The COVID19 Test

Rudy and I have been doing our part during the COVID19 pandemic. We wear masks outside of the house. (Except for me, when I walk around the neighborhood when no one else is around). In general, Rudy does the grocery shopping, but I will tag along occasionally, both of us very aware of maintaining a safe distance from others. Which isn’t always easy considering some people don’t seem to care whether they are close to others or not.

Rudy does have to go to work daily, to an essential job. He is greeted at the front gate by a thermometer against his forehead, taking his temperature then given a wristband to show he “passed”. Even though he has his own homemade masks, he is given an additional one to wear while inside the large building, which holds 150+ employees. He also has a bottle of sanitizer to spritz on his hands regularly. Rudy tends to work in a small space with a small group of people who, like him, are taking precautions during this very stressful time.

Here at home, we’ve been fine. Feeling good. Assuming, since we are following mandated protocol, we are 95% safe – nothing’s perfect – from contracting the disease.

All is well, until it isn’t.

Last week, Rudy and everyone else at his work, were notified that they must take the COVID19 test due to the fact that several employees had claimed they had tested POSITIVE for the virus, whether they contracted it outside of work or within, Rudy is unsure.

The thing is, he was now in a position that he could not return to work until a NEGATIVE test was presented before entering the building the following week. Rudy took the test and, not surprisingly, his result was negative.

Tests taken. People returned to work.

But, not everyone passed. Those that didn’t are now quarantined.

The way the process happened at Rudy’s place of employment only means that just because people did not test positive on a particular day last week doesn’t mean if they test again in a week they will get the same results. It takes the virus 2-14 to show itself and these employees, Rudy included, may be carrying the virus (and not realize it), and pass it on.

The protocol of a 14 day self-quarantine is required to avoid further transference.

iphone be gone

yesterday, tuesday, 4pm, the early hours of halloween, i found myself stumped,

due to my lack of focus.

it all started when i had hauled all my teaching gear to my crossover vehicle.

– well, the reading manual, so that i could figure out my next plan for the students, and a big fat AVID book, where i would find info to help me conduct a productive note-taking lesson with the kids –

anyway… i put those two texts onto the back floor of my car,

along with my white jansport backpack, a round fluffy Rugrat (Tommy specific) knapsack, the one i recently reclaimed, one that once belonged roberto, long ago, when he was a rugrat himself, and next to my macbook air,

i’m floundering, unfocused…

this is about my iphone; not my afterwork, parking lot life.

well, actually, the parking lot plays a big role here.

before i sat in the driver’s seat, i realized my phone wasn’t with me.

which, honestly, it isn’t unusual that i didn’t have it because i really don’t carry it with me much… whereby on the other hand, it’s actually amazing that i even noticed i had forgotten it… because i really don’t carry it with me much.

you get what i mean?

well now, after noticing the missing phone, i trekked back to classroom, hunted around for it, but couldn’t find anything remotely resembling my 2 1/2 year old white iphone.


i walked back to the car, sifted through my stuff, again, only to note that the phone was definitely not there.

once again, i unlocked both gates, walked back to class, lifted every paper and book, and found nothing except more papers and books. i stood there, near my desk and wondered.


and then i remembered that i had been cutting artwork out to hang up in the window so that the sun’s shine made the oily bones of the kids finger prints glow – which was actually pretty cool, a fun project for sure…

i was cutting the hand shapes, letting the fallen pieces of paper gather on top of my desk and when done i threw the paper in the trash.

no! i thought. no way. i did not throw my iphone away.

did i?

back at the car, i texted brad from my computer – thank goodness the internet was available out in the parking lot – then i walked to the trash can.

this is what i texted him, literally:

can you call my phone… i can’t find it… call a few times… i am outside by the trash then i need to go in the class…. keep calling until i answer it… if i call you good… if i don’t bad… i will message on my computer if i can’t find it… or my phone if i do…

he messaged back, OK.

i lifted out what i knew was my plastic bag of debris. the sprinkles of colored paper gave it away. then i walked back towards my vehicle and i placed the trash bag into the back of my car thinking that maybe i was overlooking the phone. something told me i was on the right track, but my thinking wasn’t concise. so, i decided i’d take the trash home and investigate there, just in case. i surely didn’t want to make a mess right there, at my place of employment.

that’d look odd. right?

seriously, though, no regrets.

that’s my motto, you see.

i heard no Old Phone ringing.

in the meantime, i assumed brad was continuously calling me because i hadn’t called or texted him back.

i walked back to class.


i walked back to the car.


opened the rover’s hatchback.

rifled through the bag of papers.

and then i heard it. ever so faint. my phone, ringing. coming from the trash bag. i stuck my hand inside. swirled it around. and found ‘the missing link’.


i answered brad’s call as i was walking the semi-heavy ladened trash to the large receptacle in the school’s parking lot.


just do it

i have a pile of books to filter through. lessons to lightly write. work to get done. yet. here i sit. unwilling to get on-task. me. a teacher. always reminding my students to stay on task. to concentrate. to get their work done. but, i am finding that the task, though necessary, has not quite found its way into my educator thoughts.


in a while, i will sit in front of those school books. those teacher’s manuals. and i will review. yes i will. because, review i must. for my own sanity. and to ensure starting the year off right, properly educating students. who will be depending on me to fill their days with classroom ooo’s and aaah’s, and just as important, life lessons.

but first, i need to sit here and think.

“mom, can we talk?” brad asks.
“yeah, sure,” i say, with a smile.

i guess my teacher tasks will have to wait even longer to imprint my brain with information.


f7804-img_1469i walk in with a smile, a carefree hello, and and ask how his day was. he asks me the same. then he offers me a warm bowl of freshly made soup, knowing it’d soothe me. i tell him i’d just like a cup of tea first, to just relax. so he offers me the homemade cookies he’d made. i take three. he smiles, and kisses my forehead as i lean into him.