Shannon Shaw Duty: 'Quarantine adventures'

Shannon Shaw Duty, editor of Osage News. (Photo by Ryan RedCorn, Osage)

Shannon Shaw Duty

Perspective: The editor of Osage News tested positive for the novel coronavirus and continues to share her experience, this is day 7

August 20. Day 7 of quarantine. 

I felt pretty good this morning. No fever, no headache when I woke up. 

I thought to myself “I’m in the home stretch! I’ll be out of here by Sunday morning.”

Wrong. 

I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but I got a fever this afternoon. Not a high one, but I could tell something was wrong. 

My throat started to hurt, my head started to hurt, my neck and shoulders became achy, and I couldn’t keep my eyes open. 

I crashed around 1:30 p.m. and didn’t wake back up until 5 p.m. When I woke up, I was groggy, and my head was pounding. 

I’m trying not to take any pain pills because my contact tracer said I have to remain fever-free for 24 hours, without medication, in order to get out of quarantine. 

I had one of my sons bring up a big cup of ice water. I chugged it. It was so cold it hurt my mouth and my throat going down. About an hour later, I felt much better and my fever was gone.

Today was the first day of school in Pawhuska. We have six kids in school. We have a junior and a freshman in high school. An 8 and 7 grader in junior high, and a 3 grader in Pawhuska Elementary and a 2 grader at the Osage Nation’s Daposka Ahnkodapi, which translates to “Our School.”

We made the tough (and I mean tough) decision to go virtual this year for our five oldest, and our youngest will attend in-person. 

Our oldest attends in-person at Tri County Tech in Bartlesville every morning, but his other courses will be virtual. 

Our youngest needs the one-on-one instruction with his teacher because he struggles with reading. Plus, there are only six other students in his class, and we are friends with all their families. 

We know these families are careful, wear masks and follow CDC guidelines. Who would have ever thought we would base decisions on where our kids go to school because a kids’ family follows CDC guidelines? Crazy.

With our kids going virtual, it’s not about whether we’re afraid they’ll get sick, I mean, of course we don’t want them to get sick. 

But, we’re afraid they’re going to bring the virus back and give it to my parents, or Jason’s parents. Both our parents have comorbidities and are in the age group that is at risk. 

Also, my grandparents are still living, and my grandpa and his wife are both 85 years old. As Natives, our parents and grandparents are everything. So, that is why we have chosen to go virtual at the public school because there are just too many people in our community that are refusing to wear masks and physical distance.

Last night, I sat in my room frustrated because I couldn’t help my husband prepare everyone’s Chromebook and tablet. 

In a normal year, I take care of this. I’m on top of schedules, meetings, homework, logins, passwords, websites, everything. I have a system for each child, and I keep track of all their materials. 

Jason helps me the best he can but he’s the Assistant Coach, I’m the Head Coach. It was very hard not to be able to help him. I could hear his frustration and by the time he had put everyone to bed, he was standing outside my door, gently repeating my name. I told him how sorry I was I wasn’t there to help him and he told me goodnight.

Jason and I have been married since 2012. When we got married, we became a family of eight. 

Together, we have shared eight first days of school together. Normally, we would spend the night before getting everyone’s clothes ready, backpacks, etcetera. 

Then, on the morning of the first day, there would be a lot of shouting and running and looking for shoes, socks, trying to get everyone’s hair done and everyone looking great. Then we would line everyone up on the front porch and take our First Day of School photo! I have every single one we’ve ever taken. Except for this year, because I’m stuck in my room in quarantine and the kids won’t be “going” to school.

This morning, despite all my fears, Jason did beautifully. He called the schools, spoke with teachers, got everyone signed in, got assessments taken care of, made sure everyone was on task. I also have to give credit to our four older children because they were a big help as well. I could hear Jason giving orders and I could hear kids running up and down the stairs, fetching paper, pencils and anything else they needed. He said they sat around our dining room table and all worked together. I was a little jealous but proud all the same.

My family is big, they’re loud, they’re competitive, they’re loving, they’re funny, they’re smart, and every child has their own personality and is their own person. It can get chaotic, it can get stressful, there are times where I’m sure I’m about to have a nervous breakdown, but it always works out. I’m the glass-is-half-empty, and Jason is the glass-is-half-full. He’s the Yin to my Yang. The frybread to my meat gravy. If I had to do it all over again, I would. 

Related: 


Shannon Shaw Duty: 'Quarantine adventures' (Day 1 and 2)

Shannon Shaw Duty: 'Quarantine adventures' (Day 3 and 4

Shannon Shaw Duty: 'Quarantine adventures' (Day 5 and 6)

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