Week Four of Lock Down

Day 22
Avery had story time again! She was so excited and this time it was much more organized. Mics were muted and songs were sung. The kids were allowed to talk when their names were called. It was a good time for her.
Claire finished her elearning early so I introduced her to Pinterest. She spent much of the afternoon using the glue gun and creating different figures using plastic Easter eggs. She made a bee, frog, minion, Easter bunny and so much more. Avery discovered the read along Disney book+CD sets in my closet and spent most of the afternoon listening to those.
It was a good hands off day.

It was also a milestone for the world. Over one million were infected with COVID-19. The good news was that 97% of Danes were surviving this infection. The island that includes Copenhagen was reporting that they expected there would be enough hospital beds for those needing hospitalization. A tent was built with the purpose to test more Danes.
Italy was now asking Denmark for materials and medical professionals and the Health Department was considering it.
Churches stated they would not open for worship on Easter.
All pregnant nursing students in their third trimester were told to work from home.
New laws were put in place. If a foreigner was caught breaking the law related to the coronavirus, they could be expelled from the country.

The numbers on Day 22: 3386 infected, 525 hospitalized, 153 intensive care, 123 deaths.

Day 23
Friday was the day before Easter break so elearning was really just one big project. Claire had to come up with some sort of BIG climate project. Something to showcase what she has learned and how to teach environmental issues to others.
It took her a while to think of something. We brainstormed together on some of it too. She knew exactly what she wanted to do but wasn’t sure on how to showcase it. I suggested a presentation and she went for it.

She also had to share a song that was 20 seconds long. The teachers announced they were sick of Happy Birthday. Luckily, we had come up with a song earlier in the week that she was more than happy to share.

After elearning was completed, we went outside. We played some soccer and Avery was a bit of a sore sport. She was very upset when mommy wouldn’t let her score every goal she wanted. So we quickly switched to cartwheels. Claire decided she wanted to learn cartwheels so I tried to give her some lessons. It is now one of her quarantine goals; master the cartwheel.

With cold (and somewhat sore) toes, we came into the house. I decided we needed a dessert for the weekend so we made gluten free vanilla wafer bars. Yum!

There wasn’t a lot of new news heading into the break. Danes were reminded to continue to social distance and keep gatherings under 10 people. The concern for adequate PPE continued.

The numbers on Day 23: 3757 infected, 517 hospitalized, 143 intensive care, 139 deaths.

Day 24
Yeah! Saturday….or really any day over the last few weeks. The only difference is that the husband is home most of the day and there is no elearning.
Our Saturday was spent inventing new games, cleaning rooms, knocking down mole holes in the backyard and some online math.
That evening we had a special event.
The girls decided we needed a fancy meal. It involved us all getting dressed up (the husband even wore a tie), using fancy glasses (wine glasses) and talking “fancy”.
The husband and Claire even decided to act like servers. Avery and I were walked to the table and they served the meal to us.
We were sure to drink with our pinky fingers up.
The meal served was stegt flæsk, potatoes and green beans. The dessert was blueberries, vanilla cake and a drizzling of chocolate.
Oh so fancy…

More statistics were released by Statens Serum Institut (SSI). They reported that most of those killed by coronavirus were above 60 years old. Only four had died under the age of 60. ICUs were finding the patients on respirators are typically on one for over a week and also had an increased risk of dying. A Japanese heartburn medicine was beginning to be tested along with antibody sampling for those recovered from the virus.
Beer was poured into the sewers from some local bars due to expiration date.
Danes were asked to not hoard before Easter as grocery stores were asked to stay open over the Easter holiday (typically most stores are closed from Thursday thru Monday).
5999 Danes had been tested the day before for the virus.

The numbers on Day 24: 4077 infected, 507 hospitalized, 142 intensive care, 161 deaths.

Day 25
Absolutely beautiful day! The sun was shining much of the day. We even got the hammock out. We spent much of the day fighting over it.
We also tried to play outside as much as possible. We went for a bike ride and practiced our cartwheels.

It was announced that there would be a big press conference by the prime minister the next day. Many rumors stated that the prime minister was likely to announce how Denmark would start to reopen. It was reiterated that Denmark could only open if Danes continued to social distance over the break and Easter. The media also stated that it would be a long time until (or if) life could return to “normal”.
Health authorities announced that a 30 minute test would be available after Easter. The goal would then be to test 15,000 Danes a day.

The numbers on Day 25: 4369 infected, 504 hospitalized, 144 intensive care, 179 deaths.

