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lewelma

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Everything posted by lewelma

  1. very good advice. I'll add it to my very long list of fun things to do. 🙂
  2. No we think that after thanksgiving he flies back to NZ and does his last 2 weeks of coursework in quarantine. Then flies to Wellington for his final exams. Then he has 6 weeks to play in the summer sunshine, and we plan to travel as NZ is pushing domestic tourism so lots and lots to do without all the foreigners making things crowded. Don't have apple, and google is the problem because his account is linked to NZ so it restricts access to only those apps allowed in this region of the world. This is true even if he is living in the USA. Such a hassle. We have been round and round on this.
  3. Yup! That is what I am doing. 🙂 One back up location requires a car. So this thread was to determine if that location was even a possibility. I've already consider 3 other back up locations, and crossed 2 off the list for other reasons.
  4. So on my list of fun things to figure out in a covid world in two separate countries: Flights: do they run and is there still space when only 3 flights leave NZ per week, finding a safe hotel for his layover, appropriate PPE, where to buy it, can we rebook his cancelled tickets for the same cost Thanksgiving plans when dorms close down but still 3 weeks of school remain: where will he go, if back to NZ is there room in quarantine, can he get his work done in quarantine, do we have to pay $4000 for him to stay in quarantine. Finances: getting ds a credit card, still trying to sort out Venmo, paying for MIT Back up location if dorms close unexpectantly: how to get there, getting a key, how close are facilities, internet, mental health, friendships, etc. Asking about multiple back up locations and making pros and cons lists Driver's licence: proof of residency, finding a car, hiring a company, timing Health care: power of attorney, understanding HIPPA ramifications, living will (yes, my sister suggested this one) Coursework: making sure he can get his hands-on classes in with restricted course options Risks of return: Already been asking these questions, he understands the health ramifications and risks We have already decided on the basics: YES he does want to be in university next year (not taking a gap year), YES he does want to be in the same time zone as any online classes, and YES he does want to live in the dorms. So the driver's licence issue is just one piece in a very large moving puzzle.
  5. haha. I did, but it was late last night. clearly I did not read far enough. I'm on it.
  6. I've talked to a real estate agent and she has told us that the rental market is quite toppsy turvey because Boston put in a no-eviction notice that only got lifted a week ago. So there will be a lot of evictions and thus more open apartments soon. She thinks there will be plenty of subleases. I'll ask her about the AirBnB market. As for credit, we are having a hell of a time dealing with the American financial system. And my ds is still paying for so much in cash. He can't get a Venmo account to pay his friends back because his gmail is linked to NZ so he can't even download the app. The credit card situation requires us to co-sign but with NZ banking. This has not proven to be straight forward. So there are a lot of pieces to clean up and make happen. And by the time I wake up, I have 1 hour until all places close. So all things just take longer to make happen unless I want to wake up in the middle of the night and wait on hold. haha
  7. I've checked and there is good internet access in the NC location. As for the apartment in Boston, he definitely wants to live in the dorms if they are open. MIT has a *very* strong dorm culture, where you live in the same wing within the dorm for all 4 years, so all of the kids there are like his family. Right now they are saying the seniors will be in the dorms for both terms and the juniors for the fall, sophomores and freshman for spring. If this remains the case, he would like to be with his friends in the fall. Most but not all seem to be choosing to stay in the dorm and not get an apartment near by. He plans to sublease in the spring, and we have contacted a real estate agent already who says this should be possible. There are just so many balls in the air, and we won't get confirmation from MIT until next week. Then I have to deal with the flight arrangements. I've already talked to a flight specialist to make sure all is in order and that there will be flights. So just picking off each piece one by one, and trying to anticipate some stuff so that I'm not swamped with decisions all in one week without having thought through some of the ramifications.
  8. He can get a bank statement, but he can't get a bill from either a dorm or if he is living with my sister. Is there another way to prove residency? If he lives in the mountains of NC in the free accommodation he has available, there is no public transport, uber, or roads capable of biking on. He would need a car. The grocery store is about a 45 minute walk each way, so he could do it, but it would not be pleasant in the snow and I assume it would take even longer. It is sounding like this is not going to be the backup plan. As for staying in Boston, I am not sure where he would go if he is given about a week to vacate the dorms. I don't think he could even sublease an apartment that quickly, plus the plan was for him to return to NZ in December and January, as MIT has cancelled their January term. So wherever he goes would be for only 4-8 weeks.
  9. I wonder if he could somehow argue he is resident in VA if he has to move in with them. Then he could practice on US roads with her and get his licence with her car. Then he would not have to work through a driving school, and could just take the exam when they had space. But obviously there still might be a backlog problem in November.
  10. This is very valuable advice. If my ds can't get a licence, he probably should live with my sister in VA if the dorms close rather than living with his friends in the mountains of NC.
