Quarantimes Deja Vu All Over Again

September 30th, 2021

I’m listening to a recording of a tech conference session where a BMW executive with a grave German accent is discussing open source technology in the logistics process. I’m trying to take notes so I can write a synopsis while my daughters howl like wolves in the twilight just outside the window.

They are home all week because there was a COVID case in their classroom. The whole class is in quarantine, and as a result, so am I. Even though technically I could leave the house according to The Rules, I can’t leave two six-year-olds alone at home. During the day, I am a snack Sherpa and remote-school IT specialist/classroom aide. In the evening, when Jon gets home, my other full-time job as a braindead freelance writer begins.

My first goal for this week is to survive. My second goal is to not have COVID. The third goal? To go to the bathroom one single time without hearing 


That would be great. 

Shout out to all the parents who remote schooled all last year — or for any amount of time at all. It’s no joke.

While I can’t imagine what it would take to have kids in different classes and have to  manage the insanity of logging on and off SeeSaw and Zoom at the prescribed times, having twins is a different challenge. My kids are in the same Zoom sessions on two different Chromebooks, which means I have to separate them, or the auditory feedback is unbearable for everyone. I have one child in the living room holding the dog in her lap, and the other child in the dining room seething because she can see the dog on Zoom and is pissed that she doesn’t get to hold the dog.

Me? I”m literally sprinting back and forth rescuing dogs and pushing buttons and answering questions and coaxing my shy kids into participating. Yet somehow have not closed my exercise ring all week.

I’ve ruined three expensive pots because the icons on our electric range make no sense. And is it too much to ask that the burner glow orange if it’s on so that a person who is rushing around doing ten things at once might have a visual cue?

When this quarantine was announced on Sunday night via a call from school, Jon and I had a quick kitchen-corner- check-in about how to tell the girls. After a year of constant messaging about COVID being dangerous, saying “Someone in your class has COVID and you might get it too” felt scary. But ultimately, we had to be honest.

I sat them down on the couch and explained the situation in what I hoped was the correct warm and reassuring tone. They were respectfully silent. When I was finished, I asked, “Does anyone have any questions?”

Phoebe spoke up first. 

“Can people fly?”

Her question was a pointed one, because both of them have been hard at work trying to figure out how to make this hideous unicorn and his friends fly. They’ve been carefully folding up these aerodynamic wings and crafting their stuffies into flying machines, then throwing them in front of the fan to see what happens. So far, no catching flight, but never say never.



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