Saturday, April 25, 2020

COVID-19 Quarantine Updates (Week 7)

Well here we are, the start of yet ANOTHER week.  This will be our 7th week in a very strict government and military (through the Spanish) enforced lock down.  This is the week that hopefully can set the tone for the possible loosening of the restrictions...

But if you need a refresher on our past weeks -- week one here and week two here and week three here and week four here and week five here and week six here.

April 25, 2020 (Day 43)
Ugh, a LONG day.  Rainy and wind.  There was another massive storm in the middle of the night -- so much flooding out in town and in people's houses (thankfully not our house).  Trevor and I cleaned + organized the house and Serafina had a lot of meltdowns.  She didn't sleep great last night -- so much coughing, despite her inhaler (so another call to the doctor will be happening on Monday).  And that was pretty much our day...
Children are allowed out of the house starting tomorrow which should be interesting... We have told Serafina about it but she is very confused, not quite understanding how the germs haven't gone away but she can go outside now.  There have been SO MANY articles and handouts being sent around (both by the Spanish and the base) about what it'll look like and what we can/cannot do.  And then also books and handouts explaining to the children what is happening (which is needed, these kids have been told for 6+ weeks they can't leave their house).  Even an official document from our town government.   

More good news today -- another day of more people recovering from COVID than new cases!  Spain has also increased the number of antibody tests they are performing  and is now separating the numbers (those with active cases of COVID and those with positive cases through the antibody test).  And the number of active cases are continuing to decrease.  And there is notice from the president that all citizens (and us) may be able to go outside for an hour of exercise each day starting May 2nd.  I am sure it will depend on how everything goes this week with children being allowed out....  Cross your fingers for us!

April 26, 2020 (Day 44)
Today was a big day -- in many ways.  Today I should have been running my half marathon in Madrid with some friends so I was a little bummed to be missing yet another thing because of COVID.  The race has been postponed so hopefully it will all still work out...

BUT today was THE day that Serafina could go outside our gate for the first time since March 14th -- and while she was a little nervous, she was also SO excited.  In her own way to understand and process everything, she asked so many questions about what was happening.  But we had a blast, her riding her bike and me walking beside her.  We ran into a few other parent + kids out and everyone was very aware of giving each other 6+ feet and keeping our distance...  It was quite surreal actually, to be going outside our gates without going to the grocery store or to get mail -- just to be outside.  And then not talking to anyone and not seeing a lot of people, just odd.  But it felt good, normal.

More good news for numbers again today too, a significant drop in numbers for new active cases.  AND no new patients have been admitted into the ICU for the past fifteen days in the major hospital in our province (in Cadiz).  And the the death toll finally dropped under 300 for the first time in weeks, all very very positive signs.  The government will vote on April 28th to loosen restrictions even further if the downward trend continues.  So keep crossing your fingers for us!

April 27, 2020 (Day 45)
Another big day for us.  First up, the numbers in Spain are still looking really really good, another drop in active cases and more news from our regional government of Andalucía that they plan to slowly reopen everything throughout the months of May and June.  So hopefully the numbers continue to go down.

Then Serafina's inhaler wasn't working the way we wanted/needed it to so we called the hospital (our medical system here is a joint hospital + regular doctor's office so we all just call it the hospital) to check in.  Once again they were amazing and recommended we come in... Because it is a joint hospital + doctor's office, everyone has to go through a screening before entering the actual facility.  Because Serafina has a dry cough + shortness of breath, we knew that we would be flagged and screened so us + the doctors decided it would better if she got screened today and then go from there for an appointment if needed.  I was extremely nervous for the screening, since they did warn us everyone would be dressed in hazmat type gear so I explained it to Serafina that the doctors would be dressed like superheros and that worked great -- she was not scared at all.  And they were WONDERFUL.  Thankfully she did not have to be tested for COVID seeing as she has had her cough for 2+ months.  The doctor did hear wheezing so we got ALL the steroids for her and will do a full breathing work up/exam when COVID is no longer a threat with a specialist in Jerez.

Then the biggest news of all -- WE GOT A PUPPY!  It has been in the works for a month or so and we have slowly been acquiring things for our sweet puppy.  Serafina figured it out pretty early on so EVERY SINGLE DAY she has asked when the puppy would arrive.  He finally arrived today and we are all in love.  He is tiny and just barely 6 weeks old so he doesn't do a whole bunch, plays for a little then falls back asleep which frustrates Serafina because all she wants to do is play with him.  He is a miniature schnauzer which we are excited about since he is hypoallergenic and supposed to be very good with kids + families.  Perfect for us!  So -- internet world, mean our newest addition, Gustav the Puppy.

