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Cheer Family Copes with Covid19

In Massachusetts where I live, the news focuses on the pending surge, epicenter or crescendo: when Covid19 is expected to max out here. The numbers are growing and the projected date of the surge is April 10, tomorrow.

I had just been thinking how, although I knew of people who knew people who had the virus, I didn't know anyone directly with the pandemic-level illness.

And then I did.

I've known the Rodriquenz family since my oldest daughter Becky coached Annika (second from left with Nanny Sharon and mom Lisa) and my other daughter Rachel earned her first NCA jacket as a ProAthletic ShowStopper with Simon (far right). They'd cheer for several more years together, becoming grand champs and National Champion teammates on Hollywood and Sr. Fierce.

You know the drill: we were always at the gym or competition.

And so we did everything that cheer families from the same gym do. We sat in the parents lobby together, attended parents meetings, traveled together, stood in the VIP section and cheered on our kids together, hung out during the downtime, enjoyed the victories and bemoaned the fall-outs.

And if Lisa was there, her mom Sharon was too.

Nanny Sharon traveled to Dallas, Georgia, Orlando and everywhere else for a comp. She was there. They are as close as a mom and daughter can be. And as a cheer mom with a less than supportive (now ex-) husband, I secretly admired the way Lisa's husband Shawn was more involved than most cheer dads.

In fact, the whole family was admired by many-myself included. Especially the way they supported each other. Big brother Cameron was an accomplished musician as was Simon in their Oakmont High School band. Lisa is a long time cheer coach for the high school. There were conflicts in schedules or overlaps. I remember one occasion when the family was at Disney for Summit and would be returning a few weeks later when the Oakmont High School band was performing there. Somehow, they made it work.

The kids continued in cheer and grew as athletes and human beings: Simon was enjoying his senior year on Level 5 Steel at East Celebrity Elite and an alternate on Smoke, one of ECE's Worlds teams. Annika continued to train this year and looks forward to this next season. They were doing what they always did and did it together.

So when I learned that the whole family was quarantined and confirmed positive for Covid19, I came up short. If it could happen to the Rodriquenz family it could happen to any of us.

So while the rest of the cheer world debates when or even if the season should end, this cheer family is living in the world of the very thing that we're arguing over. And it isn't pretty.

Lisa is a straight-shooter, I know her as cool-minded and Momma-Bear protective of her cubs (both biological and to those she's taken a liking to). She calls it as she sees it. And her message to us all is pure Lisa:

I'll let her say it in her own words:

Friends - not writing for sympathy or for criticism. I see you posting pics of your so-called social distancing. I'm not sure what you are thinking, but parties in your driveway are not social distancing.

I'm here to tell you that if you don't think this virus is everywhere you are sadly mistaken. I'm here to tell you that I did EVERYTHING right. I did EVERYTHING they said to do. I stocked up early, just like they recommended.

My parents rushed home from vacation in their RV only stopping for gas and not going into any stores. I stocked them up so they wouldn't have to go out. I haven't let them leave, not even once! The only person who left our house was Shawn because he was essential in running his business. I have cleaned my house multiple times a day. I have disinfected everything, over and over. We have washed our hands to happy birthday until our skin is raw.

This virus, this Covid-19, it's EVERYWHERE! We are all infected! Four of the six of us are or have been sick already!!! We are quarantined. We didn't do or go anywhere we weren't supposed to go. We followed ALL the rules. We are sick. Some of us more than others. My 72-year old mother is very sick! She is breathing okay, but she is definitely the sickest of us. Shawn, Annika and I are all infected and very sick. We have been coughing. We have been achy. We have had fevers. We are just sick.

I did EVERYTHING I was supposed to do and yet this virus that is killing hundreds of thousands of people is HERE - IN MY HOUSE!!!

I'm scared. I'm worried. I'm praying all the time. I'm sitting at my desk working, yet I'm sick and crying with worry for my mother who is sicker and some of you are partying in your driveway with friends. Please rethink your plans. I don't wish this on anyone.

My son is delivering groceries and I can only see him through the door. I can't even hug him. My daughter in law is nervous every time she coughs and she has every right to be even though we haven't seen them in 3 weeks. THIS IS NO JOKE!

My sister can't visit or check on my mother because she's an essential employee with a child who is very vulnerable. THIS IS NO JOKE!

My aunts are in tears with worry about their big sister's health and they can't even come check on her. THIS IS NO JOKE!

I'm begging you to take this seriously and if you are so inclined, please share in prayer for all those fighting this.

If you think it's not here, you are wrong. It's here alright and it's no joke. We have been sick for two weeks at least and every day that we think we are getting better, we wake up sick again the next.

Keep your families' safe and do the right thing. I am begging you. Please help flatten the curve and stop the spread. Make the most out of your time at home, but remember we're not home for the fun of it. There are people out there who are really sick and any one of you could be next.

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