LIFE TODAY

We have just completed two weeks of social distancing due to the Coronavirus. Life has been very interesting. But overall, I think our family has adjusted to it very well. Honestly, our lives have not been impacted as much as others'. The kids have been schooling at home. I've ran a strict schedule and they understand the need for structure so Mommy and Daddy can both work from home. Their days pretty much mimic a regular school day with snack and lunch times. The school day starts at 8am promptly and ends at around 4pm. We also incorporate PE, recess, and even house chores (putting away dishes, vaccuming, and doing laundry) all strictly enforce by me, Mrs. Mom (as the kids like to call me during school hours). The teachers have all posted tons of work online. We are barely able to keep up in finishing the week's assignments. Buzz's fourth grad class has more work to do, but I've been able to give Ahgoo supplemental work or art projects to do when she's completed her week's assignments. In addition, schools have started to host zoom sessions and lectures. Each week, there'll be regular zoom lectures for a few hours, just to stay connected with their teachers and classmates. Both kids miss their teachers because their substitute teacher is way more strict! Ha, ha! The Chinese school have started up again with Zoom lectures as well. The kids have also been doing Facetime piano lessons with their piano teacher. But we are missing swimming classes, art class for Ahgoo, and Taekwondo for Buzz.

Work's been good. My connectivity from home has actually been better than when I was in the office. I've been even more productive from home. The only thing I've missed is the "hallway converstions" with my co-workers but we've made up for it somewhat with group texts and phone calls. Some of the benefits of working from home are I've been able to start the workday earlier (at 7am) without having to commute and dropping kids off at school, not having to wear heels and suits to work, and most importantly, easy access to the kitchen for food! Also, since we've had a few weeks of rainy weather, not having to commute has been awesome.

But what about the dog? Well, we've also keep Kepler on a very regular schedule. Mr. BAW walks him in the moring and we take him down to his den in the garage the same time as we would when we all leave for work/school. Then we let him out for the rest of the day the times we would normally "get home from work." I want to make sure he's kept on a strict schedule so things are as normal as possible for him. However, this week has certainly not been normal for Kepler! We decided to get him neutered, just in time for Spring. The sugery went well. He's on his way to recovery. But he HATES the dreaded cone and have tried many times to bite it off. After only one day, he's already bitten off a corner of it. Kepler is the complete opposite of Toby. Toby used to be scared of the cone and wouldn't move if he's wearing it. But Kepler just runs amuck while wearing it, trying to shake it off and chew it off. Ha, it just has to last a few more days til he gets his sutures off.

On weekends, we try to make things different so it still feels like a weekend. We make the kids a big breakfast of waffles or pancakes. The kids still has Chinese school (now online), and we usually go out somewhere so they can ride their bikes. They love riding their bikes, usually at a university. Kepler, of course is with us on all those adventures. Oh and tomorrow is Ahgoo's 8th birthday!!! We will open presents and eat cake. We'll try to make it special for her, even during this strange times.

That's our lives in a nutshell during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are extremely lucky compared to others. We've also been able to talk to our extended families and friends and everyone is doing well so far. We'll see what April brings! But before I sign off for March, I wanted to share a few pictures. A unique scene was our drive on the Irvine stretch of the Northbound 405 last weekend. COVID-19 405 is definitely not normal! I've never seen the 405 this empty in my life! ALthough we are going through a pandemic, Spring is here. The peacocks have been visiting our yard regularly. This beautiful young blue male was checking out his own reflection against our French doors while his brother (still does not have any real tail feathers) is practising the art of courtship on his other brothers. Ha, these birds are really funny creatures. I don't mind them in our yard, as long as they don't touch my roses. Lastly, a rare picture of Kepler resting with his cone on. Stay healthy everyone!