Day 26
Monday. The start of Easter break. We slept in and enjoyed another gorgeous day. I set up a schedule for the girls and man, Claire really likes a schedule. We learned about the oceans using Scholastic learning, did online math and Danish, had an online play date and made multiple crafts.
We played more outside and the girls were sure to water the pavement…

BIG PRESS CONFERENCE!
The prime minister announced that it was time to slowly open Denmark. Very slowly. Day cares, preschools and elementary (K-5th) were being allowed to open. Many stipulations were to be added to this opening and more was to follow the next day. All other students would continue online.
All other closings and gathering bans were to stay in place until May 10th.
All large festivals and events are now banned until September.
Healthcare facilities will now be allowed to open back up to other surgeries to limit the bottleneck that will likely occur because of the focus on coronavirus.
A lot of questions and concerns followed into the evening…

The numbers on Day 26: 4681 infected, 503 hospitalized, 139 intensive care, 187 deaths.

Day 27
We started the morning with a special delivery. I had ordered some craft kits from a local hobby shop in Denmark. I bought a clay craft, sewing craft, sidewalk chalk and foam clay.
I told them they could only choose one project per day and they chose the clay one. Claire created an ugly monster (that she did all on her own) and Avery made a unicorn (that I mostly did).
They were very happy with the results.

After our craft time and learning about hand-washing and hygiene care from Scholastics, we went outside.
It was a great day! Highs were around 70°F and winds were light. The sun was also shining bright.
We passed and dribbled a basketball for awhile until the girls decided it was warm enough to change into their swimsuits. Their mission=water balloon fight!
I thought it was WAY too cold to participate but I certainly enjoyed taking pictures and seeing their reactions.

It was a tumultuous day in Denmark. Many Danes either supported the school reopening or hated it. The ones who hated it stated that it was too soon and that the children should not be guinea pigs. The other side stated the lack of children hospitalized and how children were less likely to be severely sick from COVID-19. That it would help to build herd immunity in the country.

The rules for reopening were as followed:
1) Toys must be washable and washed twice a day (no toys from home)
2) Lunch, if possible, should be held outside
3) Desks should be 2 meters apart and preschoolers should try to sit 4 square meters apart
4) Hands should be washed at least every two hours (and entering school and bathroom breaks)
5) kids should play with the same small group of kids and interaction with other groups must be limited

There was also a lot of concern among households of children with or living with someone in the high risk group. The Health Department said these children could still attend school.
There were also questions on if a child who has a COVID-19 positive person in the same household should be allowed in school. SSI figured yes because family members should be cut off from the rest of the family if they are sick.
There was a lot of confusion for most of Denmark on this day.

Some good news was that the homeless were being given needed prescription drugs for free and 24 aircraft were delivering PPE from China. The National Guard was also called into the help direct traffic at recycling sites as so many Danes were turning up to recycle.

The numbers on Day 27: 5071 infected, 472 hospitalized, 127 intensive care, 203 deaths.

Day 28
Today we learned about gravity. Avery had a hard time grasping it but Claire had the general idea.
They also picked out another craft that I had purchased. Monster dolls!
It took them over an hour to “sew” their monsters and it was awesome! The project let them work on their fine motor skills. It also taught them a little about patience.

It was also another wonderful day so we played outside, had an outdoor picnic and exploded a ziplock bag with baking soda and vinegar. Good day!

Denmark finally gave one unified statement on at risk children and those they interact with in their home environment. Ask your doctor. If your doctor says to stay home, keep the children home.
A new app was launched to help track the spread of COVID-19 through the country. A new study also suggested that the infection number could be 30-80 times higher. But it appeared the curve was flattening so Denmark decided to send help to Italy. They sent respirators, a field hospital and over one million dollars to the Italian Red Cross.
Concern for health professionals was continuing as 189 doctors and nurses in one area of Denmark had been infected. Lack of PPE continued to be a concern.

The numbers on Day 28: 5402 infected, 453 hospitalized, 127 intensive care, 218 deaths.

Thoughts
I mean….we’ve been in self quarantine so long the days all start to run together. We continue to keep the girls at home and hardly escape our property. If we do, it is to the beach or forest where it is easy to keep our distance from others.
The girls miss school so much. I miss them being in school. Mom does not make a good teacher along with being a housekeeper and chef (and now gardener).
I’m happy to hear that the curve is flattening here. We’re lucky it is a small country and there is a good amount of trust in the government and the scientist. Most Danes are following the restrictions. Yes, there are full hardware/outdoor stores. Some people do break the ban. However, most Danes are happy to look out for one another.
I have found online grocery shopping so that decreases my stress a bit. I’m just trying to figure out the groceries I need in Danish (no, not an expert yet).
Be safe friends! Social distancing works!

