Coronavirus Outbreak: Part 2

Texas requires a certain number of minutes of class time in the school year, so our remote learning is supposed to be the full school day in theory.

In practice, my DS10 twins have 4 core classes with live teaching via teams at scheduled times throughout the school day, each followed by time to work independently on (mostly) online assignments. They also have some asynchronous PE and library assignments. Now that tech bugs are mostly worked out, they are generally easily finishing so we’re filling extra time with whatever enrichment we can find (extra credit, reading, etc). We’re trying to maintain a “no recreational screens during school hours” rule so they aren’t rushing through their work.

Trying to hold to same rule for DS16. He has 6 academic classes per day, and it’s a similar story. 4 have a live teaching component each day, the other 2 don’t always. His last period of the day is cross country which combines with after-school practice time, so I need to run him up to school for that 75 min. He’s showing no interest in doing any “enrichment” though. He’s been mainly napping on the couch if he has gaps during the day. It’s unfortunate that he frequently has sporadic dead time early in the day, but then gets assignments in his later classes he has to finish in the evenings. :confused:

Twins scheduled lunch is at 10:35(!) and DS16 is at 11:15. DD19 and her boyfriend (staying with us this semester) vary depending on their class schedules and remote jobs, as does DH and his endless telecons. I’ve taken to cooking in the evenings and then putting out a “leftover buffet” every day for lunch. I feel like I’m running an inn.


In March 2019, when we were booking our hotel for our WDW trip, we got talked into a Hilton Grand Vacation in Oahu for 5 nights for $800. It included other perks like a luau for 2 and a $200 hotel voucher for a future stay at any Hilton hotel. Yes, we would have to do a timeshare presentation. We had no intentions to returning to Hawaii any time soon. We spent a week in 2016 and nearly 3 weeks in 2017. But $800 for 5 nights in Oahu :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::heart_eyes::yum: I can also churn a credit card for DH and I to get there fairly cheaply.

Our sales person knew that we just booked a total of 15 nights at two different hotels near WDW for December 2019. She extended our arrival date to Oahu to more than a year later to November 30, 2020 for free. We were planning to be in Oahu this week, before we had to move DS back into college. Alas, the evil COVID-19 swooped down and crashed our plans. We could go and avoid a 14-day quarantine if we did a test before we left. But DH would have to quarantine 14-days when he comes back before returning to the office.

We had put a deposit on it last year and was concerned we would lose the money. And we were unwilling to pay money to extend.

I finally called tonight and they extended it without questions to November 30, 2021! :rofl::laughing: Woohoo! It is normally $75 for 3 months.

We are tentatively thinking Thanksgiving 2021, hopefully.


Glad they extended for you! We love the Hawaiian Islands and usually go every other year. Now that they are starting the pre-arrival testing, maybe we can make it happen this winter. Luckily neither my DH or I would have to quarantine when returning. We haven’t yet been to Kauai, so that is where I would like to go. Have you been to Kauai?


We’ve been to Kauai, Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island. We love Maui the best because it feels like Oahu without the crowds. And food options are plentiful, except in Hana. Kauai is very beautiful but very rustic. We love the Grand Canyon of the Pacific there. But it took a couple of trips before we actually saw it because it is very foggy. Hope you can go enjoy!


We have been to Oahu, the Big Island, and most recently Maui as a family. I also went to both Oahu and the Big Island before I was married, so that is why I want to branch out a little. Although honestly, I can be happy at any of them!


My mom and her friend were supposed to go to Hawaii, I believe, this week as well. Her friend has a time share. It sounds like they got most of their money back, her friend lost some points and they got a voucher from one airline for their tickets one way. Alaskan airlines completely refunded their tickets.

Glad you got yours worked out.

1 Like

Wow. So according to that article, the judge ruled that the state should not have the right to impose a shut down during a health crisis? Once the virus was prevalent, it seems to me that the shut downs were the only thing that got the virus numbers down and under some semblance of control.

I’m curious @qwerty6, what would you have done if you were in charge of PA back in, say, March? What measures, if any, do you think would have been reasonable and necessary to protect public health?

It’s specific situations that the court case was addressing, not the entire shutdown. They were disputing picking and choosing what businesses could close. Some of it seemed arbitrary and is actually being investigated by the Auditor General in our state. The other is the number of people who can gather at a time. One politician running for office (a Republican I believe) was not permitted to have over a certain number of people for his campaign, but our current governor (a Democrat) went out with protesters in a group of people that was over the max amount permitted. So the case was about 2 constitutional amendments. The judge found those specific orders unconstitutional, even under a pandemic. The plaintiffs were very careful about what issues they were addressing. Honestly, some of the guidance and regulations are very arbitrary in PA. So I’m sure this battle will continue on.