Posted on March 28, 2020


COVID-19

Only a few weeks ago, life was normal. We only hear about things overseas from an occasional headline. But little did we know that life as we know it will be turned completely unpside down. March started out like any other March in years past. I look back at my calendar and I see tons of meetings at work, kids' regular activities at school and in the evenings. Buzz had just finished a big mission project at school. I can hardly believe that it was only a few weeks ago. We were also starting to plan for Spring Break. But as the days go by, the Coronavirus started to make its way into our daily conversations. Then, one day, the walls just came down. We were told to cancel all work related travels. We were told to do drills to prepare for telework. Then, without much warning, we were told to telework indefinitely. The kids' school closed down a day later.

Immediately after the schools closed, mass hysteria broke at the supermarkets. People started hording toilet paper, then baby wipes, then cleaning products, then milk, then food. The markets just about got cleaned out. We were saddened by the hysteria. Yes, the Coronavirus is scary...but what's more scary is how crazy people are. But I guess I've been through enough of these major events to expect it. Though I've not lived through any of the World Wars nor The Great Depression nor the Spanish Flu, I've been through a few major events. I am reminded of the LA riots, the Northridge earthquake, and then 9-11. But none of those events even come close to the drastic measures being taken worldwide in response to the Coronavirus! I recall the city going through Marial law during the LA riots. That was pretty scary, the entire city of LA was raining ashes from all the fires set by rioters. Then of course the 9-11 attacks. But those events were all explicitly catastrophic. The Coronavirus is a hidden threat. It is sinister but without a clear timeline. There are no real enemies, yet it appears that we are all enemies of each other. This quarentine appears to be open ended. How long will schools be closed? How will small businesses, heck even large businesses, sustain themselves? Will people start to lose their jobs? I read about the Government approving pumping money directly to the working people, say $1000 per person. But how is that going to help if everyone loses their jobs because restaurants and small retail businesses are forced to close for weeks on end? Many people I've read on social media are very against bailing out large businesses like airlines and cruiselines. But how can they keep thousands of people employed if they can't do their business? In the end, millions may lose their jobs. Is this going to turn into another Great Depression, which eerily started with the crash of the US stock market?

Am I not afraid of the Coronavirus? Yes, yes I am. I have been a lifelong asthma sufferer. I know what its like to not be able to breath, hospitalized on many occasions as a kid. But I'm even more scared of another Great Depression. I sure hope this pandemic takes an unexpected good turn. But at this point, the unknown is also my biggest fear.

We went to Trader Joes on a normal Saturday evening to pick up just our usual groceries. But to our shock, almost all the shelves were empty. I was at another supermarket the previous day and saw bananas that were more expensive than what I normally pay at Trader Joes. So I didn't buy them, thinking I would pick some up at Trader Joes the next day...crazy...no bananas until Mr. BAW got some at another market several days later. I took some pictures of the empty shelves just to remember these strange times.

One more thing to note, although I've been through a few major world events, this is the first one that the kids are experiencing. On the evening of March 12, Ahgoo was already asleep and I was reading with Buzz in his room when Mr. BAW came in to tell us that school has officially shut down due to the Coronavirus. But he didn't realized that by coming into Buzz's room to tell me the news instead of just telling me after Buzz went to bed, it signaled to Buzz the seriousness of the event. Buzz got really scared. It wasn't until later on in the evening that we realized how tramatized he was at hearing the news of school closure. At about 10:30 that evening, we heard Buzz come out of his room and called for Mr. BAW. So he went out to see what was the matter. A minute later Mr. BAW came back into the room and told me that Buzz said the strangest thing...something about waking up early so they can set up the board games. The next day I asked Buzz about it and he did not remember a thing! Turns out he was so stressed that he was sleep walking and sleep talking! We were going to be hosting a game night party for Ahgoo and her friends (which of course got cancelled due to the Coronavirus) so board games were on his mind! I still remember when I was only about 5 or 6 years old and a distant relative passed and I still remember the precise moment when we heard the news. The Coronavirus will no doubt be something the kids will recall when they are older.





Posted on March 20, 2020


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