April 5, 2020

A Series of Unpredicted Events

Living through the first month of the pandemic.

A Series of Unpredicted Events

Life has a way of sneaking up on you and delivering a big helping of......the unexpected.  One of my favorite Jim Gaffigan lines...... "Imagine you are drowning, and then somebody hands you a baby."  

He used the analogy to describe having 4 children:)  I think it applies to the month of March 2020.  It's not all bad.  A little overwhelming and uncertain at times, but like a great comedic routine, there's been plenty of good times too!

Let's just back up for a min and start with:

COVID-19: this virus has turned the world on it's ear this past month.   It's been a little more than two months since it crossed my radar.  It feels like we've been living in chaos for years.    

1/27/2020: I first heard about this virus from a Pleasant Grove friend. She was a young woman when I first met her, but has since grown up and married. I'm friends with her on facebook.  In January she was on an exquisite trip to China with her husband.  I followed her posts.

She returned back to the USA a week or so later and has been fine.

2/2/2020: My dad and I usually exchange phone calls on Sunday evenings. During this call he told me about a couple from southern Utah that was in quarantine on a cruise ship all because of the Corona Virus.  He knows I don't watch the news..... so he informs me of things he thinks I should know about:)

"Are you really going to get on a cruise ship next week?  Aren't you worried?"

"Yes, I'm getting on a cruise ship next week.  No, dad.  I'm not worried.  Why?  I'm not sure why, but most things just don't seem scary anymore."  I think he's a bit disappointed in me.  

2/10/2020:  When we board the ship we fill out a form saying we have not been ill and we have not recently traveled to China.  

When we participate in the marriage vow renewal onboard the ship, the MC needs to fill some time.  He begins asking people....."Who is from California?"  people begin to cheer....  "Who is from Europe?"  others cheer.  "Who is from China?" Silence.

2/27/2020:  A few weeks later we travel to Houston, TX for the Lifestyles Unlimited Expo. Meet up with Taylor and Baylie.  Eat great food and have a wonderful time.  

2/28/2020: While we are in Houston, the church releases an email encouraging all members outside of the USA to stay at home and to not travel to General Conference in April.

On our return flight back, we notice a few people in the airport with hospital masks on and an additional sign or two about hand washing and Covid-19.

3/1/2020:  We come home to an unexpected package from the Carters.  Inside are books announcing we were going to be grandparents to a Carter Baby!!!  We are so excited! We spend the week enjoying the new status!  

3/6/2020:  We head up to the slopes for a quick ski trip.  On our way up to the mountain, Sydney unexpectedly calls.  She is in tears.  She is in St. Louis all by herself at a dr. appointment.  Their baby has died.  She is near the end of her first trimester.  It is absolutely heartbreaking.  

I make tentative plans to fly to Missouri the following week to support her during the surgery.  Logan is in the middle of D2 midterm finals.

3/7:  Damon and I both feel physically sick and terrible.  Grief hits us hard in this way.  In addition to the grief, we think we have come down with a cold.... or the flu.... or corona....  or allergies... the trees are in full-bud.  We have a cough and general body aches (which is usually grief)  No fever.  Who knows?  

Lizzie and Addie go to Preference.....Stag.

3/8/2020:  We go with Lizzie to take her Senior Pictures.   I've learned by now this is something special each of my girls have looked forward to.  And Tiffany Ringwood is very good at making them feel beautiful.

3/10/2020:  Lizzie advances in the Ambassador Scholarship Competition at DSU.  They LOVED her presentation.  

3/11/2020:  The Church announces the public will not be allowed to attend general conference, just the leaders, their families, and the choir.  They also announce all new missionaries will do their MTC training at home.  

Here's what we have learned about Covid-19:

Experts report that 90% of people who contract the virus have mild flu like symptoms which require no hospital treatments.  Of the 10% who become seriously ill and need hospitalization, 1-3% may die from respiratory difficulties.  

I am not sure what to make of it.  There have been massive changes in society, business, travel, and everyday human interactions.  Almost everyday...... there are new restrictions.

3/12/2020:  Universities and School Districts begin to announce they will be moving to online schooling until the end of March.  

