Monday, June 15, 2020

Pandemic Diary Entry #16

From Todd A. Collins on Facebook. This photo says it all!

Week of Sunday, June 7 through Sunday June 14 (Day 88 through Day 95):

It's been another week of protests for justice, not only in the US but all around the world.

And on top of that, the pandemic is still with us, people! States that reopened in May are experiencing surges in COVID-19 cases. It's not over, and we all need to continue to be vigilant. I'm constantly shaking my head at people going to the beach, or to restaurants, or even, for heaven's sake, a graduation party. Gatherings have been proven to spread the virus.

An article from the Washington Post claims "The Coronavirus isn't ending -- it's surging"!

Is this the second wave already? Not at all! We're still stuck in the first one, according to this article from NPR. 

From Karen Schilpp on Facebook

COVID 19 World Stats as of June 14 (from WHO):

Confirmed cases: 7,805,148
Confirmed deaths: 431,192

US COVID-19 Stats as of June 14 (from the CDC):

Confirmed cases: 2,063,812
Confirmed deaths: 115,271

Are you still staying home as much as possible? This week, I've been reading a lot, writing a little, taking daily walks, and cleaning out closets one shelf at a time. I find it easier to handle the chore that way!

What have I been reading? This week, I finished We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly, from Greenwillow, May 5, 2020, for ages 8 to 12.

This lovely MG novel takes place in January 1986. Yes, that's when the Space Shuttle Challenger launched -- and immediately exploded (I remember that day. I worked in a school library).  The Nelson Thomas twins, Bird and Fitch, and their older brother, Cash, are all learning about the upcoming launch in science class, while their parents continue to argue and fight. Bird dreams of one day being the first female Shuttle Commander. Gorgeously written, as are all Erin Entrada Kelly's novels, this book about family ties will linger with you for a long time. These siblings are people I'll remember.

After that, I started reading Ghost by Jason Reynolds. He's so good at voice! And just as talented with MG stories as YA stories (like Long Way Down, that I read last week).  Ghost, aka Castle Cranshaw, is a boy who only wants to play basketball. But being short, he never gets to play. Ghost can run fast (the reason for this is heartbreaking), and he gets a chance to join an elite track team, organized by an ex-Olympic runner.

Of course, in my ongoing effort to educate myself about systemic racism, I also read a lot of social media. I started following Dwayne Reed on Twitter. (@TeachMrReed)  Mr. Reed is an educator, public speaker, author, and rapper.

Dwayne Reed (@TeachMrReed on Twitter)
After all of the statements, tweets, and graphics, we still have to be Black. We don’t get to log out of this, or block our way through that. We still have to keep pushing. Will you? #BlackLivesMatter

12:47 PM · Jun 11, 2020 from Chicago, IL

White supremacy won’t die until White people see it as a White issue they need to solve rather than a Black issue they need to empathize with.
11:05 AM · Jun 4, 2020 from Chicago, IL

How have you been educating yourself? And what else keeps you busy this week?


  1. Thanks for a new Twitter account to follow. I also read GHOST a while back and loved it.

    I have, through the pandemic, been the one to leave the house (my work as an in-home caregiver continues), and I also do the shopping for my in-laws who are in their 80s. My high school son has been participating in protests, and his mother and I walked in one last week. We found it powerful and felt safe, as the vast majority were wearing masks. (More so than in the grocery stores!) However, we are cognizant of the risks, and won't be marching on a regular basis. We are also supporting the movement monetarily.

    Keep well!

    1. Thanks, Michael. Glad to hear you loved GHOST. Now I want to read the entire Track series!

      I'm impressed that you not only work as a caregiver (which I knew) but you also do the shopping for your in-laws. Good for you and your family for participating in a protest!. I've supported the movement monetarily too, since marching in a protest is beyond my comfort level.

  2. I want to read We Dream of Space. It sounds good. I just got The Silence of Bones, a historical mystery, that I can't wait to read from Libby.

    Yes, the number of cases of COVID-19 are going up. I don't plan to go out much until I get vaccinated. I'm just picking a small circle of people that I feel comfortable seeing in person, like my boyfriend, daughter and her boyfriend, and a few friends that I see mostly outside. I'm hoping that visiting my mom will be allowed at the end of the month. Luckily in Michigan, the numbers haven't been going up.

    1. Ooo, I just heard about The Silence of Bones and already added it to my TBR list! So happy to know the numbers haven't been going up in Michigan. Stay safe, Natalie!

  3. And I wish I could shake some white people (me included sometimes) so that we can wake up. Sigh. I'm glad the protests haven't stopped. (Many people have the time right now for them.) I wish it wasn't so hard to get this change to happen.

    I remember January 1986 pretty well, too. I was a freshman in high school...

    1. Me too, Liz. Wish I could shake up some people. And yes, I include myself in that. I'm also glad the protests are still going on. Sadly, there've been more murders of black people this past week, which I didn't include in this post. It's going to take a long time to create real change.

  4. I really appreciate both the first and second images in this post! I'm definitely concerned that we're only in the first wave of COVID-19. I just read and reviewed Long Way Down since you recommended it, and I think I'll need to add Ghost to my reading list as well! Thank you for the excellent post!

    1. Thanks, Completely. Yes, too many people seem to think this pandemic is over or that we're already in the second wave.

      I'm flattered that you read Long Way Down since I recommended it. You'll love Ghost too. Now I need to read all Jason Reynolds' MG track books. The voice is perfect.

  5. I was in college in the cafeteria when I heard about the Challenger. How awful for all the kids watching that day. I've been reading a lot, too, both fiction and not. One of my latest educational books is Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. I should order Ghost. Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. Yes, it was pretty brutal for the classes that were watching the launch that day.

      STAMPED is already on my list! Also How To Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi. We have so much to learn.


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