I’m changing around the format of this as we’ve passed the two-month mark under quarantine and less is changing on a day-by-day basis. It’s still important to me to track all this, especially as the state government forces us all to open everything up and (I predict) then cause a major spike in illnesses, but I’m going to split it up into categories rather than days.
Same caveat applies, though: If your mental health is at a point where you cannot bear to hear more about quarantine stuff, skip to the bottom of this post for a list of positives and highlights and Nice Things. We all need some of that right now!
This Week in Numbers
Our local health team took a much needed break over the weekend – literally their first break since mid-March – so there was a bit of catch-up in the numbers on Monday and beyond. The city also changed its website, supposedly to make it more user-friendly, but really they just succeeded in putting all the info onto multiple pages instead of one. Ah well. It just means I have a few “no data” days. Also, with asymptomatic testing happening now, there’s been no recovery data since the 15th. It makes sense, as it would be really difficult to count “recoveries” for people who never had any symptoms.
- Friday, May 15th: 2120, 62 deaths, 1071 recoveries
- Saturday, May 16th: No data
- Sunday, May 17th: No data
- Monday, May 18th: 2213, 62 deaths
- Tuesday, May 19th: 2278, 62 deaths
- Wednesday, May 20th: 2322, 63 deaths
- Thursday, May 21st: 2371, 64 deaths
Totals for the week unfortunately are quite high – 330 new cases and another 5 deaths. I don’t know how much of this can be attributed to asymptomatic testing and how much is due to the early reopening and willful ignorance of people refusing to use masks.
This Week in San Antonio
On Monday, the governor announced his next phase of opening the state, which included specific opening dates and limitations on child care facilities, gyms, massage parlors, bars, bowling alleys, zoos, youth sports, etc. Pretty much the only businesses that can’t open in some capacity now are amusement parks and concert halls (the latter of which has pointed out that they fit fewer patrons than megachurches, so should qualify for opening under these same terms). I still think this is all too soon, especially as the state is up to record numbers of daily cases and deaths. At least the state is still prohibiting gatherings outside of members of your household. That’s one thing to hold on to. Not that most people are paying attention, sigh.
Locally, we’re trying to figure out how things are going to move forward. School districts are starting to make plans for potential hybrid models of learning. There’s legal action in both state and federal courts regarding mail-in ballots for our elections, which have already been moved back several months. Our jail system is becoming massively overcrowded because the state prison system and mental health system haven’t been taking the inmates they’re supposed to for the last few months (not a great thing, given our COVID19 outbreak at the jail). Our libraries, which were originally set to open up again after the 19th, have extended their closure for the foreseeable future, though they’ve announced that a reopening plan is in process. San Antonio extended our shelter-at-home order through June 4th.
Other noteworthy happenings this week:
- A legal firm here will be offering free wills and estate planning for 600 hospital workers, which is really kind.
- Vaccine testing is apparently going faster than expected/normal and there’s a possibility that a vaccine will be approved and available by the end of 2020. I hope that’s not just wishful thinking!
- Carbon emissions worldwide have dropped majorly during quarantine with the shelter-in-place orders.
This Week at Home
I finished the first stage of xeriscaping the yard this week, buying the rest of our plants (mostly mediterranean herbs that will thrive over our insane summers) and planting them. Jason got the mulch down, and it feels great to have one little part of the yard DONE. It only took a few days and cost less than expected, plus I’m really excited to see how all the baby plants are already thriving. I always expect plants to freak out and wither a bit before their roots recover from transplanting, but every single one out there – a total of ~35 – has not only weathered the transplant, but is fuller and putting off new growth already. Some that we didn’t even know should flower have done so! I love this so much. Our little herb garden is going to be such a beautiful jumbled mix! Can’t wait to get to the next phase.
It’s lovely to get the yard prettier, because I’m starting to have more lawn visits. We finally met the neighbors – it’s funny how people view you more kindly if you do something nice to your yard, I’ve noticed – who came to talk about our gardening. We’ve also seen our former neighbors out walking a couple more times. And my friend Stephanie came over to hang out on Sunday. We sat in the shade about eight feet apart; drank coffee and chatted and pointed out all the lizards and mini-dragonflies around us. I forgot to get a picture, sadly!
I’ve been struggling a lot this week with mental health issues. May is my heavy PTSD-triggered month, and between that, the heat, the isolation, and the inability to get outside to exercise as often as I’d like, I’m really not doing all that well. But I’m trying, and I’m really looking forward to next month when my hiking group will start having some small (5-person-max) gatherings!
Other notable happenings this week: I donated blood! So happy I was able to do so this time. Jason found hand sanitizer at the store for the first time since quarantine began. Heh. My brother-in-law has been sick for a few weeks and while all the symptoms have been GI, he’s now getting free COVID19 testing through his employer. Fingers crossed! My sister tells us that he still leaves the house far more often than he should.
Positives and Highlights and Nice Things
It was a tough week, so I don’t have a lot to share here, but a few positive things happened (sorry for the repeats from above):
- finishing the first phase of our xeriscaped garden and the lovely unexpected flowers
- I was actually able to donate blood! And while Jason still couldn’t donate, he found out that the restrictions barring him should be lifted by August!
- that awesome video of the Scottish woman who tried to make a mask from socks
- more pictures and videos of my sister’s foster kittens, who are now six weeks old
- videos of my mom’s new baby chickens!
- safe yard meetup with my friend Stephanie
- Laurence finished his AP test and Ambrose finished his third of four (last one to be done today)
- my sister (not the same one from above) sent me a digital copy of her wedding video from eight years ago (it was their anniversary this week), which made me very happy because I love that video and it was removed from youtube sometime in the last year
I’ve watched a few very sad things happen for some of you this week and I’m sending all my love. I hope the rest of you are well. Please stay safe as our country tries to John Wayne its way through this virus.
I’m with you in that things are opening up way too soon. We were home for 8 weeks, summoned to a work meeting on a Friday, and to report back to work full time that following Monday… no easing in, no rotating staff, just back at it. I see way too many people out and about and it’s frustrating and scary. I hate that I have to be out now.
On a positive note, I LOVE your yard! I am now off to Google xeriscaping LOL.
Most people, when they think of xeriscaping (which for years I thought was called “zeroscaping” haha!), they think of cactus, especially here in Texas. But with our last yard, we discovered that there are a lot of native plants that live well even in bright sun, massive heat, and extreme drought. (non-cactus plant) We turned our last yard into what looked like an english cottage garden. It won’t be the same here because we don’t have to tier it out, but I plan to have a lot of fun with it and to eventually get rid of all the grass!