The Governor of Utah announces public gatherings should be limited to 20.

The Church announces local meetings are cancelled.

March Madness is cancelled.

The NBA finals are cancelled.

My Celine Dion concert at the end of the month is cancelled :(

There is a shopping frenzy!  Long lines, No Toilet Paper, No Bottled Water.  People are going crazy buying things up!

3/13/2020:  Sydney's surgery takes place.  Logan is able to finish his finals early and accompany her.  Everything goes as expected.  We are so looking forward to them arriving in Utah next Tuesday.  To spoil them and love on them.  What a terrible ordeal.

The Church announces they will restrict temple attendance.  My niece Kate is supposed to get married next week.  Only the parents are allowed to attend the ceremony.  Her reception is canceled.  

Preston went to work today.  He coughed.  They sent him home. Later his company announced everyone would be working from home for the next two weeks.

Madalyn's graduate program will be online for the next two weeks.  The SLP clinic will remain open.

3/14/2020:  We have tickets to the Air Supply Concert.  They have canceled everything..... except this concert.  We really need to get out and escape life for a few hours.  It is Wonderful.  We feel like life's burdens are a bit lighter for a few hours as we dance and sing to old songs.

3/15/2020:  Businesses that are non-essential are encouraged to close.  TJ Maxx closes.  Most ski resorts close. Movie theaters close.  Salons and Spas close.

Brian Head remains open.

Madalyn's SLP clinic closes.  Her and Preston and the Doggo's make plans to come south.

Liz and I brave Costco for some groceries and we even find a Brisket at Harmons. There is plenty of food.

3/16/2020:  In person dining in SLC has ended.  Only take-out is available.  

The economic impact starts to mount in my mind.

The Creager's arrive :)

3/17/2020: We hear they will be shutting down in-person dining in St. George. We head over to Benja's to see if they are still open.  We enjoy a nice meal and are told they will be open for one more night.

The Carters arrive late tonight.  We head straight to "In and Out."  A favorite indulgence for them.  They won't let us eat inside.  So we sit outside, and then we get told we have to eat in our car.  The vibe of people being scared of people is unsettling.

3/18/2020:  The Salt Lake Valley wakes up to a 5.7 earthquake.

Universities cancel their commencement ceremonies.  

Brian Head decides to close.  

But......all of my girls are home!  Despite some crazy circumstances and crappy disappointments, I am so happy to have them all together.

We start some pastry dough.  We grab some breadsticks and poké for lunch. We hit Benja's one more time for dinner.

3/19/2020:  The Las Vegas Airport closes a tower.  This alters Laura and Spencer's travel plans for our reunion.  They instead fly to Phoenix and drive up with Taylor and Baylie.

The church makes an additional change to general conference.  No choir, no family members of general authorities, only the speakers in a small auditorium.   Missionaries will be sent home.

We bake the pastry and make Napoleon's.  Oh my Yum!  Maddy has mastered these! We play some new card games.

3/20/2020:  In the news, all jury trials are postponed.  A massive amount of missionaries arrive at the SLC airport and families flood the parking garage.  The next day their photos are all over social media...... with a healthy amount of shame.  Restrictions have now been set to 10 people at one gathering...... 6 feet apart.  

The Phoenix gang rolls into town around 3:30 am.  Q and Emily arrive around 1:30 pm.  DJ finishes off his brisket and we prepare some food to take up to the cabin. Heather meets us at the cabin.  Damon, Macall, and the kids are not able to make it this year.  We visit, eat, play games, and share in some great laughs.

It's so nice to escape up to a winter cabin and leave it all behind for a few days.

3/21/2020:  We enjoy the day hanging out with family, snowmobiling, crafting, and eating.  It's beyond peaceful at 10,ooo ft.

3/22/2020:  All of the Janis kids begin their journeys home.  Logan's school has been moved to online.  He cancels his airplane ticket and rebooks for later in the week.  

Coming home is a bit of a bummer.  It would be nice to stay up at Brian Head, with no internet, and no virus updates.  But our reunion 2020 has come to an end.  

Yes, there were more than 10 of us.  No, we didn't stand 6 feet apart.