  11. Wow! I go to sleep and wake up with so much information. To answer some questions. 1) If he gets kicked out of his dorm, his grandparents have a condo in the mountains of NC. So he could go there. We would BUY him a car if this came to be. So sorry to get the conversation sidetracked with renting cars. 2) Believe it or not, when I had to insure my ds's new violin and needed American insurance, I called USAA who I had not worked with for 25 years (when we left the US). And they still had me in their database (my dad was in the US Army). So my ds has a USAA account!! haha. So sounds like if he does rent, it would be through them! 3) We live downtown in a city, so luckily for him he will have a LOT of city driving. A couple of days mucking around in Boston should do the trick. 4) None of the kids have a car at MIT. The campus is walkable and the cost to park is outrageous. So no, can't borrow one from a friend. 5) We looked into him going to his Aunt's house in VA to get a licence there. But he has to be a resident. Same in WI where his uncle lives. 6) I am unclear if he can prove residence in MA because he is in a dorm. I would assume so, but when he returns, he will not have lived there since March. I looked on their site, and it was somewhat unclear to me what would be required to prove residence. 7) My understanding is the same as Arcadia's. I don't think his restricted NZ licence allows him to drive in the US. But I would assume this would vary by state. I am pretty sure that it would not allow him to rent a car at 21. But most of the stuff I have read, and the links given on this thread are very vague about the ramifications of the licence being restricted. It does look like if it is accepted, that it would only be fore 3 months or short term. So the main thing I have to figure out is how backed logged are the Driving Schools. He is crazy busy during term, so we could send him a week early to get this done, but then he would have to stay in a hotel in Boston, which is crazy expensive. He is supposed to quarantine for 7 days in his dorm, and this would be before that. I'm not sure if MA has quarantine orders like NY (haven't looked into that yet!) However, he can't have it now, can't get it on the international flight out of NZ, and we have just purchased him N95 masks and goggles for the domestic flight to Boston, so I don't think he will have it to give to the driver's school people!
  12. I'm working to get my ds sorted to move back to the USA from NZ to attend university. Because of the uncertainty of the semester, I need to make sure that he can leave campus and move somewhere in a hurry. I would like him to have a drivers licence because there is a condo he and his friends can live in as a backup, but he would need a car. He will have his restricted licence in NZ, which means he has passed the written test and the practical test. A full licence is obtained 1.5 years later. He will not have a full licence but he will be 20. I believe that his restricted licence will not let him drive in the US on a foreign licence. Neither he or any of his friends will have a car in Boston that he can use to take the MA drivers test. In order to be able to rent a car, he will need a US licence. How does he get this licence if he does not have a car? What company can we pay to use a car to take the test?
  13. We are in NZ. I have not lived in the USA in 25 years, and I know that things have changed. My ds intends to return to university in late August and I need to make sure all the health care issues have been planned out. He has US coverage through his university which I understand is pretty good and gives him access to Mass General, which I understand is a good hospital. What I need to know is about stuff like HIPPA, medical power of attorney, living wills etc. which I would like in place for obvious reasons before we send him back to the USA. My main concern is that if something goes wrong, no one can talk to the doctors. How do we fix that? Do I need a lawyer? What does he need to sign? Where do we get it and where do we file it? Ruth in NZ
  14. MIT has already told students that they must quarantine for 7 days, so perhaps it will be 14 now. We know DS cannot have it now in NZ, or get it on the international flight from NZ to San Fran. His only problem is getting it on the flight from San Fran to Boston, or in either airport. The flight is direct, but that is his only point of interacting with the contagion in close quarters. My sister is recommending a full N95 mask and face shield for that 5 hour flight. gulp. But then his risk is close to zero.
  15. Yes, we are facing the same problem. We live in a 650 sq foot apartment with a ds whose courses will run from 11pm to 7am if he stays here. If he leaves, he will have one semester in a dorm where he may have to leave in a hurry (so we need a contingency plan as he can't return home), and one semester in an apartment which will need to be subleased with us helping overseas. We know there are flights out of here in August, but we are not sure he can return to NZ because of the overfull quarantine situation. Surprisingly, he is rolling with the punches.
  16. DS took 2 courses at the local university in 10th grade. We had a couple of goals. 1) For ds to learn to meet outside expectations and timelines. This was no problem for him which relieved my mind. 2) To find out if ds could/should remain in NZ for university. After his experience, he decided he would rather be a small fish in a big pond. We decided after these 2 courses in 10th grade, that he would do all classes as homegrown in 11th and 12th grade.
  17. Honestly, I am assuming if ds goes back that he will get it. If we as a family can make peace with that, then he will go. Dorm or apartment, either is more risky than here.
