Friday, February 02, 2024

A fresh air day

Phoebe, the boys, and I spent the day at the park. It's usually empty during the day when school is in session and it kept us out of the house and in the fresh air. For the most part everyone has been good about masking inside the house...but Phoebe doesn't understand why she should have to do it's better to simply keep her where the air is clean.

In fact, when I first donned my mask inside, Phoebe ran to find a mask, and begged to have someone help her put it on, saying, "Me go, too! Me go, too!"

"I'm not going anywhere," I told her. "But you can wear a mask."

She wore it for a few minutes and then tossed it aside. So, yeah—outside it is. And with no one else around, I don't feel too badly about potentially spreading germs. They'll have plenty of time to dissipate before anyone comes by.

Here's Benjamin scowling at me after I told him he could do a few more math problems: 

And here's Alexander showing how happy he is to be doing his work:

Benjamin was more interested in playing disc golf than doing his math (though he did great math work today). He set up the basket by himself and he and I played a few rounds (poorly on my part, and fairly well on his (my aim is...not great)).

Here is Phoebe taking a turn putting some discs in the basket:

"Me dood it!" she told me. Just like she picked out her outfit for the day...

I'm not quite sure you can see the shirt she has on underneath her yellow pants, so I'll tell you that it was a red and white checked shirt. Paired with those rather loud patterned pants, it was quite the outfit. But she "dood" it on her own and was quite proud of it. 

Here's Alexander making his way toward the basket:

And here are the kids playing in the sand


We'll keep getting as much fresh air (and avoiding as many people) as possible until everyone is well. 

Our theory is that Zoë was exposed to the virus during co-op. Not that it truly matters. I get that it's everywhere...but that's just it—it's everywhere. That's, uh, why we wear masks. But because we have so little contact with others, we still feel inclined to analyze our behaviour to see where and how we got sick. So, our theory is that Zoë was exposed to the virus during co-op.

When we were talking about everywhere we went during the week—church, the library, music lessons, co-op—Rachel and I locked eyes and knew we were each thinking about the same family. 

See, when we were in the nursery there was a little boy who was being the point that his own mother (who was also hanging out in the nursery) was concerned about his behaviour, asking him a few times if he was ill. 

So I looked up the family and saw that this lethargic boy (let's call him T) had a brother (let's call him W) in Zoë's class. 

I asked her how her class went on Thursday and where she was sitting. She told me that she shared a table with two other people—her little friend L and this other boy W. 

When I asked Zoë whether she had taken her mask off during class, she hung her head. Indeed she had. Because the teacher told her that she would "have to" remove her mask to participate in a certain activity, so Zoë did. 

This was one of my major concerns about returning to primary, for example, or participating in co-op, or whatever—that the grown ups, who should be looking after my children's health, would urge them to make choices that are harmful to their health. It happened several times when my teenagers were first attending their church classes. Their teachers wanted to see their smiling faces, or would ask them to justify why they were wearing masks, etc.

I know Zoë's teacher didn't mean that she had to remove her mask and participate in the activity. She merely meant that participation in the activity would require mask removal. Zoë could have said no...but Zoë is eight years old and shouldn't be given that option. 

Like, honestly, this is a hoity-toity co-op group. There are kids who aren't allowed sugar or red dye or whatever and teachers are supposed to honour requests like that, but a masks are...not on the list of things that any other mothers in the co-op are concerned about, for whatever reason. Still, the fact that we clearly are concerned about face masks (we're, uh, wearing that's a hint) should be valued, and my children shouldn't be persuaded to remove their masks in class by their teachers for any reason. 

The reason, in this case, was that the teacher had planned an activity where the children would be blowing into straws to keep a paper snowflake aloft...or make the paper snowflake travel a certain distance...or... I'm not really sure what the activity was because Zoë was having a hard time describing it (or its purpose). Just know that it involved children blowing into straws in some sort of snowflake competition and that one of the people Zoë had to compete against was...W, the boy whose brother in the nursery was not looking so hot. 

Honestly, I don't know that this family has COVID. And I don't know if anyone else at co-op has developed COVID. There's no good way to find out that information because...people very often don't tell. And, whatever...

It just makes me think about that time Miriam got lice when she was in elementary school. 

I looked over at her in the middle of sacrament meeting and saw a bug crawling in her hair and told Andrew we had to leave right away. We treated her hair. I spent hours combing through to remove nits (Miriam has always had a very dense head of hair; at least from the age of three onwards). The school secretary was in our ward, so I asked her whether I should send Miriam to school or not. I think Miriam ended up missing at least that Monday, but then she returned to school, and the school sent home a note with all of her classmates, alerting parents that "a student in your child's classroom has had head lice" (or something to that effect). Of course, all of Miriam's classmates guessed that she was the one with lice, and they all teased her about it, which...seemed a little silly to me...because clearly Miriam had picked the lice up from someone else. 

It wasn't anyone in our house (no one else got lice; just Miriam), so it must have been someone at school... Where else would she have picked up lice? Very likely someone in her classroom, right? And that person got it from someone else...who got it from someone else... Head lice doesn't just...spontaneously appear...

Getting head lice (or COVID) isn't a moral failing. But it's certainly more ethical to be the one to say "this stops with me" than it is to be the one who says "how embarrassing; I just won't tell anyone."

At least, in my opinion.

So, anyway, we have COVID...again...

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