When I reflect on this weekend, I am thankful for the opportunities life continues to afford us.  It's true that these get togethers take a fair amount of resources from everyone involved...... mentally, physically, monetarily.  Thank you to everyone.   We had a wonderful time!

3/23/2020:  We all lay low and take a day to re-charge.  The dogs and cats are happy we are back home.

The dentist office that Lizzie works at is now closed except for special emergency cases.   She goes in when needed.

3/24/2020: Preston is working from home.  Maddy, Logan, and Lizzie are all doing school work online.  There have been several major adjustments, but they are all doing very well.

All elective surgeries are canceled in the state of Utah.

We stop by the grocery store and notice "6 feet social distancing" signs everywhere. There are even X's on the floor so you know where to stand when checking out. There is also a plexi-glass barrier in front of the cashiers.  Costco is now limiting the number of people in the store at one time.  They have you line up in a wooden pallet que.  Same X's on the floor, 6 feet apart.  Only two customers per card may enter. There is plenty of food when you get in.  Still no toilet paper.  

We decide to go to the park to play some pickle ball and then we hear a quilt shop is open...... so field trip!

Maddy shows us a special way to get the skin off of Salmon via hot water..... and we have a delicious dinner.  Syd, Logan, and I go for a walk and  explore new homes under construction in the neighborhood. Preston gets a clean shave.

The woman at the fabric store shared with us a funny video.  We laughed and laughed.

3/25/2020:  It's Sydney and Logan's last day before they go home to Missouri.  I have loved having everyone here for the past 10 days.  What an unexpected gift. We make the most of it!  Various take out options, sewing, gymnastics, and Syd even read us a book!

In virus news, the church closes all of the Temples.  

3/26/2020:  Syd and Logan fly out super early, they check out a new home in St. Louis during a lay over, and make it home safely to Kirksville before dark.

Maddy and I take on an Easter sewing project!

Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks close.

3/27/2020: The Governor of Utah closes public schools until May. (I'm so glad I'm not teaching school!)

We discovered a water heater leaking :(

DJ and I head out for our usual Friday night date.  We get take out from Benja's and notice Barnes and Noble has their doors propped open.  We venture inside and have a blast looking at strange books!

3/28/2020:    The city has closed all the parks including pickle ball courts.  

3/29/2020:  We discover a Hilton hotel up near Zion that is open and barely occupied.  We book a few nights.  DJ heads up to check out the hotel.  I'm heading up tomorrow after the plumber comes.

I love having these people (and dogs) in my house!  Lizzie gets the exciting news that Hunter is flying home tonight!

3/30/2020: Hunter is home!  But in quarantine for 14 days! Lizzie is enjoying texting, face timing, and sending Hunter treats.

Damon says the Hilton is nice and very peaceful.  

Maddy and I finish two more Easter Bunnies!  It is "sew" fun to make bunnies with her!

$1,000 later we have a new water heater :)

Lizzie drove me up to meet Damon this evening.  I love the grand majesty of these rocks. We enjoy a nice walk along the Virgin River.  It is a ghost town up here.

3/31/2020:  It's a beautiful, warm day!  Maddy and Lizzie come up after they finish their school work.  We lay out by the pool, enjoy a mango popsicle, and check out Simply Birkenstock.... a favorite shoe store.  

In the evening after the girls leave, we enjoy more time by the river.  A mom and her 2 young girls are playing below us.  We love their free spirits.  I capture a picture of a single iris by the river, and a really good looking kind husband.

That evening I set up a sewing project and work on an Easter gift for the grand-babies:  Navy, Cobolt, and a NEW BABY Janis addition coming this fall!  Damon programs and I sew until our late checkout the following day at 2pm.  

And that gets us to April 1st.  The world is still shut down.  Economic calamities continue to grow.  The virus is still spreading and continues to kill a small percentage of those infected.

We have no idea what the current circumstances will lead us to experience, but at this very moment: We are loving our time with the Creager's!  We are counting down the days until we can see Hunter!  We are making plans to help Sydney and Logan relocate later this month.  And we so treasure the life we share together.