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Everything posted by Penguin

  1. @mumto2 I didn’t realize that you were now permanently in the US
  2. From the Level 4 statement: U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. and: If you decide to travel abroad or are already outside the United States: Consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available. Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.
  3. I was coming on here to ask you exactly this, Amira. Does it mean that if you don't come home now, don't expect help from the state department later?
  4. This site might be worth keeping an eye on. I never heard of them before today, so I am not sure yet how much info is available to non-members. Twitter feed is active. American College Health Association
  5. I am secretly thinking the same thing. I am sure this possiblity has not entered my son’s mind yet.
  6. Are any colleges still operating normally now? I am not aware of any. We have heavy hearts here, too. Hugs to all.
  7. So many disappointments and crushed hearts. What can we do to support their mental health? Our own? I finally let myself have a good, sobbing cry last night. I have a first-year student who was very lonely during high school. College changed EVERYTHING for him. He was thriving socially and academically. He was having a nearly perfect first year. I am deeply concerned about supporting his mental health. We are currently en route to clear out his dorm. I have a grad school student studying in the EU (full time not study abroad). He is set to graduate in May and we were planning to attend graduation. He is still in the EU but now in a different country with his girlfriend and her family. Not perfect, but a bit less scary.
  8. My DS25 is an expact living in the Netherlands. He is in grad school and scheduled to graduate in May. He is now in Portugal with his girlfriend and her family. If he would have stayed in the NL, he would have been very alone. We always felt secure knowing that we have a lot of close friends in Denmark to help him out of necessary. Once Denmark closed its borders, we started to worry about him being in a foreign country without anyone who actually loves him or cares about him. We debated bringing him back to the US but that is complicated, too. Time will tell if we have made the right decision. He might still have to come back here eventually.
  9. Quill, we have kids in Europe. I feel like I have had a brick sitting on my chest for days. I saw your thread that she is coming home, and that is complicated too. It could for sure be stress. Has your stress manifested itself as a headache in the past?
  10. Denmark has closed its borders until April 13. Danish citizens and permanent residences can continue to come into the country, but should expect long delays upon entry.
  11. Ok I thought you just wanted to know the vibe.
  12. My DH will be in the Houston airport tomorrow. I will see what I can find out.
  13. I am about ten pages behind on this thread. I do plan to go back and see what I missed. But for the moment, I will just jump back in. Maryland just closed schools for two weeks and has banned gatherings over 250 people. So, @Matryoshka your dad's gathering is likely canceled.
  14. Hello, all. I am currently on a road trip: MD-NC-WV-OH-MD. For the moment, I'll just talk about my audio entertainment. MD to NC: Solo drive, 7 hours. I had a lot of non-bookish things on my mind, so I chose Breakfast at Tiffany's read by Michael C. Hall (of Dexter fame). Perfect! I read the book not long ago so I didn't have to concentrate too hard. And Michael C. Hall was the perfect narrator for this novella. I also listened to some podacast episodes. The only bookish one was Myths and Legends, which I highly recommend. You can sort of jump around. I am going to finish all of the Greek and Roman myths and legends before I move to another subcategory. NC to WV: Solo drive, 4+ hours. I listened to June Jordan's 1971 YA novella, His Own Where. Wow. I loved it so much. Five stars. I don't think that I would have appreciated it nearly as much in print. Here is the description of His Own Where from Feminist Press, who reissued it in 2010: "When His Own Where was first published in 1971, it gained both praise and notoriety. A finalist for the National Book Award, a New York Times Most Outstanding Book, and an American Library Association's Best Book for that year, June Jordan’s first young adult novel was considered controversial for being written entirely in Black English. Would children be encouraged to shirk the mastery of standard English, or would they, as Jordan proposed, become more engaged in a story about urban survival and the power of love, written as people actually speak?" I can now highly recommend two of June Jordan's books as audiobooks: both His Own Where and her memoir of childhood, Soldier: A Poet's Childhood. I am convinced that June Jordan deserves to be better known. I also listened to more Myths and Legends, and caught part of an interview with author Louise Erdrich that happened to be on NPR's Fresh Air yesterday. It was a good listening day!
  15. @Pen Thank you for your detailed comments on my post. They were much appreciated.
  16. @Quill I share your ability to worry for everyone! I, of course, have been dealing with having a YA child overseas for many years. Here are some of my pre-virus tips that still apply: Whenever I go out of town, I bring my passport. I want to be able to get to my son if necessary without having to go home and fetch my passport. Learn as much as you can about how the health care system and insurance works in the country of residence and within the EU. I don’t rely on my YA to be tuned into that. I have tried to ensure that my YA has access to emergency funds (i.e., my money!) through as many channels as possible. HTH
  17. @Quill Did you notice anything different in the airports or on the plane on the return leg of your trip? As far as I can tell, only one flight attendant in the whole world has been diagnosed with the virus. This surprises me. We are still planning to go to the Netherlands in May. At the moment, my main concern is both DH and I getting stuck there. I've decided not to think about it until we get closer. We bought our tickets in January, and I was afraid to peek at the fares for fear that I would see my ticket now at half price. But somebody here posted about ticket prices to London going up, and that made me curious enough to look. Economy class prices to Amsterdam were unchanged as of a few days ago. Business class prices were a lot lower than normal, but certainly still way too high for my budget. However, I have heard that people are getting very cheap upgrades to business class at the gate. I definitely plan to try for that.
