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Category: Coronavirus

The Week Ahead: Phase 1 Reopening, Adding History, and More

Last week was the first official week of “reopening” for my state. Phase 1 reopening meant:

  • healthy people no longer need to shelter in place, but people at risk need to continue to do so
  • some businesses can reopen with restrictions
  • masks strongly recommended
  • no gatherings larger than 10 people

So far our Covid cases have appeared to hold steady which is encouraging, however I tend to send a side-eye because I haven’t really been able to get a grasp on the current state of our testing situation. Is it stable because we’re testing enough or is it stable because we aren’t?

Nevertheless, this week we will return to one in-person therapy appointment: occupational therapy. Of all the therapy appointments we have, OT has been the only one which has been the hardest to convert to telehealth. I spoke with the OT on Friday and we went through the clinic’s procedures for doing in-person appointments for those who want them, and we are comfortable with what they have set up. All of our other appointments will continue to stay in telehealth – some like speech require touching faces for cues and others have a lot of people coming and going in the clinic and we don’t feel quite comfortable with that kind of a situation yet.

This week I’d also like to fold in History to our scholastic line-up, in addition to math and phonics. Eventually we will have a routine in place that won’t feel overwhelming, which was my overall goal of dealing with homeschool and a pandemic simultaneously.

Finally, I came across this video titled “Massimo Pigliucci on Stoicism, Ethics, Transhumanism, and the Singularity”. If this isn’t a video that is pretty much IT for me right now, I don’t know what is.

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An Open Letter to Elon Musk

Dear Elon,

You are a risk-taker. You didn’t get to where you currently are without taking risks – a lot of them. Risks to build SpaceX, to build SolarCity, Zip2, Paypal, Tesla, Ad Astra, and everything else – all risks. You risk reputation, capital, and more to further your dream for humanity to become an interplanetary species.

Risks are great and we need to take them.

However, what isn’t great is taking risks with the population of America. It’s clear that while you are rather intelligent in some things, you’re clearly not in others. Take the coronavirus, for example. I don’t know what information you’re reading but it’s like it’s by-passing the critical thinking part of your brain. It’s almost if you’ve built an echo chamber of sycophants and bootlickers. Take the risk and talk to epidemiologists, virologists, and other people who spend their lives working in this stuff. I have zero doubt you could get a conversation going with Dr. Fauci or Dr. Birx. Imagine if I, a lowly B.Sci (Geology) holding gal came up and started telling you how to run Tesla and SpaceX. It’s not my place, it’s not my job, I have no great ideas.

(But I do have a ton for education, so hit me up if you want to hear them.)

I know you have some vested interest in China, Texas, California, and Florida. I’m sure you have a crapton of debt and that you can only keep your stuff going for so long. And I’m sure, deep down; you’re scared shitless for your kids and your mom. But America is so large and diverse that we can’t just open up all at once. And when we do reopen, most people won’t follow PPE guidelines and whatnot. I’m seeing it locally – and my state IS reopening. So come on Elon, let’s be real here.

Here’s hoping you got hacked, you need sleep, you’re high, you’re messing with us, or some thing else that can be explained; but looking at your last month of tweets relating to the ‘Rona it appears that you have some serious Dunning-Kruger going on. Get some sleep, keep making ventilators, and engage your brain and cite real sources, not Wall Street Journal opinion pieces. You have a Physics degree, you know what a primary source is.

You’re a smart guy, and I have a lot of respect and admiration for you. Starman forever changed my life – it broke me out of the echo chamber I had built. So destroy yours, know the limits of your expertise, and take some deep breaths. We are all in this together, and we will be OK. We will all be different after this, true. But, you of all people can innovate amazing stuff from this. So get off Twitter, and go innovate your brains out and wow us when we are on the other side of this and need it.

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Homeschooling During the Time of Coronavirus

I like that I thought the concussion + surgery combo meant that our homeschool year was a dumpster fire. That seems like smooth sailing compared to what we currently are doing: homeschooling during the time of coronavirus.

As most of us, we are homeschooling through the coronavirus. Unlike most people, we are homeschooling by choice and thus when my governor closed the schools, it didn’t directly impact us. What did impact us was

  • having Dad working from home (has been since mid-March)
  • closure of activities like 4H and nature walks with local homeschoolers
  • any kind of activities or events that may have been scheduled (my sixth grader did a frog dissection in February, for example)
  • all of our autism and most medical appointments moved to telehealth
  • hit-and-miss in the grocery stores (although that has gotten better for the time being)
  • not being able to play with friends, go to parks, and so on

However, we understand and respect why we are inside and know that we will return to a new normal.

As soon as we went to sheltering-in-place, I gave us time off from everything to allow for us to adjust to staying inside a lot, to having Dad home around the clock, dealing with technological woes as we worked out the kinks with telehealth, and importantly – grieving about what was happening. I don’t mean crying – although some of the kids did that – but just allowing us all to feel the feels of shock, anger, confusion, uncertainty, and whatever else cropped up. It took us about 2 weeks to really work through it all. The kids did well but eventually hit a wall and fell apart, but I think giving them that space of no pressure to allow them to do so really helped us immensely.

After about two weeks, once they started acting nutty again from lack of structure and routine, we resumed schooling. Rather than unload them with a plethora of subjects, I decided to reintroduce them to the Feast, one subject at a time. We started with math. Two weeks spent on math – and only math. If we just did math each day, we were great. After two weeks, I added in phonics for those we needed phonics work and reading for those who are beyond phonics. We’re still in the “add in phonics/reading” stage, honestly. When we are stable with math and phonics/reading; I’ll add in history. And keep going until we have all of our subjects back in.

During these times of unparalleled uncertainty and change, I’ve had to essentially shelf any and all expectations I may have had for my kids. When they are upset, stressed, or overwhelmed; no amount of learning will happen. Sometimes we just need to stop what we are doing and play Plague, Inc for a while to let those feelings of “this is happening to me and I can’t control it” be worked out in a way that is a little macabre but still rather applicable to our current situation.

I’m planning on (hopefully) writing more here, about how we’ve been homeschooling lately and what we’ve been using and all that fun stuff. I’ve had to make my Instagram private but I still want to share what I can, and I like to think that I express myself better in writing than in picture format so ideally I’d like to maintain both. Stay tuned!

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