Link to the curve and statistics in Denmark: https://www.sst.dk/da/corona-eng/COVID-19-update_-statistics-and-charts

Week Three of Lock Down

The saga continues…

Day 15
Today was a low day. I was in a bad mood; Claire didn’t want to do her elearning and Avery was her normal stubborn self. I had little patience for the whining about the same stuff and bickering. I did not win the “mom of the year” award for this day.
Avery did get to see her classmates for a crazy story time. It’s actually very hard to have three to five year olds sit still and video chat. There was a lot of talking and story telling from the kids. You could definitely tell they were all excited to see each other.
We also built a fort, watched more Mo Willems and watched the Cedar Falls Library story time.
We played outside a little bit because it was sunny but there was a brisk wind.

PPE donations from China arrived in Denmark; 5,000 visors, 5,000 suits and 500,000 masks. Research began on a drug called Senicapoc. It is being researched to see if it can inhibit ARD and lung damage caused by COVID-19. The National Board of Health also announced it wants to begin testing 10,000 citizens a day. It is a huge increase from the only 3,000 a day Denmark is currently hitting. Universities and researchers across the country were also reaching out to the government to say they can conduct more tests and faster. An article stated that some researchers believed they could test the entire population in four weeks.
Unfortunately, there were reports that health care workers were being told to go to work while sick. Even if they had a cough and hadn’t been tested. With the dwindling PPE supply, this was a huge concern for many.

The numbers on Day 15: 1877 infected, 386 hospitalized, 94 intensive care, 41 deaths.

Day 16
Fridays=short school days. Claire finished her elearning early and had a blast doing her math games online. She absolutely loves them!
She also got to video chat with one of her teachers. I think these chats are very important to her and I’m thankful her teachers found the time.
Unfortunately, the girls did not like the rest of the day because it was…CLEANING DAY!!!
The mean mom made them clean their rooms. One may have snuck into my bathroom and found the lipstick…

SSI (sort of health institute) announced it had developed a faster coronavirus test and planned to deploy it ASAP. The Danish Health Authorities stated that they had made mistakes and will continue to do so since this is such a new and confusing time. Over 115 charges were posted for congregations of over 10 people in 24 hours. Danes must stay separated!

The numbers on Day 16: 2046 infected, 430 hospitalized, 109 intensive care, 52 deaths.

Day 17
We escaped our home! It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The winds were light and the sun was shining. We ran to the forest.
A lot of other Danes thought the same thing we did but everyone was sure to keep their distance.
It was just me and the girls so I was a little paranoid (especially about the electric fence along the trail). But we did have a great time being away from home and in the outdoors. The girls climbed a tree, swung on some makeshift swings and found the perfect walking sticks. It was so lovely to get out.

I did not check the news this day. I needed a break. While I think it’s important for myself to document what is going on and staying up to date, I felt this was a good day to relax. We enjoyed the outdoors and a movie that night. A well deserved break from the happenings of the world.

The numbers on Day 17: Did not record.

Day 18
A cold front had tracked through (see that KWWL viewers. I still say tracked). It was a chilly day and it was breezy. We decided to spend it baking! We made gluten free sugar cookies. While the dough solidified, I cleaned and the girls played together. Another mellow day.

There wasn’t much to report on with the news. Volunteers and donations have been supporting local hospitals and health departments throughout Denmark. The police also reported that speeding had increased by about 10% across the country. So we were all reminded to slow down.

The numbers on Day 18: 2395 infected, 499 hospitalized, 131 intensive care, 72 deaths.

Day 19
A day of video chats. Avery had her class story time. Claire had a class meet up and a play chat with a friend who had recently moved from Denmark. The elearning continued just fine. Avery learned about ladybugs and we made a hilarious hat for her.
After her elearning, Claire turned on the hot glue gun and made her own little craft. It is a sock puppet named Vipey.
The girls also ended the day with a sleepover together.

Big press conference! The prime minister announced that the curve appeared to be flattening in Denmark. The infection rate had been halved. However, the Department of Health said restrictions must remain in place to keep this successful flattening curve going. If the numbers continued this way, a gradual reopening of Denmark would be possible after Easter. A very structured and gradual reopening.
Hospital patients were starting to be redistributed across Denmark to ease Copenhagen hospital which is the hardest hit. Health staff were expected to begin antibody tests.

The numbers on Day 19: 2577 infected, 533 hospitalized, 137 intensive care, 77 deaths.

Day 20
Today’s elearning consisted of me being interviewed by Claire. I had to share three things about myself and they were: I broke (or tied) numerous track records at my school in high school; I was an on-air meteorologist; I have seen three tornadoes (all in Iowa I might add).
Avery learned about the dentist and how to care for her teeth. She also partook in animal yoga.
The fort was put back up and they spent a lot of time reading in it.

