I took the day off today to have a day. I was going to kick back, watch some TV and have my time. The same plan I had last Wednesday that went awry.
My wife has a meeting on Wednesday mornings, and she overslept, so I offered to take our son to school. That way, she wouldn’t have to drop him off and my daughter off, and she would make it to work on time for her meeting.
That was at 8:15.
Sure enough 10 o’clock rolled around, and I got a phone call.
“Mr. Seegars, your son has been identified as a close contact with a child who has Covid. You will need to come to pick him up.”
Now, we’re not getting overexcited about all this. It doesn’t mean that he has Covid. The way they test here it’s completely plausible that the other kid doesn’t have Covid either.
Now, the reason I’m writing about this, not just because it’s about my day, no it’s about the total circus that I had to go through to pick up my child from school.
I arrived at the school with my mask on (wear the damned mask) and walked into the office. There’s this large plexiglass shield so that the covid won’t get directly on anyone, and I had to yell at the unmasked secretary to get her to pay attention to the fact that someone was standing directly in front of her. She was too busy on her phone.
You’re a school district employee sitting in front of a tax payer on yourphone. Wise up.
She was sufficiently put off about having to do her job.
Then I was told I’d have to go back to the lobby. Again, no one in the office is wearing a mask. Is it for Covid reasons? No. It’s for security reasons. The doors are badged and secured so not just anyone can walk in. What if someone dangerous walked through the door?
Well, guess what? I can be considered someone dangerous, trained by Uncle Sam to be dangerous. Not that I would ever do anything to endanger the lives of anyone around me. But the very reason those doors are there made me kind of laugh. They are not taking security seriously, it’s no joking matter. I take the safety and security of our children in this day and age very seriously. What if the wrong person does walk through those doors?
While I was waiting on my son, I needed to talk to the school nurse. I needed to ask if my daughter who is in high school, would have to quarantine as well because she’s in constant contact with my son.
Here we go again. The secretary isn’t on her phone this time; she’s talking to a coworker. They were close enough to kiss. I knocked on the window, and they both looked at me and then continued to talk.
And so I made my presence known. By loudly banging on the window.
“I need to talk to the nurse please.”
“She’s on the phone.”
“Will you please let her know I need to talk to her.”
“After she gets off the phone. Please sit down.”
She did not let the nurse know. I remained standing because I do what I want.
My son came out, and I had to tell him to go back and get his drum kit from the band room. He walks back through the office past the unmasked folk and goes back to the band room to get his drum kit. Wouldn’t it have been safer, given the situation, for one of the folks from the office to get said kit so that my possibly infected son decreased the amount of contact with anyone else in the school? I guess not.
We sat another ten minutes waiting for the nurse, at which time I had to ask again to talk to the nurse.
Then she comes out and asked why I was leaving without talking to her first.
One, they rushed me out.
Two, I couldn’t get permission from Her Majesty over there to speak to you.
Three, I don’t know the protocol. It’s my first time.
Hell, it’s y’all’s fiftieth time and y’all don’t know what the protocol is.
My daughter doesn’t have to quarantine, which is fine. It makes absolutely no sense at all. But this is fine.
OK, so I am not anti-mask. There is a time and place still for that. It’s a personal choice. I have to wear one at work. All our schools are seeing increases in Covid cases. It would make sense to me that if any of these adults are around a child who is suspected even of having Covid that they would put on a mask. This is not the case. Again, it’s a personal choice. There is no mandate in South Carolina. To me it’s common sense.
The fact that my son was allowed to walk back-and-forth through the school while being suspected of having close contact with someone with Covid bothers me. I’m there to take him home to quarantine him for two weeks, why are you letting him walk back-and-forth through the school?
The security thing is a whole other issue. Public education often gets worse because the people who are running things have public educations. But these are people who were raised in a time when they taught you something you needed to know in school—things like common sense. Which it is said cannot be taught, but you can be taught to mimic it.
I’m going to end my little rant here. I pray that my son is okay. I pray that the other child, his friend, is okay.
