Social Distancing at Grandma and Grandpa’s

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by Michael Casten |

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social distancing, e-learning, puppy, busy

The day boasted a brilliant sun. The warm winds blew through the trees and white, fluffy clouds adorned the sky. We packed up our car, loaded our two dogs, Ginny and Radcliffe, into the van, and headed out. We were on our way to Grandma and Grandpa’s house — a place we haven’t been since last Christmas.

When we arrived Ella’s cousins were already there. We unloaded our van and I placed one of Ella’s ramps between the kitchen door and deck. The deck is multi-leveled so I also placed a ramp from the top level to the lower level. Chairs were spread apart on the deck.

The adults bumped elbows as a greeting; no hugs ensued. We all sat down in the deck chairs and enjoyed some beverages catching up and laughing. The kids put on their swimsuits and took turns running through the sprinkler, spacing themselves apart while waiting for their turns.

Grandma and Grandpa said that the indoors were off-limits; we were all to stay outside. The dogs panted as they walked around the deck. We enjoyed appetizers for a good hour, then Grandpa started grilling burgers and hot dogs. After dinner, Grandma made ice cream sundaes for everyone.

The day was cut short because we knew that social distancing would become more difficult for the kids as the day wore on. We packed up our car, said our farewells, and headed back home.

As we were driving, we engaged in a conversation with our kids about school. Should they do hybrid learning or online learning (called “Online Academy” by the district)? They all immediately said they wanted to go back to school, mainly because they miss their friends. We reminded them that the hybrid model splits classes into two groups and those groups rotate days that they go to school. We also reminded them that social distancing must happen in the school. Most likely they will be kept at their desks which would be spread out. Recess would be different too, as would eating lunch. We also reminded them that they would have to wear masks throughout the school day. 

We moved the conversation to the Online Academy and introduced the idea that it would be a safer model to prevent being exposed to the virus while in public. We told them that they could still see their friends online during lessons. 

We still have time to make the decision about school, although the time is dwindling. Spending a day at Grandma and Grandpa’s house showed us how difficult it would be to socially distance.

Hmm …


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