The Anniversary of the COVID-19 Shutdown

One year ago tonight on March 11, 2020 President Trump gave an address to the Nation on the coronavirus, actor Tom Hanks announced himself and wife Rita Wilson had tested positive for COVID-19, the NBA announced an indefinite suspension for the rest of season, and the World Health Organization declared we were officially in a pandemic.

What a year.

Last year on this date I wrote a blog post documenting how the state of Arizona, where I live, had only tested 100 people for COVID-19. Do you remember how hard it was at that time to get a test? The criteria was so limiting that it was impossible to be tested unless you had recently traveled to Wuhan or been exposed to someone with the virus.

As of today Arizona has administered 4,332,529 tests, there has been 830,465 confirmed cases, and horrifically 16,464 deaths.

It is mind blowing to me looking at the graphs below and seeing what out country has experienced over the last 365 days.

Image Source: The New York Times

COVID has become part of our daily life and all of us have been impacted. On a personal level my husband Josh has seen many COVID patients on medical calls he has been dispatched to with his ladder truck. Some with oxygen levels in the 70s refusing to go to the hospital because they don’t want to be put on a ventilator. This breaks my heart so much. Recommended Reading: My Husband is a Firefighter, Please Stop Calling COVID-19 the Flu

Josh has worked at fire stations that have had COVID outbreaks. We know so many people who have tested positive and lost loved ones in the last 365 days. And it has just sucked.

Really. Really. Sucked.

I never thought I would experience anything like this in my lifetime.

If you have been a longtime reader you know that I struggle with panic attacks and anxiety. If any year was going to cause me to panic it would be this year and I am just so thankful that God made it possible for me to focus on my mental health years ago. God is so good. And even in the crazy scariness of this year I have still felt God’s protection over my head and heart.

Weird things that I have enjoyed this year include: driveway visits with friends and family, going to the grocery store to pick up my food curbside, homeschooling my kids, cute/comfortable face masks, hand sanitizer, being able to schedule my immediate family to get their vaccines (and yes the scheduling website was awful but I still enjoyed that I was able to help), online fitness studios (shoutout to Fit Women’s Weekly, Apple Fitness, and Dribble Up), watching Star Wars with my oldest son, and saving money by eating at home.

I am thankful to have a roof over my head, the ability to homeschool my children this year, and that my husband has a job. I know so many people in the United States are suffering right now and I am hopeful that the $1.9 trillion relief bill that President Biden signed today will help our country.

529,000 lives have been lost as of today from COVID-19 in the United States. Never did I think our country would reach such a number in a year. Our family will continue to mask up and do our part to help. I am now the only one out of my parents, brother/sister-in-law, grandparents, and husband who has not been vaccinated yet. I am so grateful they were able to get the vaccine and that they will be safe from hospitalization and severe COVID-19 complications. This year has been hard. But I am so hopeful that better days are ahead.

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Valentine’s Day & Rapid COVID-19 Tests

Life feels like it is moving pretty fast lately. Which is weird because we have been at home for such a long time now that I can only imagine what it is going to feel like when we return to a more “normal” routine. This Wednesday if all goes according to plan we will celebrate our 100th day of homeschool. I am just so proud of all of us.

On Valentine’s Day the kids woke up to treats on the kitchen table and a few new books to read. They also got In-N-Out Burger for dinner at the house from my parents. They were so excited because it was the first time they have had it in over a year. It is so expensive for our family to eat out and when the pandemic happened last year we made a choice to only eat at home. This has saved us so much money because for our family to eat burger’s and fries it costs $50. We don’t want to get into the habit of eating out as often as we were so we will be keeping this treat strictly for birthday’s or other special occasions to celebrate.

Josh and I celebrated Valentine’s Day by using a gift certificate from our dentist to Vincitorio’s Restaurant. Josh picked up the food curbside and we had a date night at home after the kids went to bed. We had a wonderful dinner and live streamed Josh Groban’s Valentine’s Day show. Thank you so much to our dentist, Dr. Anita Elliot, and staff. Josh and I have been going to her office for over a decade. If you are local and looking for a dentist we highly recommend Elliot Dental.