  18. Thanks guys to giving me some more things to think about. Good idea, Pen, to look at what we know of impacts to lung and cognitive function. Yes, I think he wants to be in the USA, even with a pandemic. The time zone problem is a real problem. He doesn't seem to care too much if it is online or not. It is just the time zone problem. I agree that the dorm situation is very likely to go belly up. My sister who lives in VA has offered to take him at the last minute and his cousin is super fun and a senior in highschool interested in majoring in physics. So that could work. They do live in the boonies, and he won't have his full drivers licence. But then again, where would he go if he knows no one. I think the better approach would be to find an apartment with his friends. They are starting to put this together, but it is just tricky without having all the info we need.
  19. Thanks guys for the ideas. To answer some questions. Yes, MIT has said that they will be half in person (this came out 2 weeks ago). It is currently believed that Juniors will be on campus of fall and online for spring. Online options for my ds are miserable because EST classes run from 1am to 9am right now, and when we switch to day light savings they will run 11pm to 7am. We currently have all 4 of us in a 650sq foot apartment, so he can't just live the night shift and not wake the rest of us up. This means that online classes for him will have no interaction component. Plus it makes it really hard for him to work at all collaboratively with his friends which means taking MIT classes in isolation, which is definitely not a good plan. Put this with the cost of tuition at 50K per year, and online in NZ is not on the list if we can avoid it. He cannot just go to university here. DS is a very high end student, which is why he had to leave NZ to be educated. Even at MIT he has gotten the top grades in 4 of his 5 physics classes. He could get a job next year and defer. In fact he could continue on his current research project - he analyzing CERN data. This project is all online, and he meets with his advisors from midnight to 1am. Biggest problem with this is that he is likely to lose his dorm placement if he does not go back when invited, and the dorm is the center of his life. So that is a definite no go. So we currently plan to send him for one dorm semester and one Boston apartment online semester as long as we have some evidence that this is not a huge risk medically. This is why I'm looking for data.
  20. Yeah, that is what I was afraid of, and it won't be very helpful in our decision making. DS will be 20 and has no pre-existing conditions. So we are trying to figure out his risk which should be low. The question is how low. Perhaps this is an impossible ask. Sigh. We all are making so many decisions without enough information.
  21. Thanks for that. MIT is only allowing half of their students back so the dorms will be half full. They are also requiring all students to quarantine for the first 7 days, but we have not heard how that will be managed. They will also leave at Thanksgiving. This will be quite tricky for my ds as we don't know if there will be space for him in quarantine, so he may have to leave his dorm, and hang out in LA for a while until they allow him to board a flight. Then 2 weeks in quarantine for his last 2 weeks of classes, then flight to Wellington for exam week. gulp!
  22. NZ citizens are allowed to return (and also those with the official visa type called "permanent residents" which is the pathway to citizenship). Border is closed to all foreign nationals, including family of people on different visa types like a "work visa" who are currently in the country. Some family members were caught off shore when the borders closed, and they are stuck right now because all the quarantine facilities are at capacity with just the returning NZ citizens. There are exceptions being made for foreign nationals who have critically important jobs (like the German engineers who needed to fix our very complex sewage crisis here in Wellington). And exceptions for people who are very positive for the economy (the 56 member Avatar film team and their families were allowed in. They are supposed to create 1000 jobs here to make the film). Currently, we can only quarantine 250 people per day because they have to stay for 14 days - so space for only around 4000 spaces in total throughout the country. It is just hard to find suitable hotels (1 exit, enough space, place to walk outside for exercise, etc), and they must be very very carefully managed and manned, so they can't grow the operation too quickly. They have already had to start busing arrivals from Auckland to Rotorua which is 3 hours away because they can't find any more hotels in Auckland. They are about to open the second hotel quarantine facility here in Wellington next week. It costs $4000 per person to go through the 14 day quarantine, and currently the government is picking up the cost.
  23. NZ - there was a bit of a bungle in quarantine about 2 weeks ago, so they are running around confirming the numbers: 16 cases were caught at the border in the past 2 weeks and they are all currently in quarantine No community spread - 50,000 tests completed last week in Auckland have come back negative. Auckland is where the quarantine facility has been for the last 2 months, so some people were concerned about that location specifically. We are currently testing around 10K people/day around the country which is around 1% of the population per week. All negative. No cases from community spread for about 6 weeks now I think. So looks good even with the border bungle.
  24. We have a difficult decision coming up -- whether to send my older ds from NZ where Covid has been eliminated to Boston to live in a dorm. What kind of statistics are available for the percent of 19-20 year olds? I have always figured that if he goes, he will get it. So we need to evaluate the risk given his age group. So for example, if 80% in that age group have mild symptoms, and 0.5% require hospitalization, and 0.01% die, we could use that data to decide how much risk he is willing to take, and whether he is wants to go back. So is there any half-way decent data by age group?
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