I did not take many notes on this day. I guess the day after the big press conference didn’t have a lot of news.

The numbers on Day 20 : 2860 infected, 529 hospitalized, 145 intensive care, 90 deaths.

Day 21
Art day at school. Claire hates art day. She is critical of her artwork and doesn’t believe it is good enough. So yeah…it was a rough day.
BUT! Something amazing also happened today. You see, we have this bar in our house. Lately the girls had just been using it as their “coffee” shop. Avery has a toy that dispenses water into a little cup, very similar to a Keurig. The girls add M&Ms to the water and like to make their dad and I colored “coffee”.
Avery was running around with our remote control (from Iowa) and talking on it like it was a phone. When she walked over to the bar, she pushed some buttons on the TV remote control and managed to turn on some LED lights that we had, up till this moment, been unable to turn on. The girls spent the rest of the day pushing the buttons and changing the colors of the lights. Disco anyone?

Claire also learned about a Danish Easter tradition. It involves making gækkebreve or snowdrop letters. In the USA, we would call it a paper snowflake. On the snowflake, one writes a poem. Instead of signing your name, you write dots that correspond with the number of letters in your name. The letter is then delivered (anonymously) to a neighbor, friend or family member. They, in turn, must guess who sent it. If they can’t, they owe the sender candy. If they do guess correctly, the sender owes them candy.
Unfortunately, we don’t really know our neighbors and live quite a distance from the school and classmates. So Claire dropped it into our mailbox for her dad to find. He was pleasantly surprised but guessed it was from her right away. She doesn’t have to give him chocolate though…

Translation: My name is very sweet, like sugar but not quite.

I also received a head and foot massage that night from two little helpers so Day 21 turned out to be a pretty alright day.

A video app was introduced to Denmark for general practitioners to see patients in need of non-emergency care. Danes were urged to continue to call their doctors for non-coronavirus issues as well. The health department had noted a significant decrease in phone calls. Many health professionals were concerned other diseases were going unchecked.
A lack of PPE continued to be a concern.
Danes with mild symptoms were told they could be tested especially:
-people with close relationships with others in risk group
-people who can not isolate
-large households
-those in contact with infected
-people with key functions to society

The numbers on Day 21: 3355 infected, 525 hospitalized, 146 intensive care, 104 deaths.

Thoughts
So this blog is a week behind. I’m actually finishing it up right before Easter. But a huge press conference happened this week that announced Denmark will be sending all elementary and younger children back to school. There will be stricter rules in place that schools must follow. The 10 person ban also remains in place so schools are planning to adjust. I’ll have a lot more in my next post but I know family members may be reading this and wondering about our girls.
The school they attend has decided to continue with the option to do online learning for the next few weeks. We have decided to go that route. Avery’s class will not do online learning but I hope I can continue to supplement at home.
In the coming weeks, I really need to hammer home personal space. Claire is a huge hugger and I am telling her every day that she can only hug her family. I sing “Happy Birthday” over and over with Avery as we wash our hands. I try to explain how everything will be different once they go back.
I’ll have much more detail on how different in my next post….

Week Two of Lock Down

My husband has wanted me to correct that we’re not really in “lock down”. It’s true the countries borders are closed (unless you have a good reason to come in). Our family is in self quarantine.

So to catch you up…

Day 8
The week the honeymoon was over?
Claire did not have a good day with elearning. It was a lot of written work and she was not a fan. We were arguing about doing your best so I decided to let her take a break. That helped a lot. She was able to finish her work after a breather.

Avery learned about the moon through Scholastic learning. We attempted to make a moon craft (she lost interest fast) and so she went to play play dough and Barbies by herself. WIN!
Mom (me) was tired. Tank on E. Tired of trying to be positive.
Luckily it was a gorgeous, sunny day. The winds were light. After all school work was done, we escaped outside. The girls ran around barefoot (crazy) and pretended to be wood sprites.
I worked on our seven raised beds that the owner had left. They had not been tended to for quite some time and needed clearing out and more dirt. We plan to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, dill, peas, carrots, lettuce and sweet peas. Green beans will be added if we have enough room. Peppers will be grown indoors since Denmark is a bit too cold for them and we don’t have a greenhouse.
The neighbor kids were also outside. We waved to them while they jumped on their trampoline and kept our six feet distance. It was very hard for Claire as she loves to make friends.

