so let’s use the release valve of warm weather and vaccinated parents. My kids get a lot out of throwing Holi powder or hunting for eggs with other kids and it is, right now, reasonably low risk.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns March 30, 2021 at 8:57 am

    I get my 2nd dose tomorrow! Can’t wait to be fully protected. Everyone 16 and over is eligible starting today. Demand surpasses supply big time so it will be a while before my husband can get his vaccines. But I am glad I am protected. We are going to visit my parents the weekend after Easter. They were vaccinated in feb so we finally feel safe seeing them! We aren’t changing our behavior much either. Once my husband is vaccinated we will get our son back in swimming lessons. That’s kind of about it for things we are looking to do, but it’s nice to feel less anxious about potentially getting Covid!!

  • Reply Jen March 30, 2021 at 9:15 am

    Thanks for sharing. I find your approach really common-sense. I have a few data sources I consult to keep myself informed but feel like particularly media coverage tends toward the sensational and doom and gloom so i have to stay off that. Our vaccine roll out had been slow but the positive indicators show a huge reduction in cases and deaths in nursing homes that got prioritized first. But what’s particularly hard is the roller-coaster of emotions. Feeling hopeful one day and then being totally upset the next (as we talk about doing virtual school -again)

  • Reply Angie March 30, 2021 at 9:32 am

    This is all great news. My husband and I got our second dose yesterday and I feel like I can breath again. We’re also still not dining indoors or hanging with people not vaccinated but luckily our parents and aunts and uncles are vaccinated and many of our friends are as well so now we feel like we can have some of our “old” life back. I’m feeling better about kids going back to in person school in the fall, we chose virtual since Utahns seem to not be taking this seriously and my husband is high risk, and child vaccine should be available next year. I’m feeling much more hopeful and that’s a great feeling, even though we have a ways to go.

  • Reply Irene March 30, 2021 at 9:42 am

    Add me to the people who really enjoy hearing about your thoughtful approach! I am half vaccinated but my husband will not be any time soon so we are still being very cautious even though our numbers fairly good. We are finally having good weather and so can do more outdoor stuff which I’m generally comfortable with. My youngest (about G’s age) is now really good with a mask which also helps a lot. We are just now having some childcare and in person school which has honestly been a huge exhausting transition but hopefully will be good eventually do we have focused on that. We are planning a trip which will probably involve flying near the end of the summer but it’s a short enough distance we could switch to driving if things are looking worse again (but I really hope we don’t have to!) my daughter just restarted swim lessons yesterday which felt totally crazy- it’s one of the few things we really went back to since both kids are at new schools. She was SO happy. I am really hoping for a good summer to build us all back up for a new school year in the fall. My biggest hope/prayer is that school is more normal in the fall. The whole virtual school in the is really far from ideal so we are bracing ourselves in case the fall is still terrible.

    My dad will be fully vaccinated in a few weeks and that will be amazing. I am looking forward to family time again but wondering when and how I’m going to start putting energy in to friendships again. My work is going to continue to be 100 percent virtual for a quite a bit longer and I feel like every one is still emerging slowly from seclusion. I wonder how long it’s going to take to shake the feeling of isolation that weighs me down lately.

  • Reply Klara March 30, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Ice skating without helmets?! Helmets are so much more important than masks when going ice skating. Interesting cultural difference. I am Swedish and live in Sweden. Ice skating without helmets does not happen here.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 30, 2021 at 10:40 am

      So interesting! We always enforce helmets while biking, scooters, skateboarding but quite honestly I didn’t see a single helmet at the indoor rink. Not saying that is right, though! I need to look into a helmet esp for G if she ends up taking lessons … so thank you for pointing that out!!

      • Reply Omdg March 30, 2021 at 1:20 pm

        Yeah sorry, the kids need helmets while skating. It’s just like riding a bike or a scooter.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 30, 2021 at 2:01 pm

          yeah, now that it was mentioned and I did a 5 second google search, I absolutely agree and they will definitely wear them in the future. It didn’t even occur to me because a) 30+ years ago when I skated, helmets were not a thing. I took lessons and my parents always forced me to wear a bike helmet, but nothing was ever mentioned for ice skating and b) honestly, I didn’t see anyone wearing them. But having looked at other country’s guidelines + head injury risk, I am fine with us being outliers in that regard.

          • Omdg March 30, 2021 at 8:18 pm

            When I was growing up I didn’t wear a helmet either. I’ve also noticed geographic differences in helmet use – in Philly they were ubiquitous. In CT where my parents live, nobody wears them. But… I think it’s prudent. I remember riding in the front seat of a car when I was three and that was clearly a bad idea so…. sometimes I wonder how we all managed to survive until adulthood!