April 28, 2020 (Day 46)
Another decent day.  Serafina struggled a lot with Gustav and not wanting to let him sleep and instead wanting to play with him all day -- but that is to be expected.  But overall she did well, we laid some ground rules and while she isn't pleased at a few, she is getting it.  We went on a bike ride today and ran into our really good friends which was so amazing and so hard at the same time. The kids did well trying to stay 6+ feet apart which was pretty sad to see.  Serafina and I also made cookies and of course all she wanted to do was eat the dough :)

Another decrease in numbers for active cases and another update from the Spanish government that things will slowly start relaxing every two weeks, starting this weekend -- with everyone allowed out for exercise (most likely similar to what we are able to do with the children, one hour a day and within 1km from your house).  But again all positive signs of moving in the right direction and at a safe and slow pace!

April 29, 2020 (Day 47)
Another day with much of the same -- mom school + puppy time.  And now that we can ride bikes (or basically be outside for an hour), we work that into Serafina's day too.  So far I am the only one that has gone with her, as only one parent is allowed to go...  Probably need to change that soon since an hour in the house by myself seems heavenly right now!  Serafina has chosen to ride her bike and I walk/run along side her.  We can go for an hour within a 1km radius of our house, so today we did a little over 2 miles and didn't use the whole hour -- and enjoyed heading down by the beach!  Serafina is doing well with the puppy, learning that it is hard to leave him alone when he is sleeping.  I, on the other hand, seem to be quite allergic to our so called hypoallergenic puppy :(  We are doing all we can to make it better for me (attempting to get an air purifier and a better vacuum which is not easy when nothing is open and Amazon isn't really shipping), but we have high hopes I just need to get used to him (and for the outdoor pollen to go away too)!

A slight rise in numbers today :(  Which makes no sense to me when there were four days of decreasing...  Who knows.  BUT the bigger news out of Madrid is that the president announced a four phase plan to get us to our "new normal" which will hopefully happen by the end of June.  Here is an article (in English) outlining the phases and such. 

April 30, 2020 (Day 48)
Wow, it is the end of April.  Still not sure when it will all really end and we can go back to hugging friends and such... The Spanish government released its four phase plan in further details today (they are starting with a phase 0 which we are currently in).  Starting Saturday, ADULTS can go out on walks/runs for exercise and with similar rules as the walks for children -- one hour only and within a 1km radius of your house.  AND there is a schedule for who can go out when, it is kind of ridiculous but also makes sense, especially for the larger cities.  Adults will be able to go outside to exercise from 6-10AM and again from 8-11PM and children will be able to go out (still with one adult) from 12-7PM.  Another adjustment to our routine, but we will make it work.

Our days pass by pretty much the same except now things happen between puppy nap times since Serafina wants to just play with Gustav.  She is also on steroids due to her asthma and while I love that she somehow sleeps with NO nightmares or night terrors while on steroids, she is SO hyper during the day which is SO hard, but tomorrow is the last dose of oral steroids so that should help.  Hopefully. 

Today was hard though because it should have been the first day of our town's feria or spring fair. It is seriously THE best event in southern Spain and my favorite weekend of the entire year. So it was just a little depressing to know that we are missing out on something amazing today.  But we drank our rebujitos and put on some nicer clothes for a quick picture.
May 1, 2020 (Day 49)
Another week down....  I honestly don't even know when I will end these seeing as this could go on for MONTHS, as the phases to slowly release us don't end until mid-June and even then it isn't all a guarantee that it will all go according to plan. Maybe once things get a little looser, I will start doing weekly updates, who knows...

Trevor had to work today in the office so it was just me, Serafina and Gustav for most of the day.  Gustav is such a chill puppy which works great for us, especially now with our steroid hyper + crazy child (thankfully today is the last day, although I will miss the better sleep -- first picture is of her WILD eyes).  We did mom school this morning even though it is a Spanish holiday (their Labor Day).  We went on a bike ride and Serafina begged me to play with "just one friend" -- it was so sad and so sweet. 

The big news out of today was that there doesn't seem to be a time or distance limit on when adults go outside to exercise which is really awesome (you just can't leave your city limits).  Everyone is pretty excited and we know this is a step in the right direction.  I find it odd I could take a walk at 10PM but I may just do that tomorrow night -- head down to the beach and see the sunset.  While the beach isn't open to sitting or sunbathing, we can walk it which I fully plan to do (which if you know me, I HATE sand so this is a big deal).  We find it odd we still can't walk as a family, but oh well -- after 6+ weeks of no walks, we will take what we can get.   

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