Press conferences in Denmark continue and conflicting reports occurred as well. Play dates were deemed OK as long as the children were healthy but then were labeled unsafe later that day. It was finally announced that outdoor play dates were okay but with only one other family, that family alone, and they didn’t have dates with anyone else. Public transportation was being greatly reduced and the elderly were advised to avoid it at all costs. Hostels that serve the homeless are allowed to stay open until the end of April. Opticians were told to close. More financial stuff was passed to help the economy.
The National Board of Health recommended all pregnant women who show symptoms of COVID-19 must be tested. Over 11,000 Danes signed up to help deliver medicine to the home-bound (or high risk individuals). The Prime Minister did a Facebook live to answer questions. More numbers were released. Three children were hospitalized. Intensive care ages were 47-82 year olds with the average age around 70. Most are men.
The United States issued a level 4:Do Not Travel Advisory.

The numbers on Day 8: 1151 infected, 153 hospitalized, 30 intensive care, 6 deaths.

Day 9:
Elearning finally went awesome! Claire did 90% of it herself!
We played outside much of the day as it was sunny again. The girls ran around barefoot (again), roller skated and we cleaned up the tennis court. We don’t know how to play tennis so the court is used for RC cars, skating and biking.
The girls also finished a project they had been working on for awhile. A food truck! They spent a big chunk of the day painting it a variety of colors. That night, we watched a movie and they served us from it.

The Menu:
Popcorn:$2
Drinks (including beer):$0.25
Candy:FREE

Reports of testing shortages began to be reported by the news. Healthcare workers were not getting tested like they should. Protective gear for these workers was feared to be inadequate. The health department was listening and was promising to look into it and resolve it as soon as possible. A song called “You’ll Never Walk Alone” played across Europe for healthcare workers.
Fines were beginning to be handed out to open businesses that were allowing more than 10 to congregate. A bar in Odense was fined and closed down. A teen was also arrested for stealing hand sanitizer from a hospital.
Danes abroad were told to come home now! The window was closing to make it back.

The numbers on Day 9: 1255 infected, 186 hospitalized, 37 intensive care, 9 deaths.

Day 10
The weekend!!!
Which when you’re in self quarantine it doesn’t really feel like the weekend. I’ve honestly lost track of the days multiple times…
We spent most of the day outside. We rode bikes, worked in the yard and chased bubbles. The girls and I planted peas and carrots (may be a bit early).
Claire has really shown a passion for baking so we baked banana bread together. She loved it.
Our neighbors also had the same idea of spending the day outside as well. They also LOVE pop music and they love to listen to it LOUD. So we also had a bit of a dance party while they jammed.

Denmark police sent out a text message to all Danish mobile phones. It basically said: “We know the sun is out and you want to be out. Practice social distancing and keep congregations under 10. If not, you will be fined.”
Two nature parks north of Copenhagen closed because too many people were escaping there and not distancing. The lakes around Copenhagen became unified meaning everyone must walk the same direction around it. An x-ray bus was deployed in Copenhagen as well to test the homeless and vulnerable citizens.

The numbers on Day 10: 1326 infected, 206 hospitalized, 42 intensive care, 13 dead.

Day 11
Cleaning day!!! It was all met with happy faces and no whining.

I’m lying.

There was a lot of crying and arguing. But the house did get cleaned and there was even time to create. Claire took a mint container and added a flashlight (with help from the husband). I also made a quarantine art wall. I don’t know how long we’ll be in stuck indoors but I can guarantee there will be a lot of art by the time it ends.

A new testing strategy was announced in Denmark. They want to go more with the WHO recommendations of “test, test, test”. Plans were being put into action to achieve the possibility to test 3,000 Danes a day. At this point, it was only around 800-1,000. The conditions were also changed for those who should be tested. They included:
-anyone suspected of moderate to severe symptoms
-pregnant women or newborns with symptoms
-anyone with mild symptoms who preforms critical functions
-special attention given to vulnerable groups

The numbers on Day 11: 1395 infected, 232 hospitalized, 46 intensive care, 13 dead

Day 12
Elearning continues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was also “spirit” week for Claire’s class. Monday was mismatch day.
It was another wonderful, sunny day so we played outside. This time we crawled under bushes in the yard and played superheroes. I was the villain. I was also a horrible villain because the girls would get upset when I escaped jail and I laughed so hard I couldn’t run.
We video chatted with some family, watched Mo Willems lunch doodles, started a solar system and made another batch of banana bread.

Today bad news came. The lock down was announced to continue until at least April 13th. We knew it was coming but it still was tough to hear. Danish families were told to stay home for Easter and that a travel ban was being considered to keep families home. Officials were hopeful the peak of the pandemic would happen in four weeks for Denmark. Around 1,060 respirators were ready for those needing them and officials estimated this would be enough.
In total, 17,000 Danes have signed up to help the health care system. A juice factory was starting to switch to bottling hand sanitizer; 17,200 liters of cider was being made into hand sanitizer from one of Denmark’s big breweries and Danish health officials were asking South Korea for the coronavirus tests they had originally turned down.

