Friday–The Thirteenth

Sure, if you say so…

Friday was the weirdest day of my life. I can honestly say no day in the last 50+ years has been so bizarre.

I woke up agitated. All the schools were still conducting in person classes. That was beginning to make me angry. Everything else had been cancelled, from sports to my daughter’s Open House, but not instruction. The LA Times ran an article in which the LAUSD said they were waiting until someone was actually verified to have the virus to shut things down. It was no different in the FOUR districts that our family attends school in. I emphasize the number because each district was doing the same exact thing as all the others—nothing.

I’ll not go off on a tangent here about how even people who are in leadership have no idea how to lead and take action when an actual crisis takes place and why. ;D

On Thursday, it took us 30 minutes to calm me and the students down enough so I could even start my session. I was becoming increasingly concerned about the professor I work for because she is four months pregnant and no one knows how contracting the virus could affect her child. I was upset that the school hadn’t bothered to excuse her from teaching due to that fact.

Then, at 9:00 PM, I got a call from my youngest son’s district and thought, surely, they have had some sense. But, no, they were only cancelling sports practice and admonished us to tell our children to keep social distance from people—in the classroom. Does the admin even know what the inside of an elementary classroom looks like?

Due to his daughter’s fragile immune system, my Lit prof had already moved our Friday classes online. But other classes were still meeting. In the morning, the school dean, the highest paid dean in the CCCD, sent out an email basically saying everything was cancelled except classes and work. No one who wasn’t from the campus was allowed on campus. As if we could only get COVID-19 if “strangers” came on campus.

Slowly, and I mean sloooooooowly, but surely, each school on Friday began to shut down. Mine was first, then R came home from school and was nearly literally bouncing off the walls with news that he didn’t havetogobacktoschooluntilApril6thletsplayagameandreadandjumpoffthesofaandrunaroundthehouseandtalknonstopfortherestofthedayand—-well, I think if you were ever a kid you might get just how excited he was.

J’s school finally emailed around 4:00 PM that all face-to-face instruction was cancelled. Not a huge change for us, but she does have classes on campus on Friday so I had been hoping for them to cancel earlier in the week.

Lastly, my son’s high school “homeroom” teacher emailed him to say school would be closed and that we’d receive further information later. The school emailed me an hour or so later to say that school was completely out until Thursday at which time the students would come in at an arranged time to pick up all their books and assignments, then school would resume the following week online.

With one exception, I have never had to worry about all my children’s health at the same exact time. I have worried over the years about each of them because they each have a different health problem completely unrelated to their sibling’s health problems, but never had to worry about all of them together. That was weird.

And then we went to Target—and things got really weird. It was like the scene at a grocery store before a major snowstorm. Of course, I never saw the shelves like that as a girl because my grandmother was Mrs. Prepared-for-disaster, so when storms were forecast she just, well, she did nothing because she had everything she already needed. She’d be embarrassed at my lack of stockpiled toilet paper.

The idea that people had panicked so much there was no bread left at Target was weird. Californians are not known for their ability to prepare for a disaster. We just don’t see what it has to do with us—seriously, I met people on Sept 12, 2001 who had no idea that really, the events back east should be something we’re concerned about. But I guess the schools closing Friday made the whole thing real and everyone, in my neighborhood at least, finally flipped.

We don’t have a lot of money, so we couldn’t get everything we needed earlier in the week when I took my middle son, who is far too aware of the world, comfort shopping because he was beginning to freak out. We only got some canned goods and didn’t have enough for paper goods. We had to wait until Friday and by Friday everything was wiped out.

Fortunately, that son got my “figure out how to fix it” gene in spades, and realized that we have a local grocery store that no one seems to know exists. (That would be Clark’s Nutrition, local peeps.) And, sure enough, they had paper goods to spare. But just in case, I ordered two of those giant TP rolls from Staples. That was all they had left.

It’s weird to see Californians actually stocking up on anything. We seriously take no heed of the future here. Almost none of us is prepared for “the big one.” Though that might be our nihilistic side realizing that when “the big one” hit Northridge, preparedness didn’t keep the buildings from falling on the people. And when the previous “big one” hit the Bay Area, it didn’t keep the bridges from collapsing on the drivers. We all figure when “the big one” hits, we’ll probably be dead.

We are really weird here in Cali.

And, so, life is about to get super weird. My kids will all be home. We will have no way to get out of the house because it is plain stupid to be out and about right now. And it’s raining. I go back to work for training the 23rd because my job will be done online now, but not at home, at least not yet. It’s stupid but that’s how the contract is written, we cannot be allowed to conduct our work from anywhere off campus. And, considering how long it took the school to realize it needed to be shut down—a school where the mere rumor of Edison possibly, maybe, shutting down the electricity due to high winds will cause a complete shut down and immediate evacuation of the campus—I have no hopes of them seeing reason.

Seriously, though, I have seen a lot of weird national occurrences, but this thing beats all. And I haven’t even started about the Trump weirdness in all of this. God, we are screwed.

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