Thanks for the clarification! There was one quote in the article in particular that threw me:

“It’s really 100% in our favor. The court found in all respects that the orders issued by the governor and the secretary of health were unconstitutional. What it means is they can’t do it again, and they should not have done it in the past,” King said.

I thought that meant all of the orders, i.e. the shut down in general, were ruled unconstitutional. I appreciate your insight!

1 Like

As the article said, “over reaching and arbitrary.”

I would welcome a similar lawsuit in WNY.
Why were dry cleaners allowed to reopen, but not florists? Big Lots and Target, but not the tailor and Hallmark. The notion that some places were able to open safely vs everyone could open safely. If Dollar Tree can count heads at the door, why couldn’t the toy shop.

Small business were decimated while big boxes cashed in.

The idea that a whole state fit under one umbrella of rulings was miserable. There are counties out my way that still haven’t had even five cases.


Yeah, it was talking about the orders they were addressing, not all orders in regards to the shut down.

This court case will be interesting to follow. The governor is appealing and trying to establish a stay on the orders affected.


The reason is obvious. The stores that opened sold essential items for people to live. Groceries, for example. (Well, okay. Dry Cleaners? Not exactly essential.) The trouble is, those places also sell tons of non essential items. Here in Michigan, when the governor found out people were going to home depot not just for essentials, but to buy paint, there was a rule briefly that said you couldn’t buy paint.

In hindsight, it was overly cautious. All we needed were mask and socially distancing mandates. That would have been just as effective without utterly destroying the economy. With some exceptions. Bars and restaurants are the tricky places, since mask mandates are not applicable in such a situation.


The definition of essential seems arbitrary.

And telling people what they can and can not buy? :woman_facepalming:

Even if the first 15 days included drastic measures, the slowness in readdressing the economic pitfalls has drawn attention.


Let me tell you, this was super annoying when we got back to the States after having been gone and packed in a day for winter in mid-March and showing up in the South in mid-May and not being able to buy any clothes anywhere except for Walmart. “Non-essential” is only non-essential for those it’s non-essential for. Some people actually need those things that random people decided weren’t “essential.”


Oh - I hadn’t even thought of your experience. But YES! It’s not like all Walmarts are equal, either! Buying clothes for a whole family in one shopping outing would have been stressful. :frowning:

1 Like

I realized this when we were buying new appliances just as the pandemic was starting. Appliances seem like non-essentials if you are simply replacing worn-out ones. But for those who have an appliance that has stopped working (or they don’t have one at all), that brand new refrigerator is entirely essential!


There were local farms and nurseries in this state that sold vegetable plants and such that were not permitted to open in the spring when Lowe’s and Home Depot were permitted to be open. So those farms were hurt because they lost plants and people ended up buying their plants at the stores that were open. There were also stores permitted to stay open because they got ahold of some hand sanitizer, at the time it was difficult to order and receive, and were permitted to stay open because they sold that product. Just a few examples of some of the arbitrary rules.


I wouldn’t classify them as arbitrary. Just unfair. The rules had reasoning behind them (at least, the ones I saw that otherwise might have SEEMED arbitrary.) But the side effects of the rules ended up hurting many retailers and helping others. Stores that sold a whole slew of products were more likely to be able to stay open because they sold essential items alongside the non-essentials. But the stores, like your nurseries example, that only really sold one thing ended up being unfairly hurt. Of course, making it “fair” would only further hurt the economy. So, for example, the rule to say Target wasn’t allowed to sell TVs during the Pandemic would make it “fair” by preventing the sale of non-essential items…but if people were already coming to Target anyhow for the essentials, then why hurt their store’s sales even more by preventing the sale of televisions? Allowing the sale of as many things as possible would help keep people working, and help the economy (supply chain) moving.

The big question was if the whole “non-essential” line in the sand was, ultimately, beneficial. Again, in hindsight? Not really.


Speaking only for myself, I wasn’t opposed to locking down those early days. Of course it took a little time to realize what was or was not working, as well as time to realize that what we saw in New York City was not happening elsewhere.

When I really began to get upset was when that line in the sand became a brick wall, and no efforts were being made to address the inconsistencies.

I guess more of the arbitrary part of the argument is that we have an order of no more than 250 people at a gathering outside and 25 inside. There is no scientific evidence for those numbers and the governors office can not produce any. And protests can be unlimited in number, as can a car show that took place this summer, but a campaign and other activities have limits on them.

1 Like