They’ve blocked off even the swings

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Sign on a park bench in a playground area


And I don’t know because this is as close as I could get to the bench with my iPhone while sitting on the trike – and I wasn’t about to get off and maybe accidentally touch something – out there.

It makes sense. You don’t want people touching surfaces other people have touched, and possibly infected, and no one is going to go through and clean every bench and every slide and every swing, so at least you can tell people they shouldn’t touch. Anyone sane, with the small children who usually use this playground equipment, isn’t going to want to touch things which might infect the kids.

Because there are two ways the coronavirus can get into YOU:

  1. Someone who is shedding the live virus coughs or breathes in your general direction – and YOU breathe in some of what came out of their respiratory system,
  2. You touch something that has the live virus on it, and bring it to YOUR T-zone on YOUR face (mouth, nose, eyes).

That’s it.

‘Live virus’ is a misnomer; viruses aren’t alive in the normal sense: they don’t eat, grow, reproduce, and die.

You could think of them as a little poison packet, capable of doing damage in the right circumstances.

But those are quibbles. They are little blobs of Something that can, under the right circumstances, both make copies of itself, and make you ill from having had your cells hijacked to make copies of the virus, and by circulating through your body in enough quantity to overwhelm your immune system, which normally has the job of killing invaders.

It is unfortunate if you get the virus the first way, stupid the second way.

So everything is closed, and that includes the swings.

Getting out is a privilege

One I hope they don’t have to remove due to the human inability to follow simple instructions such as distancing and washing hands.

But it is discouraging to see simple things like swings for kids and park benches for all blocked off as dangerous. I can understand the kid cautions. But find it hard to understand why you can’t sit on a park bench – and then, without touching your face, go home and wash your hands.

Thanks to the person who took Pride’s Children PURGATORY out of KU this week. Hope you enjoy it – and hope you think seriously about leaving a review. Reviews are amazingly encouraging to writers working on the next book.

Stay well, all. You know what to do.


12 thoughts on “They’ve blocked off even the swings

  1. Stefani

    I’ve had a really hard time explaining to my 5 year old why we can go to the park and kick the soccer ball around but she can’t play on the playset. She is a little ball of energy with limited options to expend it. Not a good combination.


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      It’s tough. You’ll need to find an analogy in her world – something that maybe she doesn’t like?

      Even just acknowledging it – “Yeah, we’re all sad, and we don’t know how long it will last” – may help a bit. Making a card for a neighbor or family member, stuff like that, may also help.

      I’m glad my kids are old enough that I’m not worried about that – but I worry about some of the seniors in this retirement community, especially the ones with dementia – they must feel they’re being punished because others aren’t allowed to visit, and they can’t leave their rooms or gather with others.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon

    Yes sadly playgrounds are closed here to, I can walk the dog but technically I am not meant to stop anywhere on the walk. We also are no longer allowed to use the off leash parks because apparently too many people were congregating. While I support the efforts to control the spread I was seriously disappointed about the closure of the off leash parks, I relied on those parks and the opportunity to meet another dog who could give Ada a run for her money around the park in order to run off some of her endless energy. I thought we were all doing the right thing and keeping our distance from each other, but apparently not. Oh well, needs must and it won’t be forever, at least I hope it won’t be forever. Keep staying safe.


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      A few people (or many) keep ruining it for the others. And the uncooperative or ignorant ones make it easier for the virus to spread.

      At least you can still walk your dog – imagine if you had to do that at home.


  3. Lloyd Lofthouse

    My married daughter and mother of one grandchild read that a study found half of all hospital workers had the virus on the bottom of their shoes and if they went home or shopping with those shoes, every surface they walked on left viruses behind. The advice was to sanitize the bottoms of your shoes or take them off before going inside.

    I have a spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol and use that to spray the bottoms of my shoes after the weekly one-hour shopping run.


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Starts with the hospitals and hospital workers. If that’s not in the picture, and/or nobody touches the floor or the bottom of shoes, the virus fades away eventually.

      Do what you need to do – how MANY viable viruses are left at any point is not something we’re going to find out. Our immune systems can handle a few, but not a torrent.

      I’m not saying not to do things – just not to freak out if you miss some.


    2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Your comment has stuck in my mind for one reason: I’m making it my job in life during this pandemic to only quote ORIGINAL sources.

      ‘My married daughter…read a study’ doesn’t give me your source – I’d love to read it myself, if you can link to it.

      As part of my own medical conditions, starting MANY years ago, I go to the original sources – and almost invariably find something significantly wrong either with the study or the way it is quoted.

      For example, when ultrasound of babies was in its infancy, and I was carrying my own first child, I refused it – and someone quoted a study at me about how women were reassured by the results of the ultrasound. It was a Swedish nurse’s master’s thesis – based on THREE women, two of whom said they felt better! Of all the fake ‘research’ that never should have made it past the committee for the master’s degree in anything, it was unbelievable. I wish I had saved the title. THREE is in no universe a statistical sample.


        1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          THIS is the original CDC report cited.

          Everything after that is speculation and rewriting by a magazine staff that may or may not be using the research accurately. The original source is to be preferred.


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