On the educational side, I’m not worried about him not being at school. He’s brighter than most of the kids I meet anyway. He has his moments where he is nothing but a dumb kid. But he’s clever, quick, and he’s going to do alright no matter what.
If I were going to give the school district a letter grade today, it would be an F-. only because I think that’s as low as you can go.
It doesn’t take long to stop and enjoy what you happen to enjoy in life. It’s really only stopping for five minutes and taking in what’s around you. I don’t take my camera out of the bag enough; I’m guilty of looking straight down the road and only focusing on the destination as of late when I should be taking time to enjoy the journey.
There’s so much to see and I forget sometimes that I have to work for a living; I am a husband and father, and those come first. And I like my job and love my family.
But what I do, not best and not what I enjoy most, what’s at my core and gives me peace and alone time is this:
Just wandering and exploring and watching the revival of this and destruction of that. I’m an observer; I keep the record so that others might see what we were and what we are to become.
I spent the last part of the evening with the band at the school, getting a few videos and pics.
For the first week of band camp and with so many new members, their sound is excellent. Their movement in marching looks excellent as well. I’m not as picky as the band director. 😉
I know; it’s his job to be picky. That bronze and silver state medal aren’t hanging there waiting for the gold to join them because he’s easy on them.
I want him to know that they wouldn’t be the band they are without him. He’s the reason there’s a marching band program.
I’m partial to the the mellophone and percussion sections this year. One child in each.
It has been a long week for all four of us. Eight-hour workdays all around. It’s a good thing for all of us but hard on Sam. He has never had to put in this kind of effort for something like marching band. But he’s enjoying it.
Logan is in her zone. I love seeing her this passionate over something. It’s her thing.
Mom and Dad are getting older and have decided to sell their place in the mountains. This has been our vacation place for the past six years.
Logan takes things as they come. It hasn’t bothered her much, although I know in the back of her mind she’ll miss it.
Sam is a bit upset. This is what he has known since he was four. I explained to him that now we’ll widen our travel area. We’ll make it a bigger adventure. And that piqued his interest.
We will still be mountain folk though the beach isn’t for us.
The wife and I aren’t looking forward to the hotel bills. But we’ve already found a small place in the same town that we love (see the post about Route 19 Inn), so you know there are other places out there for us.
Me? I’m wondering where I’m going to get my coffee.
I don’t do coffee shops. You’ll never find me in a Starbucks. I don’t do McCafés or frappés.
Nope. I’ve been going to the same gas station getting my coffee for my #CoffeeByTheCreek posts for the last six years.
I’ve made friends with the old fella that runs the place. He remembers me year after year. “Hello, my friend. It has been two years almost since I saw you last!”
I’ll bet we talked thirty minutes last Friday. I’ll miss that.
We’re heading home today, and I’m already feeling the tension.
We have a few spots to hit on the way back.
I wrote that early this morning and plans changed.
We headed on down the parkway after hitting Soco Tower. We always stop there. It’s billed as “The Most Photographed View in The Smoky’s.” That may be an exaggeration, but the folks who own it are friendly, and they have a neat little gift shop at the bottom.
Soco Tower cost .50 per person. It’s a neat little throwback to simpler things. My parents used to take me up there, and so I take our kids. ‘Nuff said.
We finally made it onto the BRP around 11:00 AM.
We made a quick stop at Water Rock Knob for the view and tradition, then headed towards Devil’s Courthouse.
We arrived at Devil’s Courthouse and the weather was looking like rain, and we decided against it.
Other factors contributed to the decision: my back, the wife’s knees, and both kid’s ankles. We went a little too hard this weekend.
We headed on down the BRP towards Asheville and gave Sam the decision of getting off at Asheville and running home or going out to Linn Cove Viaduct to hike underneath. He chose the latter.
We were detoured due to a road closure we knew nothing about. Simple five-mile detour, but the Linn Cove Viaduct visitors center was closed.
The road home was long today, but I see the lights of Kershaw right now, and it’s good to be home.