The numbers on Day 12: 1460 infected, 254 hospitalized, 55 intensive care, 24 dead.

Day 13
Team day=Cornhusker day in this household!
PE day was hard. We did burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks and more for 15 minutes. I was sore for days.
Claire and a classmate wrote poems back and forth to each other on the learning app the school is using.
We watched story time live in Cedar Falls, watched more Mo Willems and finished the solar system.

Story Time: So the solar system needed glitter (the girls’ request). I hate glitter. It is bad for the environment (ends up in water supply) and it gets EVERYWHERE. So when I accidentally knocked it all over the floor I said some words very loudly. It is probably Claire’s favorite memory of the week. My choice words: “Son of a musket eating bulldog”.

Yeah…I don’t know where that came from. My husband says it may be from those old Orbitz commercials. I think he may be right…

Around 65 fines were posted by police to those who gathered with more than 10. Private hospitals were ordered to shut down so the public health care system could have access to all anesthesia tools and respirators that may be needed. Denmark’s largest toy store closed down (temporarily).

The number on Day 13: 1591 infected, 301 hospitalized, 69 intensive, 32 dead
*Median age of deaths: 77 years old*

Day 14
Today was meal box day! Before COVID-19, I had signed up for a boxed food service (Retnemt). I absolutely love it! Around our small town, the food selection is pretty much the same but thanks to this service we get to try so many different cuisines. The meals are not always winners (mostly losers for Avery). I do love the convince of someone else doing the shopping for me and designing the meal. I especially love the curry based meals. Yum!

Day 14 was another rough start. It was dress wild day so I had two children running around the house with underwear on their heads. (Yes! It was clean underwear.)
Claire has been learning about the environment and Greta Thunberg. Her teachers gave her a video to watch. It definitely overwhelmed her. Let me tell you about my daughter. She has a BIG heart. She also takes everything to heart. Watching a video about how the climate, mass extinction and how we need to take action NOW, brought her to tears. She felt helpless and kept asking me what can we do? I told her we need to follow the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) and contact our politicians. This answer seemed to help a bit but she was off much of the day.
We went outside and I created a new game with sidewalk chalk and rocks. Claire named it “Throw Rock.” She also won (first one to 300 won).
To close the day, we made coconut macaroons. Lots of sugar and sticky but ssssoooo delicious! They go great with hot coffee or tea. The girls weren’t fans of the sticky dough but they loved dipping them in the chocolate.

Fines were increased on petty crimes across Denmark as they are beginning to occur a bit more. Fines for any crime related to the coronavirus like theft and fraud, increased four times. Testing guidelines were updated:

-nursing homes/institutions employees must be tested
-threshold lowered for who can be tested (includes those with mild symptoms)

Supply issues were starting to become more apparent and it continued to be a priority of the government.

The number on Day 14: 1724 infected, 350 hospitalized, 87 intensive, 34 dead

Thoughts

Whelp. This is very late post coming out. We’re actually already into week three but I haven’t started that post yet. It turns out being at home with kids really limits your alone time. They are over my shoulders (or on my lap) most of the time.

We are sick of each other. Both girls miss their friends (as do I). I even miss just saying hi to the parents I barely know in the morning. I have little contact with the outside world. All groceries are delivered to the house and the husband gets anything that is not deliverable as he is still working.

Again, we remain healthy. We are lucky to be at home and to have such great support from the school to continue their education. We may have shorter tempers but we also have shared many laughs.

Now to work on the week three post….

Week One in Lock Down

It began last Wednesday, March 11th. The Prime Minister of Denmark announced that all schools were to close due to COVID-19. If you could work from home, do. The virus had taken a hold of Denmark.

Day 1:

Did not start great.
Claire was very upset there was no school. She was even more upset when I told her it was canceled for the next 12 days. Avery wasn’t too upset. I think she was more upset because her sister was acting so sad.
But I promised the girls we would have a fun day. I printed off worksheets for them to do. Lots of coloring and painting for Avery. Problem solving and math for Claire. We put together unicorn Aquabeads, played games and had a dance party in the evening. Avery also managed to change her outfit six times throughout the day.

