Coronavirus and Me

Friday, 12:32pm, 2 days until trip

I receive an email from my kids’ school district. They say they will still be open after spring break. They said they discourage travel to Washington State, California, and New York. If anyone travels there, or to any other state that develops sustained community transmission while visiting, that they will be subject to a 14 day quarantine. I check CDC’s map and Texas is one shade lighter than California. That means they are close to the number of coronavirus cases and, in my opinion, could see sustained community transmission within days.

So many thoughts are going through my mind today. Do I have enough sick days if I am quarantined? Will I put elderly people at risk if I travel? What is my responsibility to others in such a crisis?

Friday, 4:54pm

I check United’s website, the airline I plan on traveling with. They say I can change my trip, but I have to do so by January 21, 2021, twelve months after I purchased my ticket. I check my sick day bank and I have 18 days left, enough to get through a quarantine. I contact my ex. He says I better read the news. Governor Evers just cancelled all schools in Wisconsin until April 6. This is unprecedented. Uncharted territory. Historic. My ex and I convene at his house to game plan. The kids will be taught online while off of school. As a parent, I have to figure out how to get my kids to learn and complete their work online, providing structure so they can complete their assignments. As a teacher, I have to figure out how to put my curriculum online for a couple weeks at the least. I plan on heading to school tomorrow to grab any and all materials I can get my hands on. Apparently, teachers will not be allowed into the buildings during the school closures. I have yet to hear from my superintendent, but my ex is a principal in a neighboring school district and is giving me pretty reliable information.

I talk to my dad and he and I agree now is probably not the best time to travel. We’re going to talk again tomorrow, but at this point, I feel my kids need me. My community needs me to stay put. I’m disappointed. I really wanted to experience 80 degree weather right now! I’m trying to think of ways to make next week fun even though I won’t be traveling. Maybe I’ll get to cleaning my basement. Maybe I’ll book a massage. Head to some coffee shops for a latte. Or maybe I’ll read ten books. It looks like I’ll have a lot of time on my hands for the upcoming few weeks. I can’t believe how crazy this has all gotten.

Saturday 10:45am

I called United and cancelled my trip. I called my dad. I was so bummed out. I was really looking forward to traveling for a week. I’m angry this has all happened. No more trip. I think the best thing left to do with this blog is talk about what you can do during a coronavirus outbreak and a staycation.

Saturday 4:51pm

The first thing you’ll need for a staycation is food. Well, that’s a little hard to come by. I went to Walmart last night to get meals for two weeks. The shelves are nearly empty. Most canned goods, processed foods and frozen foods are gone. Ground beef was gone. Eggs were gone. Anything healthy like fruits and vegetables, ground chicken or ground turkey was still in stock. I was able to get all ingredients for the soup (pictured below). It’s healthy, easy to make, and includes white beans and ground chicken that are still on the shelves, so I’m sharing the recipe to help you out.

White Chili Recipe
White Chili Recipe

While I was out, I got gas and cash too just in case. I’m calling my doctors on Monday to get three month supplies of all of our medications. Just in case. 

There’s very little you can do in a staycation when things are shutting down. I was hoping to take the kids to Starbuck’s to do their online schooling over the next couple of weeks. That is no longer possible because they are only doing drive thru. We thought we could get the kids together for play dates. I’ve read that those are frowned upon. Social distancing is necessary, I get it. But I worry about our low-income families right now. They need food, childcare, and they can’t afford to not work.

As for church, I plan on listening to a sermon  online this evening. I think everyone should do the same. It will be a morale boost. I recommend River Glen church in Waukesha:

Tuesday, March 17

Today I picked up my children’s distance learning expectations, procedures and schedules. I’m glad I’ll get the hang of this this week while I am on spring break. Then the following week they’ll be on spring break so I’ll be able to get my own job down during that time. The following weeks will be challenging as I try to keep my own kids on task and engage my students. Looks like I’ll be spending my days on my laptop with my boys on their laptops at our dining room table. I’m just hoping this will all be manageable. It feels overwhelming right now. So much for a staycation. I won’t be getting much time off this week at all! I’m so hoping we won’t have to do all of this for long.

Wednesday, March 18

My boys were troopers today. They did all of their school work. I think as days go by, they’ll get more and more independent. It was a juggling act today keeping them focused and trying to work on my own school work. It has been two days of feeling pretty overwhelmed. This is all happening so fast. Governor Evers said schools are out indefinitely now. Reports are saying this could last 18 months until the vaccine is developed. Will I have a job next year? I feel like the world will never be the same. I’m going to post this blog. I’m not sure what next week’s blog will be like. Maybe I’ll get back to my renovations and traveling blogs. But, it all seems pretty meaningless at this point. If you have any ideas of what you’d like me to blog about during this time, please comment below.


  1. Suzette Savage March 19, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    Hey Kara! Sorry your trip to Houston got cancelled and you’re experiencing so much anxiety. All understandable ~ but sending my love and support your way. A thought for your next weeks blog is making it about what positive things you are seeing through all this. What things have you personally experienced or read that gave you some reassurance that there is still good in the world and that better days will come.

    • Kara March 19, 2020 at 11:05 pm

      Hey, Suzette! Thanks for the comment. I love your suggestion. Thank you!!!