Are some Texas Schools Not rEporting COVID-19 Cases

Last week was the first week of school for our children
in Bell County. It was brought to my attention by my husband, who works with a parent from Belton ISD, that Belton has a case of COVID-19 in their school. The parents were sent an email about the spread. As of today, the incident hasn’t been in the news. I informed one of my children’s teachers about the case. She informed me that some of the teachers at my children’s school are not being updated properly. At a time when transparency is important, people are being strategic in their reporting.

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This is the reason why my children are remote learners. I strongly fear the information coming out of the school system will be somewhat misleading due to reporting issues. How are parents supposed to make educated decisions on the future of education when schools are not properly updating information? Take the Belton situation, for example, if my husband’s co-worker has to quarantine, the families involved will not just be limited to Belton, it will also be Temple and Killeen.

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At this time, I am calling for a clear understanding of COVID-19 numbers in the schools. Our teachers and students deserve the best information without weeks of delays. If neighboring districts fall victim to outbreaks of COVID-19, it should be imperative that the information is shared between close school districts. All it takes is one case to infect multiple people from different cities within one county.

Texas Starts Reopening State Parks & Some Retail Stores With Certain Guidelines This Week.

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At the end of week we will mark a very telling move in our battle to stay COVID-19 free. For many of us, we have been monitoring our movements, and listening very closely to our government. This week in some ways, that will change. If ever there was a time when people turned their back on the government, I think you will see it happening this week with the COVID-19 situation.

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It’s simple for many of us, we are not engaging in risky behavior like mass gathering until we hear the CDC say it is ideal for the government to reopen. Our government has shown that they cannot be trusted to do the right thing in regards to following advice from the CDC. Take Texas for example, A three phase rule was put into place as a road map for reopening the states. Texas has not mastered the first rule which details a decline in COVID-19 cases for at least 14 days. Not only has Texas not mastered the first phase, but Texas hasn’t tested nearly enough people to claim any sort of success. If anything lawsuits have helped to bring us to where we are today.

It’s simple, some of us are not caving. In my city, we already have multiple businesses as essential. We have pawn shops, loan places, banks, restaurants (Drive Thru), gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores, Best Buy (saw cars in parking lot), Target, Walmart’s, Sams, Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Aldi open to the public. Our COVID-19 numbers keep going up which probably have something to do with the amount of things that never really closed down. The retail section of Governor Abbott’s move to reopen Texas does not bother me as much as the move to open state parks.

Social distancing was put in place to prevent large amounts of people from standing near each other in the stores, but nothing really mandated any of the organizations I named above to shut down. If anything, what the new retail policy will look like, will be more stores having to deliver, take togo orders, and utilize shipping opportunities. As of this date, our numbers continue to increase, so does the largest city in our county. We were the epicenter for a month or two. Now, the city outside of Fort Hood has taken on that title. Killeen which is the largest city in Bell County happens to be the feeder city to the Army base. There have been reports of soldiers coming down with the virus and once again the numbers in Killeen are rising everyday.

So, with new guidelines opening up more places, we will see some rises in COVID-19. There’s no telling how many people have COVID-19 in this state because we never really shut down. Churches stayed open for service, while schools shut down for the rest of the school year.

My fear is seeing something like we saw in Florida this past weekend. Our state parks are known for cookouts, swimming, fishing, and loads of recreational outlets. I do not see how park rangers will be able to monitor all parks and people congregating on hundreds of acres in various places. It’s like the drinking thing, you aren’t supposed to bring beer to the parks, yet people do it all the time. Are you telling me that the rangers will look at every park goer and monitor their face and enforce the mask, six feet apart, and limited 5 person per group order the entire duration of their stay? Parks are open for hours. How will the recreational lovers eat if they are participating in a cookout? That face mask will have to come off.

It just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. It will encourage more gathering and the chance to spread something that many people might not know they have. The weather here in Texas is very unpredictable, it could be 58 today and tomorrow the temperature could reach 80 degrees. So, it wouldn’t be uncommon for people to just pass something off as being a seasonal cough or sickness caused by the weather. I would feel so much better if we were not seeing rising numbers of COVID-19.

However, there is a glimmer of light for our county. While the number of people contracting COVID-19 continues to climb, the number of people cured also continues to climb in our area. We have more than enough hospital beds due to this area being surrounded by hospitals. I wish I could say the same for some of the other areas in Texas. I grew up in a small country town with only one store, and one Post Office. That is a recurring situation in many of the small towns in Texas. Some of these towns have hospitals that might be at least 15 to 20 minutes away in other cities.

So, once again, I hope we do not see a rise in cases. However, I do not see how we will miss a surge with more options for people to gather. While the cases are not overwhelming yet, it could change if people get careless. We need to know how many people in this state currently have COVID-19. It would help people monitor their movements a little more.

Explaining The Response Of The Government To Children In A COVID-19 Atmosphere

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My 18 year old daughter wanted to go on a date with a person she’s been talking to during shelter-in-place. Her understanding was that we were now in a better place with the virus since or governor eased up on the shelter-in-place policy. With parts of Texas opening back up and our president calling for a liberation of some states with shelter-in-place, the virus is starting to look like it is ending, to young people.

