When Opening The States Causes Confusion With Teenagers

Yesterday after my children and I arrived home, my 14 year old ran into the computer room and asked me about hand sanitizer. I really didn’t think much about her reason behind asking. I blurted out the location and went back to what I was doing. About ten minutes later my 22 year old walked in the room and informed me that one of Alison’s friends had magically appeared on our doorstep. She went on to explain how Alison was about to hyperventilate because she feared I was going to ground her until she was 20.

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Apparently, her friend biked all the way from her house to our house which is about twenty minutes away. I walked to the door and looked out the window and noticed that my daughter had on her N95 mask and had given her friend one. At first I was a little upset because of the situation, but then I thought about it for a second. How can we expect our children to understand the dangers of being out in this pandemic when our leaders lack the understandings of dealing with it?

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This weekend I saw multiple children hanging out with their friends and acting as if things were back to normal. At this point, it is a waiting game. The governor doesn’t want to open the schools up because he is afraid of children coming down with the virus, but he is opening up other avenues for children to get sick. As a mother, I can do everything I can in my power to keep my girls safe. However, I cannot control other people’s behaviors. I do not even want to dare think of any negative outcome of yesterday’s visit. I just pray that our children remain safe.

I am thankful that my daughter knew enough about social distancing and wearing her mask, but that doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. The government is sending mixed messages in regards to safety. On one hand, it is safe enough to go get your hair and nails done by someone standing directly over you, but it isn’t okay to sit next to your best friend in math class. If one form of protection is needed to preserve the youth, why aren’t all avenues covered in protecting the youth? A sick mother, father, hair dresser, or friend sitting next to a child all produces the same outcome.

And if you are wondering, I didn’t ground Ally. I told her I was proud of her for practicing social distancing and wearing her mask. She hugged me and said she was so happy I didn’t freak out. Silently, I was freaking out!!!

Thanks to all those that follow and read my blog. You make waking up at 3 AM worth it!!

Special Edition: Texas Opening During COVID-19 Outbreak- NO VISIBLE MASK !

With less than three weeks after Governor Abbott opened parts of Texas, we are now seeing mobs of people appear in various places. We are used to the high numbers of people showing up at grocery stores with their mask and gloves. The mask have been recommended by the CDC as a means to keep the transmission of COVID-19 to a minimum. Yet, today we witnessed something alarming. We visited a state park in central Texas with an undisclosed amount of people and the vast majority of them did not have on any sort of mask.

There were large amounts of people often gathered in groups larger than five. Normally when you pull up to a state park, the ranger, clerk, or receptionist takes your money at the gate. Today the person behind the glass window politely waved people through with the window closed. It felt as if you were visiting two different worlds.

In this bottom picture you will notice our local police department patrolling the area. They weren’t giving out any citations perhaps because nearly the entire park was without the CDC’s requested PPE wear.

If it weren’t for the pictures below, you wouldn’t even remember that we are in the middle of an outbreak. Just a few miles over, lines were starting to form at department stores. Some of the stores were opening with noticeable limits on how many people were allowed to enter at once. As you see, there still seems to be an issue with people standing six feet apart.

While some businesses were opening with strict rules on occupancy, there were others who refused to open at all.

These businesses perhaps tell the tale of what we are still looking at in terms of recovery. We are not out of the woods yet, but our government would have us to believe that all is better. With our governor not sending firm consequences for breaking protocols, he is setting the state of for an epic fail. All we can do is remember these signs stand for a reason. Trusting the government right now might not be an option because the government is thinking about monetary gain and not lives being saved.

Craving Normalcy During COVID-19

It’s so easy right now to let your guard down and pretend like things are normal. We see stores opening, people running to the beach and other things that resemble a country free of our current threat. We turn on the TV and our leaders are all chanting about getting back to normalcy and getting this economy back to a healthy state. However, privately they are talking about how we are still walking in the shadows of death.

It is enough to run a person mad. We are living in such a contradiction in regards to what happens next. This week I found out that the Taco Bell that we ordered food from within the past few weeks is now temporarily closed because a worker tested positive for COVID-19. Even if you try to be safe, there’s always the chance of the unknown slipping in. I think about the Ubereat’s drivers who have picked up from that eatery and other eateries. How do you contain something like a virus especially after the protective measures have been relaxed?

Then you hear the president talking about more death and of course our governor talking about how opening up will cause more causes of COVID-19 and you wonder what is life worth to those at the top? Are we only worth the amount of money we can bring in? One of our news stations is reporting that we now have a 911 center that is currently undergoing testing for COVID-19. Some of the workers have tested positive, will a large majority undergoing testing. https://www.tdtnews.com/news/central_texas_news/article_48dd8068-8b01-11ea-8228-8f1d7b96c4ec.html

Do you know how small our county is? Do you know how damaging it would be for any city within our county to come down with an outbreak of COVID-19 in their emergency response systems? When these politicians talk about the threat of hospitals being over run with COVID-19, they do not bring up other essential services like police departments, 911 control centers, or fire departments. Unless you are diligent in searching the events that take place in your areas, you will never get a real idea of what’s going on.

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I beg you to use daily Google checks for your areas, use the tool tab to narrow the search down to 24 hours. Do not leave it up to someone tainted by politics to dictate your movements in regards to safety. While we might be thirsting for getting back to normal, normal might never be the normal we used to know. We have to remain watchful, and make sure we are not in the number of people that will be causalities on this war on finance. Do what you must, but understand that you can be here today and quarantined tomorrow. Stay safe, and wash those hands.

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.