          • Sarah Hart-Unger March 30, 2021 at 8:34 pm

            So true … I guess we didn’t know what we didn’t know back then!

        • Reply KGC March 30, 2021 at 2:08 pm

          I feel like this needs to be added to the pediatrician questions at well-checks! We are always asked if the kids wear seatbelts and helmets while biking or scooting, but no one has ever asked if they wear helmets when ice skating or skiing (maybe this is also regional because…Maryland doesn’t have much by way of ice skating or skiing). I’m very happy for mine to wear them if we ice skate in the future, but it has never occurred to me until this exchange that they needed to. I suspect this is not a parental resistance thing, but a lack of education that they are necessary?

          • Amanda March 30, 2021 at 2:41 pm

            This is fascinating, I’ve never seen someone wearing a helmet while ice skating unless playing ice hockey and we have a lot of rinks in Central NY. Good to know.

          • Klara March 31, 2021 at 7:24 am

            Interesting right?! I love everything that you do Sarah- you are such a positive source of inspiration in these difficult times. All the way across the Atlantic! Keep it coming please 🙂

    • Reply KGC March 30, 2021 at 11:11 am

      Fascinating cultural difference! It would have never occurred to me to put a helmet on my kids for ice skating (though they wear them 100% of the time for other activities – biking, scooting, etc.). Thanks for the info, as I’d like both kids to try ice skating next winter.

    • Reply Emily March 30, 2021 at 12:40 pm

      Wow that is so interesting! My parents were major sticklers about helmets with biking growing up but I have never seen anyone with a helmet ice skating unless they were playing hockey (and my childhood was spent in MN — with a lot of ice skaters and people of Scandinavian descent).

    • Reply Lori C March 30, 2021 at 4:08 pm

      We live outside Boston and helmets are required here too, one of those regional things I suppose!

  • Reply KGC March 30, 2021 at 11:13 am

    I’m going to be that super annoying reader and ask…what kind of mask does G wear? My younger son just turned 2 and it occurred to me that we now need to teach him how to wear a mask. I have found lots of recommendations for kid-kids (5+) but toddlers are more of a wildcard and my older son’s masks are too big for my little one. G’s looks like it fits her face well. Do you have a brand or type that you love and that she keeps on? Happy to hear from other commenters with little ones, too!

    • Reply Irene March 30, 2021 at 11:35 am

      My 3 year old does best in the “super fit” little kid size from Rafi Nova. I wish they had more patterns and fabrics though so I will be interested to see other responses to this!

      • Reply Lori C March 30, 2021 at 4:10 pm

        Yay! They are a local company to me and have a great story!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 30, 2021 at 12:04 pm

      I buy the School Mask pack masks by crayola – they are decently adjustable and wash well! They were initially a podcast sponsor long ago so I got a free pack but now I buy them 🙂

    • Reply Erica March 30, 2021 at 12:11 pm

      It’s really trial and error for little kids – my 3-year-old can’t wear the crayola masks but loves the Carters masks and does fine with the Old Navy ones. Whatever you use, you may need a bunch – kids this age are not very good about keeping their masks clean and dry. (This may not apply to G, who seems to be some sort of special breed of 3-year-old that can be trusted not to destroy things; I cannot listen to Sarah’s toddler podcasts without extreme jealousy.)

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 30, 2021 at 12:14 pm

        Oh G does plenty of her own destroying though hopefully her “randomly scribble on literally everything” phase has ended …

        I buy the masks in significant quantities!! All 3 kids wear them and I send 2 to school every day.

    • Reply KGC March 30, 2021 at 1:46 pm

      This is so helpful – thanks, everyone! I grabbed a pack at Old Navy yesterday (because honestly you can’t beat the price and I figure my 5 yo can wear them if the little one won’t). I have been tempted by the Crayola ones but thought they were more for school-aged kids and assumed they would be too big for my little guy.

      Unfortunately, everyone has also just confirmed that trial and error is the way to go, so I guess I can’t just blindly follow one person’s recommendation! On the other hand, it sounds like I should just order a few different types (will add Carter’s and Rafi Nova based on recs) and not obsess over reading a million Amazon reviews to decide which ones to try =) I suppose in this day and age, there’s no such thing as having too many masks! Neither of my kids has to wear them to daycare, though (small, in-home daycare next door), so these are mostly for weekend use at this point. Kindergarten in the fall may be a whole different story!

    • Reply Debra April 3, 2021 at 1:16 pm

      My 4 year old grandson and very petite 9 year old granddaughter wear Target’s Cat and Jacks’ masks. They fit them perfectly.

  • Reply RKK March 30, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    thanks for having the courage to keep posting COVID-related topics…even when they cause a lot of comments and sometimes induce anxiety from others reactions. appreciate you being so open about your choices and your journey as we all go through this!

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