Covid-19 Lockdown 2020 – Part I

TLDR – First month of Covid-19 Lockdown. We’re not leaving the house so not a lot to write about.

March 12 – no more school and Lockdown

In early march of 2020 – China was heavy on lockdown not allowing people to leave their homes at all. Italy’s death count was climbing and they were starting lockdown. Michelle’s parents arrived on the 10th when the virus appeared to be isolated to small pockets. The small pockets did not last long. A few days later, on Thursday, Ireland’s Covid-19 cases started to climb. Leo, the PM who is also a medical doctor acted accordingly and announced the first steps of lockdown.

American food supply stock pile – Thanks Bruce and Wendy

Starting at 1800 Thursday March 12th all of the schools nationwide are to close for 2 weeks until March 29th. Knowing that in the next few days we would be on total lockdown nationwide unable to leave the house we figured out some close safe travel options. Friday our family plus Bruce and Wendy went to Dun Leary for the day. Luas to the bus, Bus ride to the peoples park, walked out the pier, ice cream from Teddys, bus and Luas back home. Michelle’s mom asked to go where we normally go.  Saturday Bruce was not feeling it and stayed home. Wendy came with us into City center to Explore.

By the end of the weekend, the US had banned EU Schengen zone travel. Shortly thereafter they banned all international travel inbound to the US for none US citizens. A few people we knew from the states who were here on holiday immediately rebooked and flew home. Michelle’s parents had a flight home booked on the 24th that looked like it was going to happen.  Wanting to stay longer they choose to stay and wait for their booked flight.

Girls first try at masks

Home school + Work from home

Based on a normal school schedule the kids are technically off school until Wednesday next week, Saint Patrick’s day being Tuesday. The parade and all activities have long been canceled.  Wednesday after vacation was over Michelle started homeschooling with the kids; trying to work out a new normal. The teachers have been sending us lesson plans and web site suggestions. Michelle has been consuming everything she can to come up with a schedule and some regular plan to teach the kids. Making Michelle’s life simpler in the kitchen we have two desktops and two laptops the kids can use for educational programs between workbook and copybook exercises.

Wood shop in the Office. Maddex and Khaleesi spent some time in the office with me wood burning
Home schooling in the Miller house

We also have a downstairs office I can hide in to work from home. All of the kids and the grandparents in the kitchen raises the volume a few octaves to near-insane levels. There is no way I can work from the kitchen. Glad I don’t have too.  Other then being trapped in the house we’re doing great. The 9 of us in big house with plenty of resources getting along just fine.

Three weeks on

Three weeks into the lockdown there is not a whole lot to write about. We’re in a routine by now. I get up and head into the office around 6 or 7 to start working. Michelle and the kids start breakfast and school around 8 when Michelle’s parents come down for coffee and cereal.  School for a few hours, lunch, mid-day naps. After I finish with work we might go out for a walk before cooking dinner or it’s straight on to cooking dinner. Around 2000 we put the kids to bed, put Bruce and Wendy to bed, then we pass out on the couch.

Buffet style dinner – we are not hurting for food #Quarantine15


Everyone is getting on fine. After dinner and a glass of fireball, Wendy tells some great stories about the past. Been nice having a chat with them, while the kids are watching a show or off in the playroom. John joined us a few nights and Wendy managed to get some more gossip out of him.

Planting some things

While being trapped at home starting a victory garden sounded like a reasonable productive use of time. First issue, the back yard is all wood deck lacking in the dirt to plant things in. Last year we started collecting all of the eggshells, coffee grounds, worms, some food bits, and leaves in a compost container; it’s not dirt like enough yet. Michelle ordered a cubic yard of soil, some more planters, some seeds and whatnots for delivery to start the garden project. It only took a few days for the delivery to come.  Michelle’s and her parents have spent a few days out working on setting everything up. Great project and bonding time for them.

Working in the front rounder
planting all of the seeds to keep indoors before they sprout

Bruce and Wendy head home

The Flight on the 24th was canceled due to low occupancy. After the flight being canceled Wendy and Bruce have been teetering back and forth wanting to fly home, not waiting to fly home, accepting their fate. Eventually, they booked a flight.  April 4 the in-laws boarded a flight to Chicago. From Chicago, they took a flight back home to Seattle. – Long long travel day for them. They figured if they did not go now they were not going home until June or later. It’s safer here than in the states, but there is something about being in your own house that is difficult to argue about.

Before heading home Wendy took Maddex’s bike for a ride.

Luckily Washington state is run by a governor who is not kissing the Trump ring and has done proper lockdown and Covid mitigation. Washington is on a similar positive trajectory like Ireland almost at the peak about to start tapering off on deaths. If they were going to almost any other state in the US we would have resisted them flying home.  First thing for us after they have left is to give Michelle a break and time to work out her parent’s leaving.

After we had Dinner Michelle went to our bedroom and locked the door for the night with a puzzle, snacks and the TV. The kids played for a bit then we all snuggled up on the couch bed to watch Tomb Raider followed by a few episodes of the Brady bunch.

Bunch of Bonus Pictures

alligator park 


Do not play on the toys – but you are ok to roll around in the grass
School morning everyone busy doing something
Wood shop in the office
How deep will this burn dad? – Smelled like camp fire in the office after she was finished
The new normal social distancing to shop
Girls took the packaging from my new monitor and turned it into a doll house
Kids built a pretend camp fire in front of the house
Roasting marshmallows on the stove for s’mores
Mila saying hi to her class over Zoom
John treated us to some Apache Pizza for dinner – so much pizza
Kids rolling down a hill
planting with grandma



the starts of our little garden 


Tea party with grandma
grandma playing go fish with the kiddos
Grandpa dancing with the girls
great way to end the night 


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