Denmark didn’t have the best day either. Storm Laura was also making its way across the country. It brought strong winds that closed down the large bridges that connect Sweden and Denmark and some of Denmark’s islands. We even had some graupel at one point.
There was also hoarding, or hamstring (in Danish). The government had warned NOT to do this but obviously a few folks decided not to listen. Bread, milk and yeast were the most picked over items. Due to this hoarding, the Danish government decided to restrict the release of drugs from pharmacies. This is to prevent needed medicines from being hoarded and running out for those who desperately need them.
Emergency day cares were set up for parents who had to work in essential jobs.
The government was also beginning to work on legislation to help the economy. There were discussions to issue subsidies to businesses to help avoid massive layoffs of employees. New laws were being made to try and slow the spread of the virus.
Denmark also imposed restrictions to travel to the United States after the US imposed restrictions on most of Europe. Denmark pretty much said all travel should be avoided.

The numbers on Day 1: 674 infected, 0 deaths.

Day 2:

The home front was a little less crazy. We again played with Aquabeads, printed worksheets, worked on activity books, painted nails and played the game Twister (I won) and Spot It. It was also a gorgeous day so we went for a bike ride. The girls also played outside in the leftover rain puddles. All in all…it was a good day.

The Denmark government was starting to come up with new laws and all were expected to be enacted. I’ve translated it the best I can but some information may be lost in translation. The Danish government can now:

  • Force isolation or vaccination
  • Cancel public events
  • Close or restrict access to public institutions
  • Close educational institutions
  • Override patient rights
  • Limit public transportation
  • Restrict or limit visitors to nursing homes and hospitals
  • Enforce rules to ensure supply of goods
  • Expropriate private property

I believe these laws are only in enforcement for a certain amount of time but I can’t recall how long.

Officials in a press conference (which now happen every day) admitted they were too optimistic Denmark would miss the virus. They regretted not acting faster before community spread was detected. Therefore, it was determined that Denmark must go from a containment strategy to a mitigation strategy; the “flatten the curve” strategy that is well known across the world now. It was also announced that only the severely sick would be tested for the virus to free up hospital employees and prevent spreading the virus within hospitals. A drive through test center had been set up in Aarhus but you could only go if recommended by your practitioner.
The border was closed on Saturday at noon. Danish citizens were allowed in as well as goods and medicines. Without a valid excuse, foreigners would be turned away.

The numbers on Day 2: 801 infected, 0 deaths.

Day 3:

Saturday!!

We decided to escape the confines of the house and go to the beach in the afternoon. It was sunny but windy and cold. The high was only in the mid 40s (°F). But hey, the sun was shining!
We had a good time. I was freezing but the girls were bundled up in their snowsuits and winter gear. Claire ran around the beach, jumping in puddles and finding shells. Avery dug in the sand and tried to build a sandcastle with gloves. The husband drove his RC car. I soaked in the rays and listened to the ocean.

We weren’t the only ones who had thought to run away to the beach but most Danes were staying to themselves and keeping a good distance between each other.
After a good hour or two, we made our way into the coastal town. We saw the ferry that was no longer running due to the border closing. The husband also found a fish market with smoked salmon (it was delicious). I found local honey.
We stopped at the grocery store to pick up milk and bread and headed home.

Another press conference brought more details about the coronavirus. Most of the infected were believed to have been related to a popular skiing resort in Austria. It explained why many of the infected were in their 40s.
The first death was reported in Denmark from the virus. Hundreds had been turned away from the border. Some young adults had also been found to have spread the virus through a game of beer pong.
But it wasn’t all bad news. The health department had asked for medical volunteers to sign up to help with the influx of patients expected over the next several weeks to months. Over 1,700 had signed up to assist. They were medical students in their final years, those who were retired and the unemployed with a medical background. Awesome!

The numbers on Day 3: 827 infected, 2 deaths.

Day 4

Sunday I ran to the school to pick up Claire’s packet of homework she was expected to do over the next two weeks. The school had crafted an online program and I needed to get the paper stuff before it started on Monday (a million thanks to the mom who picked it up for me Thursday). I also stopped at the grocery store which was pretty well stocked. Some shelves were empty but it definitely wasn’t aisles of empty shelves.
Back at home, we spent the day playing, making St. Patrick’s Day crafts and wearing swimsuits (Avery). That night, we enjoyed Frozen 2 and I still know all the words to the soundtrack.

Germany closed its borders while Denmark’s other neighbor, Sweden, remained open. It was expected that further restrictions were to be announced in the coming days. The government was also still putting together a proposal to boost the economy and prevent major layoffs. Italy’s death count was starting to trickle in too. Sunday it was 368 dead in Italy from the virus in 24 hours.

The numbers on Day 4: 864 infected, 3 deaths.

Day 5

Elearning began!

Ugh.

