It’s been a while. The last journal was about Brother graduating from Kindergarten. Now we’re a little over a week until he starts First Grade. Virtually. The Last Safer at Home Order Journal was over a month ago, around the time Brother turned 6. I figured it was time to update you two on what’s been going on lately.
First of all, remember at the end of May when SpaceX and NASA launched two astronauts into space? They spent about 2 months at the ISS before they came back about a week ago. I wouldn’t have even known it was happening unless I was checking for anything interesting for us to watch while we waited for Dad to get back with dinner. We missed the undocking on Saturday, but splashdown wasn’t until Sunday morning our time, so we didn’t miss too much.
It was fun to watch, though I think both of you found the launch to be more exciting. At least, until it re-entered the atmosphere. 3200 degrees Fahrenheit! It was a beautiful pristine white when it went up. It was compared to a toasted marshmallow when it splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico. The crazy thing is there was a hurricane on the other side of Florida. It was fun to watch some really fast boats race their way over and then get it loaded onto the retrieval ship (the 40 or so members of the retrieval team had to be tested and quarantined beforehand because we’re still dealing with the pandemic). It took longer to get the astronauts out because there were some rocket fuel vapors (you’re asking the wrong person here if you want to know exactly what they were), but they were quickly purged and we got to see the astronauts emerge.
So, a bit of fun over the past few weeks. That was probably the most interesting thing that happened.
Things aren’t looking so great in our county, kids. The state had some kind of problem with their electronic reporting system, so, for at least 2 weeks, the county was not getting an accurate count of cases (not that we can even trust that that’s accurate). It’s still high, though. I remember when our highest case count had been a little over 700. That seems so long ago now. Now over 2000 is normal and 3000 isn’t a stretch. It’s mostly people under 50 these days. Fortunately, the hospitalization rate has dropped. Unfortunately, more kids across the county are testing positive because some schools have reopened.
Brother, yours has not. Our county does not meet the criteria set out by the state to allow for any school reopenings. We must have no more than 200 cases per 100,000 residents. We…are much higher than that. But the district decided earlier in the summer for an online only start. School starts in about a week and a half. I’m nervous about how it’ll go. The school day is scheduled to be from 9-2:15. How that’ll work, well, I guess we’ll find out. And of course I decided now was the perfect time to start potty training Sister. But we’ll get through it. Somehow. We’re lucky. I’m home with you two and don’t have to worry about a job. Still, it’s hard to wrap my head around how I’m going to do school with Brother and take care of Sister at the same time.
We saw Nana and Papa last weekend. It was really hot, but we got to hang out in the backyard for a little bit. It was nice to see them, but I was so paranoid about potentially getting them sick since Dad still goes in to work and there are well over 200 workplaces in our county that have outbreaks. That’s over 4000 cases in workplaces. And that’s just the reported ones. Anyways, all of us adults wore masks and kept our distance. We had our family Zoom session and Nana and Papa were fine, so it looks like we’re not asymptomatic. Yay us.
There’s also some good news that the vaccines look promising. Dad has been keeping up with all of it and it could start being available by the end of the year or beginning of the next. At least, it’s promising as long as people wear masks and keep their distance to prevent the virus from mutating and making the vaccine useless. That’s the main thing: if too many people are infected, the virus mutates, and that means the vaccine might not work against that mutation. At least, that’s what Dad says. I think. We’ll find out soon enough. All I know is that as soon as there is a working vaccine, we’re all getting pricked for as many times as it takes to offer us at least some protection. I don’t think there’s enough chocolate in the world for me to get through another year of this pandemic. It’s only been 5 months since we initially locked down, but it feels like forever. Ask your friends. Ask your friends’ parents. They will probably remember this time, and not necessarily with fondness. Still, there are silver linings. Dad’s home more often.
Well, kids, there’s not too much else. There’s an enormous fire, the Apple Fire, not far from your aunt and uncle. They’re safe, but they can see if from their house. Fire season has started, and, boy, has it started.
Both of you have been bouncing off the walls. We have some interesting games we play throughout the day. It keeps you both occupied. We’ve also discovered you both love the Despicable Me and Minions movies, so we watch those a lot. For now, we’re just going to rest and relax and enjoy a week off before school starts.