  18. This thread is the main place I go to keep up with the COVID-19 news, and I am deeply grateful to all of you for your updates. Anyone want to chime in with what you would do to prep a kid in a dorm? I am currently on a MD-NC-OH-MD road trip, and will give some shopping reports: I live in a medium-sized city in MD. I did my stocking up before the weekend hit, and had no problem getting what I wanted. But by Friday, supplies were looking alarmingly low. I picked up extras of some of the cleaning and disinfecting essentials so that I could bring them to my YA-son-#1 in NC. Except for hand sanitizer, I needn't have bothered. I took him grocery shopping yesterday. The only the only thing that was out was hand sanitizer. Bleach, TP, pasta, canned beans, isopropyl alcohol...those shelves were a bit dented but that was the only sign. This is central NC. I don't have him fully stocked for two weeks, but I at least know he could stay home sick for a few days and not have to leave the house. I have tried to impress up on him not to let himself get down to the last roll of TP or the last pack of ramen! Mid-week, I will be heading to OH. I will have to stay in a hotel. It will be interesting to see if anything seems different than usual at the hotel. I'll be picking up YA-son-#3 and bringing him home from college for spring break. I intend to send him back to Ohio fully somewhat prepared to be quarantined in his dorm room. Ugh. What is going to happen once someone in a dorm tests positive?! I shudder to think about it. We can't put two weeks of food in a dorm room, and they all share a bathroom anyway. Well, I'll do what I can. He already has a robust sickness and first aid supply kit because that's just the way I am wired. I wanted him to be able to manage the flu completely alone. I have thought of a few things to add, and no doubt some things will need replenishing. While in Ohio, I will buy the few things that I think might be hard to source in Maryland. And we will stick those in his dorm room before heading home for spring break. My mom is 83 and lives alone in NC, but she does not live near my son. She is with me now in NC, and she will be with me in MD for the next few weeks. I have mixed feelings about this. If she stayed home, she would be around a lot less people. DH goes to work every day, and his building is normally a revolving door of people who have been traveling for work. But she lives alone, far from the rest of us. Under normal circumstances, I always feel safer having her with me. YA-son-#2 is in the Netherlands. I have given him some advice. That is all I can do. But the truth is that I have very little control over the YAs. I have failed to even convince all of them to get flu shots. My family has always considered me a bit of an alarmist, but they mostly humor me. I've always tried to be prepared for natural disasters, getting snowed in, etc. However, I fall short in many ways and am trying to rectify that now. Sheesh, I find it stressful to feel responsible for people in five different residences across three states and two countries!!! I'm trying to resign myself to knowing that I am doing everything I can for my immediate family. But that that still leaves us, as a group, pretty far from the ideally prepared.
  19. I am grateful to all of you for keeping this thread updated. But wow, it moves so fast! Denmark now has its first confirmed case.
  20. I'm with Kathy @Lady Florida.. No plague reading for me! I don't like to read books about scary things that might actually happen to me. That's the reason that I doubt I will read Capote's In Cold Blood even though I have loved the novels that he wrote, and it seems weird to read everything by an author except for that author's most renowned work. The only home-invasion-true-crime that I choose to read is about the Manson murders. I already know so much about them that I don't get scared. Which reminds me, that a couple of Manson-related new books are out that I have not yet read. I read The Hot Zone about ten years ago. Yikes. I get chills just thinking about that book. I can read paranormal scary with no problem.
  21. @Quill I have been following your lovely trip, and I am sorry that you have been presented with a cause for concern now. In my cancer-survivor-non-expert opinion, I don't think you would be considered immunocompromised. Chemo is the big immunocompromiser. And maybe the fatigue from radiation. We currently have plans to attend our son's graduation in The Netherlands in May. At the moment, I am thinking about how to avoid ending up in a lockdown. I am thinking that renting a tiny airbnb canal house might be our best bet.
  22. With regard to reading material, I could probably be quarantined until I reach my 100th birthday. Foodwise, I would need Doordash or Instacart by about Day 3. I finished two books this week, and rated both with five stars. Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote. Southern Gothic at its finest. Capote was 23 when this book was published in 1948, and it was a bestseller. Michelle Obama's Becoming. I rarely listen to audiobooks, much less audiobooks that are 19 hours long. I enjoyed both her writing and her audio narration. For me, it was like two different books. There was so much in her life that I could relate to, right up until they Barack Obama's 2004 speech at the DNC. After that, their life changed completely and I then enjoyed reading about a lifestyle that is almost beyond my comprehension. One of my favorite relatable moments: She talked about driving around in Barack Obama's car, and his car had a very special feature on the passenger side. When we first met, my husband's car had the exact same feature. When you looked down, you could see the road through the rust hole in the floorboard 🙂
  23. Not Little Italy, but we recently had a great meal at Eataly near the Flatiron building. It is an Italian marketplace with a wide range of restaurants, including some that do not require reservations.
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