OMG We are Stuck in Quarantine and Totally Blindsided
So, here’s the deal: Last week at school we were talking to a mother who said that a child in her sons class tested positive. She knew exactly who the child was and where they sat in relation to her own child. She only had to do a PCR swab and they were all back to school without isolation. This was just this past week! Saturday turned out to be a day from hell. Saturdays are always crazy because of the girls schedules and I wind up driving from one part of the island to another and back again and the times are terribly inconvenient so my Saturdays are basically spent in the car from 9am until 1:30pm. This particular Saturday though was the worst. In between dropping Hannah at one place and taking Ava to lessons in another, we packed up our TV’s that both stopped working to be repaired. We wound up in some part of town that we are very unfamiliar with but not big deal because Scott was with me and he is the yang to my yin especially as my navigator on driving. But, he went inside and they took so long that he told me he would call a Bolt (like an Uber) and meet me at home and for me to go on without him and get Ava to her class. So, off I went. Into an area that I NEVER want to go back to. We were bumper to bumper and then we hear sirens. Ok…pull to the side. I pull behind whoever was in front of me like usual. But instead, the guy in front of me puts his car in reverse and heads straight into me! Before he hits me I lay on my horn FIVE consecutive times to make him stop! Whew! He just narrowly missed from hitting us. Then he proceeds to get out of his car and this is where some of the locals can get really shady. I try very hard never to disrespect the locals as I am their guest here. But, there are many times when you don’t want them to know you are American as they will quickly hike up whatever price. You have to limit business to places that list their prices on websites and menu’s otherwise you will be taken advantage of. You also know as an American not to offer up what area of town you live in before they quote a price. These are all things we learn quickly if you want to survive. If I want something done fairly here, I have my local friends do the calling. That is fact. Ok…so back to the man. He gets out of his car and has the gall to point at his already damaged back end and point at me as if he’s going to rope me into paying for it! He was so close to my front that I hadn’t even seen that he had a banged up back end! He gets out of the car and points to his damage and then points to me. Oh …no no no sir…it’s not going down like that. Absolutely not happening. He came up to my window and I rolled it down and yelled “Oh Hell NO” to him. I think he was surprised how feisty I was. I was not going to take the hit on this, especially since we didn’t actually hit! I told him this was his fault and that he reversed into me and he denied it and acted like I was crazy. Then I realized that we actually never even hit…and at that I picked up the phone and told him I was calling the police. Once I started that, he told me he was trying to be nice and check on me to see what the problem was, why I was honking at him. He said he knew that his back end was not caused from me. Wait…what?! Then he starts yelling at me never to tell him what to do or what to say. At that point, I drove onward. Then while stuck in bumper to bumper traffic and now realizing poor Ava will now be about 30 minutes late to her class, I get an email that a child in the older class tested positive and we need to self isolate until we hear from the health authorities. And so we headed back over to pick up Hannah and into the house we went. We assumed maybe a 5-7 day quarantine at most.
We cancelled my birthday party that was to be happening the following day. Surely a 5-7 day quarantine like we’ve heard before or maybe we would simply be asked to take a pcr test like the other class. But NO, not this time. We get a call from the health authorities and they said we were officially in a full 14 day lock down and that they would be sending people to our house to make sure we do not leave. Holy Crap. No Thanksgiving with our company and we have a freezer full of turkey’s (yes multiple and other meats from the butcher) downstairs. Instead, we will be living in pajamas only for the next two weeks. At least I will be. The girls will do online school in uniform and Scott will work from home. I will be in jammies and refuse to wear anything else. No bras in this house for two full weeks.
See…when we arrived in Malta, we went right into a 14 day lock down. But, it was perfect for us because it gave us necessary time to decompress from arriving into a foreign country with absolutely no idea of what lies ahead for us. Plus, it was the dead of summer in a heat wave and we happen to have the greatest back yard and pool ever so it made for fun days and easy play. Plus, our bosses had filled our refrigerator and cabinets full of food. Consider it more of a swanky lock down. We stayed in for the whole time, but it felt oddly freeing to do so. The time leading up to coming here had been so stressful that arriving and staying still felt like we could finally just breathe. During that lockdown time, the dogs arrived safely a week into it and we soaked up our valuable family time alone in our new home in a new and totally foreign land. We had no social life to have to pull away from. We had no idea where anything was yet or what life was going to look like. We got to stay inside a dream home and play all day for the two weeks. This was not what we picture when we think of a lock down. It was heavenly really.
Now, one year and some change later, a 14 day lockdown makes me feel like a caged animal. I had two parties scheduled for yesterday! One for me at the house and one for my child (a class mates party) at a park. It was finally going to be the first party we’d been to for a classmate! I couldn’t wait to meet all the parents! And then it dawns on me further…I have a list of a great many things I was going to take care of this week (as I do every week). I am the driver in this house. I am the one that grocery shops and goes to the post office and picks up the raw dog food that I pick up weekly and takes the girls from place to place and all of a sudden, I have my friend running to our school to get Ava’s books because her class didn’t go into lock down and so her teacher asked if she could prepare all of her books and leave them at reception for someone to pick up and bring to us. Then I realize that I will run out of medicine that I take and need to get that taken care of, and more raw dog food which I know they deliver BUT I also need cash for both of these things as well as the post office that I promised to mail out today to my mother for her Christmas presents to give out from Malta! Now, I’m going to ask my friend to take my ATM card, give her my pin number ask her to take out cash, go to four different places for me because that is the kind of thing I do in a day here while the kids are at school?! Ummm no. I won’t ask that of anybody. Only the books. That is top of the list. Now, we are all home and stuck and I feel caged. Utterly caged, and confused. And exhausted already. I took a nap today while everyone did their thing. So far, only half of the class has actually received that phone call from the health authorities so everyone on our class Whatsapp group is so discombobulated trying to figure out what is really going on. OH, and for those of you local who are reading this and wondering if I am or am not vaccinated, let me settle this right now! It doesn’t matter if you are or are not, as of however many days ago, they changed the rules. It now reads that vaccinated or not the quarantine period is 14 days and they will send people out to make sure we are complying. So make no deductions on that part. This applies to every single family of the class. We are all in it for the long haul.
Two weeks from now we will come out and play and rejoice and remember that two weeks in the grand scheme of things to keep our families safe and well is a small price to pay. I get it. I receive it with thanks and gratitude and look forward to coming out on the other side of this safely. I will also be more mindful to have an emergency fund of cash and foods on hand because this might be the beginning of more to come.
For anyone local reading this, be on the ready. The numbers are rising and the rules are tightening. Do all that you can to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and well.
See you on the flip side 🙂