COVID-19 Update: First Public Family Outing

Who would have thought that a couple months ago life would come to screeching halt the way that it did? I remember it was a Wednesday night when the COVID-19 had just started to show up on my radar. I had heard a very little about it before this point but since it was far from home I didn’t think much of it. I even remember telling Dylan that night that people were freaking out about nothing, everyone says it’s just a little bit worse than the average flu, how bad could this thing really be?

The next morning, I went about life as normal. I woke up in the morning, got dressed, got Emiliana dressed, and off we went to the library for our regularly scheduled baby storytime. It wasn’t a very normal storytime as there were a lot fewer parents and babies. After the library, we went back home and by that afternoon everything had escalated pretty quickly. There was an official confirmed case in the Dallas area. People were starting to panic and buy all the toilet paper, paper towels, water bottles, and cleaning supplies. In a matter of 24 hours everything changed and that night as a family we decided that we would only be going out for essentials and that Emiliana would no longer be going out into public.

Friday, an announcement was made from our church that church would be canceled until further notice. The library announced that it wouldn’t be holding any more group classes or events. Most events in the community were canceled. Slowly, one by one, everything started to come to standstill. We stocked up on the essentials for the baby in case things got in limited supply so we wouldn’t be struggling to look for her things.

It’s hard to believe that since March, Emiliana had hardly left the house. We took her to a state park back in May when they opened up again, making sure to keep a great distance from any other park goers and choosing secluded areas of the park. It was a good experience and she enjoyed being somewhere other than the house and cul de sac. But it wasn’t until last Saturday that Emiliana was in a public setting, and it was a process for me to work through.  I was nervous for several reasons, 1. How would Emiliana react to people after 3 months of seeing the same faces every day? 2. Texas might have started reopening but the number of cases continues to rise every day.

In the end, Dylan and I decided that we would venture out as a family for the first time in 3 months. We spent the day at the Dallas Farmers Market, shopping, eating, and enjoying music. Emiliana spent the afternoon oohing and ahhing basically everyone and everything. She pointed at every car, dog, and colorful thing she saw. She loved being outside and seeing new things and people. We were careful to maintain a distance from people, sanitized often, and avoided touching things unless necessary. It was a wonderful afternoon, seeing her light up from excitement, and getting some family time was exactly what everyone needed.

At this point, we are still being extra vigilant about public settings and are avoiding going out unless necessary but I won’t lie, it felt amazing to have a semi-normal afternoon with my little family and I can’t wait until things go back to how they were when a face mask wasn’t required and venturing out into the world didn’t cause worry.

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