Covid Strikes Again

Just when I’d almost forgotten about Covid and was feeling like this would be a pretty standard school year, a PE teacher at the middle school tested positive.

We got an email from Liney’s DT informing us that he was to stay home until we were contacted to go in for testing.

Later that night we got another panicky email without name of teacher or student, from a general school account.

Since Moses has the same PE teacher, we figured it was from his DT. It was.

Linus was excited; he’d prayed the night before for a day off of school, but he was thinking more of a trip to Lisbon to the US embassy for passport renewal (which Woo and I’d been discussing).

Moses was not happy, and assumed the worst.

Halfway through the morning Herbie surprised us at the door. His class had been let out immediately as news had come in that a boy in his class (the PE teacher’s son) had also tested positive.

So we had Moses, Herbie and Linus quarantined at home for three days. They weren’t able to be tested until Friday afternoon and were very restless.

Although, Herbie and Moses improved as time went on.

Linus had online school Thursday and Friday. Moses discovered belatedly that he did too. Herbie had nothing.

Ruby, Penelope and Archie went to school as normal.

I played Seafarers once a day with Herbie, Moses and Linus and read 101 Dalmatians (which we all found surprisingly delightful) and Rangers Apprentice 4 out loud when everyone was home for lunch.

Our biggest concern was that we had a temple baptism appointment scheduled for Saturday morning. We were not contacted immediately with a testing time, but did eventually learn that they’d all be tested Friday afternoon, which was theoretically enough time to get test results back.

We did get them all early Saturday morning—negatives. So we were safe for the temple appointment. (Of course we were praying for that.)

After the temple, all the kids went to the park to play soccer. After about half an hour it began to pour rain, but they didn't care, they just played and played and played and played and played.

Herbie and Moses head back to school Monday because they’re vaccinated, but Liney’s class is a bunch of eleven year olds. We think they have to be out 10 days. But at this point none of us know when they’ll start counting that ten days. He may be another week at home, even though it’s already been nine days since they had contact with the teacher who tested positive.

Penelope had a few sad moments. One, where I dropped her off at school and she quickly ran out crying to tell me that she’d had her art class that morning and she’d missed it. (Her teacher had never once come all year, and everyone had permission to come in late, but suddenly there was a teacher, and while most of her class got the message the day before, we did not.)

I gave her a big hug and explained it would be alright. One absence is not a big deal. (The kids are all very concerned with any absences. The school must make a big deal of it.)

The other was when she discovered right before going to bed that she did not know where her music assignment was. Again, I explained she would feel better and think better in the morning and likely come up with a solution. We said a prayer together; she calmed down, and yes, she had a solution in the morning that worked perfectly.

Ruby was a little disillusioned at the seminary get-together last Saturday. I don’t know what it was exactly, but almost like she’d been expecting dozens of kids just like her, and instead found dozens of kids a lot like everyone else. It also might have been that she wasn’t feeling great that day.

She said she felt out of place, and I wonder if she’ll have a similar feeling in college. At least until she has time to really get to know people as individuals.

That hasn’t stopped her from participating in morning seminary. Sometimes Ruby and Herbie are banned from answering too many questions. We can hear them laughing and having a good time with each other. Not necessarily with the rest of the class. They’re possibly the only other kids in the class so comfortable with being up that early in the morning.

We saw one of their seminary teachers (there are three) today at the temple. He's their favorite "crazy" one.

The temple was crowded (there were two buses in the parking lot), and every one had family names they wanted done. Some with large stacks of names that they were asking all the rest of us to help with, even though we had our own stacks of names. 

I ended up praying that somehow all of us would be able to get all our names done, either our personal schedules to open up or the temple's schedule to open up, or really anything. I'm not picky about what the miracle is, it just seems that some other solution is needed here.

Archie was more than happy to have all his brothers home whenever he was home. He read his President Nelson talk alone one day because he wanted to read it earlier than I was available. Then he immediately wanted to read another.

Woo asked someone else to plan the branch party for November, but ended up doing a bunch of the prep work himself. The reason was that when the question was asked, “Who can do this…?”

He immediately had said, “I can!”

He regretted that later, as he’d originally been trying to delegate.

He also manned repeated phone calls from the school and the health center to get all of Herbie, Moses and Linus’ info straight. (They still had Linus' phone number wrong and Moses' email wrong... It's a miracle we got their test results back... )

Woo was looking forward to getting a package on Friday--a new wetsuit, but the company sent the wrong one, and now it's turned into an obnoxious effort on his part. He didn't take the wetsuit to a place that could ship it back the first night because of a storm. He tried a place today after the temple, but they won't take it. He has to take it to the post office, which won't be open until Tuesday.    

Rain started on Friday. I wasn’t sure that Ruby had taken an umbrella, and I dashed out the door to meet her on her walk home and bring her one.

I shouldn’t have worried. I saw her at the end of the street, skipping a little, then tossing her umbrella up in the air, then spinning it and spinning it, clearly little more than a little girl having fun in the rain.

Most of these pictures are not from this week. We went to a park in Caldas for our anniversary (which was a Saturday), and had the missionaries in the Pinhal a week or so ago.

Here’s another thing from last week: Kangaroo waterfall salad. 

We’ve never liked the beef here, but Woo snatched us up some kangaroo and ostrich steaks (some of the luxuries offered for the holidays at the Lidl) and also had a hankering for beef waterfall salad… it had been soooooo long since we’d had it…

Woo and I each had a taste of the kangaroo immediately after cooking and it was a bit strange, but doused in lime juice and fish sauce (and everything else in the salad) it was quite nice. The end.

And that’s our week. I hope yours was great!