March 2020 – I Didn’t See That Coming

I have been meaning to stop long enough and start documenting what is going on in the world around us. My grandfather was born in 1902 and survived the 1918-1920 flu and he wrote about it in his life story book. My oldest sister just read it to us on Zoom about a week ago. Maybe one day my grandchildren will read what I wrote about the craziness that was 2020.

March 1, 2020 – My daughter (who is a PhD student at Virginia Tech) called me and asked me if I was aware of what was going on over in China. I was somewhat aware, but I despise following the news as I never know who is reporting truth. She then went on to tell me that she had just gone out and stocked up on groceries. She had spent over 200.00 but felt good about her stocked refrigerator. While the kids were growing up I had always bought TP, paper towels and Kleenex from Sam’s Club. So she had done something similar with Toilet paper and had quite a few rolls.

March 5, 2020 – I did not go shopping by the way. But I heard her. March 5, Dave and I left Grand Junction, Colorado and drove to Flagstaff, Arizona stopping to take in magnificent sites that we found via an actual paper map and a AAA tour guide book. We say Muley Point (a MUST see) and we drove down Moki Dugway and then went to Goosenecks State Park. All just stunning. We were just beginning on our Double D and Me adventures as the youngest had graduated high school in December and now it was OUR TIME. lol (Colorado confirms its first two cases of coronavirus in the state)

March 6, 2020 – We left our VRBO in Flagstaff and went to the Grand Canyon all day. We were aware that the virus was in the US by now and the attendance was down some at the Grand Canyon, but we still weren’t too worried. It was a beautiful day and we walked the Rim trail and took videos and Marco Polos. After watching the sun set on the Grand Canyon we headed back to our VRBO.

March 7, 2020 – We left Flagstaff and headed to Phoenix by way of Sedona and Slide Rock State Park. The Phoenix VRBO owner had asked us if we could wait to arrive until 4 so we took in the sights along the way. We arrived around 5 to Phoenix, got some supper and got to bed early.

March 8, 2020 – We got up EARLY and headed to pick up our friend and head to the NASCAR race in Phoenix. It was a packed house. I washed my hands a bit more frequently, but still wasn’t too concerned. I got the headphones this time so I knew what was going on during the whole race. That was very helpful. After a full day of NASCAR, we dropped our friend off, got supper and headed back to the VRBO.

March 9, 2020- We started the long drive home. This was a Monday. The first case of COVID-19 in Larimer County is confirmed, a Johnstown resident who is a health care worker.

March 10, 2020- I call my mom. I ask her if she is okay with me still coming to see her on March 18. We both agree I’ll still come. Colorado Governor, Jared Polis, declares a state of emergency amid the coronavirus outbreak. (We still didn’t think it was that bad. The state of emergency helps IF it gets worse he will have immediate access to resources.)

March 11, 2020 – The University of Colorado and Colorado State University announce plans to move classes online after spring break.

March 12, 2020- I started logging the numbers from the John Hopkins site. 127,820 confirmed cases world wide and 4717 total deaths. 34 confirmed cases in Colorado. Also you could not find toilet paper in the store, so I ordered a bunch of toilet paper from Amazon. It said it would be delivered at the end of APRIL. I was okay with that as we had some. It actually came March 18. The stores were out of toilet paper. People were hoarding toilet paper???? The CO site says one week after the first case in Colorado was announced Colorado COVID-19 cases reach 49.

March 13, 2020 President Trump declares a national emergency. Polis bans large gatherings of 250 people or more; Poudre School District announces an extended spring break; Northern Colorado governments declare emergencies. Colorado sees it first coronavirus-related death. NASCAR cancels future races. Just canceled. Flat out canceled. I think this happen with NBA Basketball too. One of the Utah players tested positive and that was the end of Basketball. Up to that point, they were going to play the games or run the race but just with no fans. This was big. Sports cancelled?

March 14, 2020 – Polis orders the closure of all downhill ski areas. My mom and I decide it’s best if I do not come. Her retirement community is beginning to talk about visitor guidelines during the COVID-19. I cancel my trip. The VRBO owners were great and gave me a full refund. I changed my flight to November (her birthday.) Already the airlines were having no fee to change your flights.

March 15, 2020 CDC discourages large gatherings of 250 people or more. I begin daily Facetime calls with my mom. I begin to figure out Zoom.