Our week was also filled with Josh going to get rapid COVID tests due to exposures from coworkers. Thankfully both tests were negative and I am just so glad he has had his first and second vaccinations. Huge shoutout to his fire department for having these rapid tests available. On a side note my grandparents go this week for their second shot and my dad is going to get his first. As of Sunday 500,000 people in the United States have died in the current pandemic, this is not far from reaching the grim milestone of 1918 (where 675,000 died). Just so sad.

We have been trying to spend as much time outside as possible lately because the weather has been beautiful. Our backyard sunsets have been amazing lately.

And we have also been taking advantage of our America the Beautiful Pass and hiking and picnicking. This week we hiked by the Salt River and got to see several wild horses on the trail.

Lastly our weekend finished with Josh ripping out a section of our daughter’s wall that had dry rotted. Several days ago he told me that he wanted to build a larger shed in our backyard which prompted me to kindly remind him of the wall project had been on the list for several months.

I love my husband so much and this was all it took to get him motivated to fix the wall. While talking over our plan with my dad on the phone he recommended bleaching the area to kill any mold and spraying foam insulation around the pipe. After the phone call Josh went to Home Depot to buy foam insulation, came home, and got to work.

Hours later we were finishing up texturing the new drywall. I asked Josh if he had remembered to bleach the interior of wall because I had forgotten to do it and assumed he had. He had assumed I had bleached it. And sadly the wall was torn apart again, bleach was sprayed, and another trip to Home Depot was made. We are hoping that the wall will be finished later this week.

Reading about what has been happening in Texas over the last week has made me so grateful to have electricity in my house and running water. If you live in Texas and have experienced lack of electricity and water I am so sorry. You have been in my thoughts and prayers.

I hope you enjoyed this recap of our last few days. Have a great final week of February and thanks for stopping by the blog and reading today.

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What It Was Like For My Husband Getting His Second COVID-19 Vaccine at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ

Josh got his second Pfizer vaccine last week at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ. This is not the location where he received his first dose due to our county not having enough vaccines to schedule appointments. I am so thankful we were able to schedule his second appointment at the 21 day mark from his first vaccine at the state vaccination site.

GETTING THE COVID-19 VACCINATION AT STATE FARM STADIUM

We live about an hour away from State Farm Stadium. Due to a traffic accident on the road he arrived right at the time of his appointment. He was in a long line of cars that moved fairly quickly. He showed his QR code that came with the confirmation email, drivers license and also his employee identification. 

Josh stayed in the car the entire time. Once he recieved the shot he waited the 15 minutes to see if he had any complications. Again, just like the first shot, he said it didn’t hurt and 15 minutes later he was back on the freeway driving home. 

In total he was at the stadium for 45 minutes. He said it was well organized and as soon as he got the vaccine he had an email in his inbox confirming the vaccination.

HOW DID HE FEEL AFTER THE SECOND DOSE?

He felt fine. He was maybe a little more tired the evening of his shot but his arm was more sore from the first shot. Thankfully he didn’t experience body aches or a fever.

THE AZDHS SCHEDULING WEBSITE

I have now used this website to schedule six appointments for multiple family members. I have seen the not so great version of this website where you had to search every single date for an appointment and enter in your information each time you tried to search for an appointment because there was no save feature.

Last week when I went to schedule a vaccination for my dad the website update had corrected these issues. Thank you Arizona Department of Health Services for fixing your website. I was in and out of the website with an appointment secured for my dad in 5 minutes. I couldn’t believe it. 

If you or someone you know is getting a vaccine at the state site you are now guaranteed a second appointment. When my grandparents went for their first dose they were both scheduled before they left the stadium. Since I booked the appointments all their confirmation emails came to me. When I opened up the emails I noticed that only my grandpa had been scheduled. I mention this only to say make sure you double check those emails. Thankfully I was able to go into the website and schedule my grandma on the same day 10 minutes after his appointment time. 

If you made it this far, thank you for reading my ramblings. I am really looking forward to brighter days ahead. Josh is well on his way to being fully vaccinated. He is almost at the two week mark since his second shot. Obviously he will still be taking precautions, as will our other family members who have been vaccinated. But at this moment I am feeling hopeful and so thankful he was able to get both doses. 

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