I agreed that both leaders have given the green light in some instances, but that it doesn’t mean we were out of the woods. I then informed her that we have the highest amount of people with the virus and that we also have lost the most people of any single country. As for our state, we haven’t even tested a good 10 percent of the population with people dying each day and new cases on the rise.

Just as the words made no since coming out of my mouth, a look of confusion flashed across her face. I continued and explained that COVID-19 was still pretty much a threat which is why school has been cancelled for the rest of the school year. She agreed that now wasn’t the time for the date and that it was probably best to listen to mom on this one.

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I used to think our government was somewhat smarter than the general population. I mean, in order to lead a state, nation, you would think they would be at least smart enough to know when to advance to go. Perhaps it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, it is my job to take care of my family. The sad fact is that COVID-19 is increasing in numerous states. Our nation is now downplaying the threat just like they downplayed the likelihood of it causing any real risk to America.

My fellow friends, now is the time to stock up and be careful. Do not take extra risk and do not be fooled by the people who are willing to risk life for money. The Bible tells us that money is the root to all evil. I used to wonder in what capacity could money be evil, but then this situation took place. I believe we are being lied to from the top levels of government to stimulate the economy. This means the economy will get enough of a jump to boost up momentarily only to see a fall when newly infected individuals start to get sick.

Do not let your guard down. You do not have to go out and purchase all the food from your local market, but take notice of where your supplies are coming from. Know where local meat markets are located and stores that sell extra items. In case another shelter-in-place command comes down, you will be ready. Even if you are just buying one or two items a day, make sure you are buying something that you can use in case of an emergency.

Use your Nextdoor Apps to check on your neighbors. A lot of people are asking for help on the app and even setting up groups that go out and provide aid. Continue to help where you can, but do it in a way that keeps you and your family safe. Some of the hospitals that are dealing with COVID-19 are asking for donations, now would also be a great time to give a little to help those people. We might not be able to trust government, but we can still be there for each other.

If you are from other countries, post your information in my comment section and if you need help, we can try to do what we can to get you the help you need. All life matters and until we are all healthy and living the life we want to live, we should be trying to be there for each other. So hugs to all of you from all over the world! I know we are not the only ones hurting at this hour. To my readers in India, Spain, Italy, France, Philippians, UK, Ireland, US, Canada, and Poland I am sending my hugs. If I missed anyone, I am sorry.

Kisses from Texas!!

Seeing My Life Through A COVID-19 Lens

It’s almost 5 AM on this Monday morning. Normally, I would be trying to grab at least one more hour until the alarm clock buzzed me out of bed. The house is silent and the kids are fast asleep. They used the weekend to complete homework assignments due to them not having anything else to do. In two hours my husband will get up and log into his computer for the start of his work day. It is the new normal that so many of us are seeing right now.

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I’m wondering if I should make eggs for breakfast today, but I now have less than a dozen. The health professionals are telling us to watch our trips to the grocery stores because we are playing an alternate version of duck duck goose every time we walk out the door. So, the idea of eggs for today’s breakfast is slowly starting to fade away. Rice or oatmeal will be the winner for today’s breakfast which will more than likely be the winner for days to come.

Putting food rationing aside for a moment, I noticed something new about my husband. Perhaps it wasn’t new, it was just forgotten. Our cat had a kitten and we named her Penny. My husband is so gentle with Penny and loving. I forgot that side of him. He has a nurturing side that’s so alluring and comforting. When the girls were little, he was the same way with them. I love to see their interactions. He’s able to relate to them and laugh with them in ways that I cannot. I fear I lack a sense of humor, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try to crack a joke.

I’ve noticed that my girls are turning into young women. They are doing their homework and trying to be brave. There are days that they miss their friends terribly, but they keep in touch with them over social networking platforms. While I am scared just like many of you are, I am also thankful.

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Two years ago when I gave up my job to spend more time with my girls, I struggled with the decision. I couldn’t help but think back to the dying toddler that required my final permission after the parents gave theirs to be taken off life support. I couldn’t help but think about how they hunkered down in her room praying for a miracle. They moved all her favorite blankets and laid them upon her tiny little body perhaps thinking that in some small way, it would make her come back to them.

There was a lesson to be learned that night. The lesson was how we look at time and spending it with those we love. So many of us have been guilty of feeling prideful over items that can be replaced at any given point. I had this walnut European piece of furniture that I used to love. It was for a long time my pride and joy until one day a group of movers lost all the required pieces to place it back together.

This is a painting of the wall unit I lost many years ago. Yes, I actually painted a picture of it.

I remember feeling so sad after I had to trash the pieces of wood and say goodbye to those memories. However, it wasn’t the end of the world. There would be other pieces of furniture. As I started to process the death of the child, I often thought about the European piece of furniture. It was here today and gone tomorrow. It was nothing more than a cold, solid, storage space taking up room in my house. However, my children were warm, sweet, caring, living, loving, and deserving of so much more than the material junk I was trying to bring home to add value to our lives.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t worry about replaceable things. Value those lives that can never be replaced and focus on loving your loved ones harder than ever before. Hug longer, kiss harder, and let this be your defining moment. Months ago we were planning on finding our perfect eco-friendly house, and now we are just trying to stay safe and healthy. Life lessons keep coming. Have a great day.