March 17, 2020 All Colorado bars and restaurants are required to suspend dine-in services, only allowing for takeout and delivery. The order also includes closures of gyms, theaters and casinos. Larimer County restricts events to 50 people or less.

March 18, 2020 The Colorado health department issues a public health order limiting all gatherings to no more than 10 people. Polis suspends in-person schooling through mid-April. San Miguel County in Colorado is ordered to shelter in place, halt all gatherings and closing all non-essential businesses. This is Telluride, Colorado basically. An International biomedical company whose executives have a residence in Telluride put up the funds to test every single person living in San Miguel County for free. They hope to test everyone and then two weeks later test them again. It’s not mandatory, but it is hoped all will comply. “What if we found out that the spread is more than we ever thought and everyone is already infected and that would mean the disease wasn’t as deadly as we think – wouldn’t it be great to have that data?” Good point.

March 19, 2020 Polis orders the postponement of all elective and nonessential surgeries and procedures. The governor also orders the closure of nonessential personal service facilities, like hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors, massage businesses and spas. (I got in yesterday for a cut and color. Phew.) Two weeks after the first case was announced Colorado cases reach 277 with 4 deaths. The numbers one week after I started gathering info? There are now 244, 517 cases world wide and 277 in Colorado.

March 20, 2020 – Rocky Mountain National Park closes to visitors.

March 22, 2020 – Polis issues an executive order requiring noncritical workplaces to reduce in-person workforce by 50% and implement work-from-home capabilities. Polis also issues an order limiting evictions, foreclosures, and public utility disconnections and expediting unemployment insurance claim processing. Our business is me and my husband and one other man in the office.

March 23, 2020 Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announces a stay-at-home order for Denver residents through at least April 10. One of our installers is complaining of a sore throat. We send him home. He has a 99 fever. It is two weeks later now as I write this. We have not allowed him back to work as he still has a cough. 14 days will be Monday, April 6. He may come back then.

March 24, 2020 – My joints are hurting more than ever. There is info out there that Motrin and COVID-19 don’t mix. I try switching to Tylenol Arthritis. No go. Terrible pain in the fingers, elbows, knees, ankles and shoulders. Could it be stress????

March 25, 2020 – Larimer County issues a stay-at-home order, effective until April 17. The county’s order is shortly followed by a statewide order from Polis, lasting through April 11. Larimer County records its first coronavirus-related death.

March 26, 2020 – My sister’s birthday. I Facetime her and wish her a happy birthday. Her daughter and grand children congregate in her parking lot while she’s on her balcony and they eat cake together. Social distancing at its finest. Three weeks after the first coronavirus case was found in Colorado, statewide cases reach 1430 with 24 deaths.

March 28, 2020 – President Trump grants Colorado’s major disaster declaration, freeing up additional federal funding and supplies.

March 29, 2020 – Colorado Department of Transportation suspended the Bustang and Outrider through at least April 11.

In March 2020 after I realized that this was more serious than I had first thought, I decided to stay in as much as possible. I go outside for walks as swimming is no longer an option. Dave does the grocery shopping. Joe came home (because we have food) and although we are paying for his apartment in Golden we are glad he is home with us. He is continuing his junior year of college from his bedroom upstairs with his computer and online classes. Jessica has been prepared since March 1. She has stayed in VA as her friends have also stayed and it would have been a very long trip home. Ben still has work at Shoe Carnival even though they have been closed to customers, he gets 8 hours a week. One day they shipped all the boots back. Another day the deep cleaned the store. My original trainer Ryan was WAY ahead of the curve and immediately began offering Zoom workouts and now has just added a once a week one on one workout via Zoom for me. My Rheumatologist has always said only 2 days of strength training so that is all I am doing. I try to go walk an easy trail and one where I won’t need a bathroom for the “other” days.

The stores are crazy. They are out of toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, lysol, milk, eggs, meat and chicken most days but Dave is taking care of the shopping. They have begun to limit you on most of those items as well. Sometimes it’s one carton of eggs per visit; other times it might be two. (Joe eats 8 eggs for breakfast.)

Since my kids taught me Zoom, we use Zoom for Bible fellowship now and for my Monday night Bible study with friends. It’s been great to see people’s faces as well as talk to them.

I’m going to do better with documenting in April. These are definitely unique times.

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