Claire and I both missed the classroom. We had a few bugs to figure out. Claire thought she could say no to everything. I had to remind her that this was schoolwork and she was expected to do it. One particular assignment sent her to the corner crying. Ooooffff!
Avery learned about cats and rabbits. The resources we used were from Scholastic learning and Pinterest.
After homeschooling, we went out to roller skate. The girls also started work on a food truck (still a work in progress).
And the BEST thing of all? A Easter care package from Grandma arrived!! The girls got lots of Easter candy, a book and activity. The grownups even received some candy and saltine crackers (for the husband). Next time, Grandma is sending jalapeno Cheetos.

Numbers from Italy continued to come in. Around 350 deaths in 24 hours. All religious ceremonies in Denmark were to be postponed until Easter or later. The European Union introduced a 30 day entrance ban on travelers to slow the spread of the virus. The Danish border had rejected over 500 people from the borders over the weekend. The mitigation strategy was still in effect but due to WHO recommendations, an average of 600 were being tested per day. The spread needed to be followed and it was possible, Denmark was only in week one or two in to this pandemic.

The numbers on Day 5: 914 infected, 62 hospitalized, 3 deaths.

Day 6

Elearning went better. Claire was in the swing of it and completed all her work in about two hours.
Avery continued with crafts and other learning resources I had found online.
We went for a walk along the stream in our town making sure to stay away from anyone passing by. We even ventured to the small playground but left as soon as someone else showed up.
We dyed our hair with hair chalk, wore green and even watched the Cedar Falls Library do a live story time on Facebook.

A BIG press conference was held. It was announced earlier in the day and well…the hoarders hit the stores again. There was a rumor that a complete lock down was going to be announced. But this did end up just being a rumor.
What ended up happening is stricter measures were put in place but not a curfew.

The new restrictions until March 30th:

  • gathering must be under 10 people
  • all gyms and sport facilities must close
  • hair salons, tattoo parlors, etc must close
  • restaurants, bars and cafes must close; but take way will be allowed
  • malls and department store must close; drive up will be allowed
  • food stores and pharmacies must STAY open BUT employees must be 4 square meters from costumers and use gloves if possible

It was enforced that numbers will continue to rise and the healthcare will be taxed if people do not take this seriously. A two meter distance must be kept. Social distancing must be used.

To enforce this even more, Queen Margrethe II spoke. This was historic as the queen or king typically only speaks on New Years Eve. This was the first time since World War II (I believe) royalty have spoken outside of the New Year speech broadcast.
The queen spoke in harsh words. She urged Danes to keep their distance. That birthdays and parties must be canceled. That it is “mindless and ruthless” to not social distance. She went on the thank all those working in the heath field, grocery stores and the truck drivers.

The numbers on Day 6: 977 infected, 82 hospitalized, 4 deaths.

Day 7

More homeschooling!
Elearning went well again. Claire did many more hands on/creative activities. She built a “robot” out of recyclable materials, made a civilization she called “Ghostland”, painted with nature and made a sign about recycling on Canva. Her elearning lasted past lunch.
Avery was a little more difficult. She was tired of our routine and wanted to do something else. Luckily, her teacher sent her a project just in time so she was able to make an owl. I also found a big empty box and she pasted it with stickers and said it was her new bed.
They spent the rest of the afternoon playing outside, drawing with Mo Willems and playing together inside. I even taught Claire how to play solitaire. They went to bed together. Their third slumber party of the week.

The Ministry of Justice set fines for violating the new laws enacted by the prime minister the night before. Fines would also increase for repeat offenders. The Director of the National Board of Health then spoke. He said that there are young and old coming in to the hospital and that it is too soon to release the age distribution. They are mapping respirators throughout the country. They fear the biggest challenge will be staff capacity and not equipment shortages. Testing is now up to 1000 people per day. Experts believed it is unlikely institutions will be allowed to open in two weeks like planned. The Ministers for Business and Finance are working on details to keep businesses safe (a lot of details and numbers that I don’t understand).

The numbers on Day 7: 1057 infected, 129 hospitalized, 4 deaths.

Thoughts

So there it is. One week in Denmark with the virus sweeping the world. We have thought about going back to the USA but things developed so rapidly we now feel safer here. Flights are hard to find and the risk of getting infected will likely be higher if we get on an airplane and travel through packed airports. Therefore, our family will be staying put in Denmark.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. We have no family here to rely on. But we do have friends and a wonderful international community. We are following all the rules set in place by the CDC, WHO and Danish government.

Homeschooling and isolation will be hard for my outgoing girls who miss their friends dearly. They continue to find my buttons and push them. Send wine and Cheetos.

However, we are healthy. I pray it continues that way.