A Distant Happy Birthday

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Last Monday, March 30th, my third-grader started online learning, following the long, stretched Spring break due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Needless to say, it was a nightmare.

The website collapsed a couple of times adding to my son’s anxiety; he randomly clicked the mouse of the computer like a mad-mad.

I miss my school“, he said, his eyes filling with tears. I didn’t know what to do, so I simply sat next to him and guided him through the day’s assignments. The next morning, I sent an email to his teacher asking if she could send him a message of encouragement. A few minutes later, she invited the entire class to a video call.

Once my son heard his teacher’s voice and saw the faces of a few of his buddies, his face lit up like fireworks. Seeing his smile brought me to tears. Immediately after finishing the call, my son began Tuesday’s tasks without complaining once.

Later in the day, his teacher emailed me and thanked me for the video call suggestion. I can’t speak for her, but I think she was very surprised to see how much her students needed to see her.

The novel coronavirus is an enemy nobody prepared for. Up until the social distancing policies were put in place, American schools had prepared for natural disasters and active shooter situations, but never for an invisible biological threat.

According to data published on April 4th, 2020 by UNESCO, the partial or nationwide school closures in 188 countries around the globe have impacted 91.3% of the school enrolled kids (more than 1.5 billion children.)

Even though there have been school disruptions in the past–in our case caused by severe hurricane seasons in Florida–we the parents and the children always knew the closures were temporary. But this time, it feels like going back to school is as far as wishing for Christmas Day.

Classmates, teachers, co-workers, and workout buddies to name a few, are people who we share parts of our lives with. Perhaps we don’t hang out with them after hours, but everyday we mirror our own humanity in them just with a smile.

My son’s birthday was yesterday, April 7th. His teacher and school friends sang him Happy Birthday from the distance on a crazy Zoom call in the morning, then we ate pizza and cut the cake later in the afternoon.

Although things could have been better, they could have also been worse. Battling for our lives or a loved one’s life at a hospital. So, I counted my blessings, celebrated the day when my beautiful son came into the world, and prayed to God to keep his light shinning.

Thank you for reading and sharing!

Xiomara Spadafora

This post was sponsored by Zellner Insurance.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in Good Crazy Woman are the author’s and are not influenced by paid sponsors or advertisers. The author is not responsible for the comments generated in the open forum. All copy rights reserved.

The Working From Home Challenge

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Daily life has changed quickly–and dramatically–in the United States and around the world. The planet’s economies are trying desperately to keep going and forego the financial devastation that is being forecast.

Therefore, working from home is as good as it gets for many companies, big and small, to keep their workforce employed and their services and products available in the marketplace.

However, as more people are glued to their laptops and cellphones (yours truly included), there are a few things to keep in mind to maintain healthy, not only mentally, but also physically. Continue reading “The Working From Home Challenge”

Fear’s Nature

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If you want to listen to the podcast of this blog, click here!

Last week will remain in my memory for many years. Not because of the exponential raise of coronavirus Covid-19 cases around the world, nor the closing of the borders to contain its propagation.

This past week will remain in my memory because of the irrational reaction of millions of people on the face of this global threat: the purchase, in bulk, of toilet paper.

Watching pictures of empty shelves and endless lines outside of supermarkets are not new to me. On the contrary, they are a reminder of our annual hurricane season in Florida, the state where I reside. Continue reading “Fear’s Nature”

The mystery behind Leap Year

birthday wallpaper
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If you want to listen to the podcast of this blog, click here.


The media bombarding about Coronavirus or COVID-19 these days is practically impossible to escape. Nevertheless, I tried diverting my attention by reading about other subjects, such as the mystery behind the Leap Year.

Planet Earth’s tour around the Sun actually takes 365.25 days, not 365. Therefore, every four years, the second month has an extra day called Leap Day. In other words, February 29th is a surplus, and to be born on a day like this is definitely special.

According to the History Channel, only five million people have been born on this day,  making the odds equivalent to 1 in 1,461 babies.

Continue reading “The mystery behind Leap Year”

The Coronavirus’ patient profile

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Writer’s note: This blog has been updated on February 24th to show the cases data increase since the original publishing date, February 16th, 2020.


The Coronavirus–recently renamed COVID-19–epidemic maintains its grip on China. Based on the latest data released by the World Health Organization, the numbers continue to be alarming. However, Chinese officials changed the reporting criteria of Coronavirus cases this past week .

Therefore, patients who exhibit the symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness, but have not been tested or tested negative, are now included under the new category “clinical cases”.

Let’s take a look at these reports from WHO. To read the daily report click here. Continue reading “The Coronavirus’ patient profile”

Coronavirus: Stay informed, and don’t panic

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Last night, I enjoyed a plate of Chinese food while I read a article about the spread of the coronavirus designated 2019-nCoV. An ironic coincidence I have to admit.

JAMA online (The Journal of the American Medical Association) published two articles last week to explain this epidemic. One refers to the cordon sanitaire–sanitary cord in English–the public health measure taken by the Chinese government on January 23rd.

This measure restricted all transportation–land, air, and waterways–to and from the city of Wuhan, where 11 million people live, as well as over 15 other cities in the province of Hubei.

Additionally, the large cities Beijing and Hong Kong have cancelled the majority of public events, as well as classes for schools and universities, until at least the middle of February.

To illustrate the state of affairs in this Asian giant, imagine the population of California, Oregon, and Washington State combined tied under the measure and Los Angeles County as the epicenter of the epidemic. Continue reading “Coronavirus: Stay informed, and don’t panic”

The Vanishing

Rio Magdalena
Photo: Cardcow.com

Last Friday, I met with the jurors of the creative writing contest at my son’s elementary school; I have sponsored this event for the past three years. In the fourth grade stories’ pile, there was one handwritten in blue ink. The title was “Carito“–short for Carolina in my home country, Colombia.

Immediately, I remembered the name of a famous song and thought: “I bet this is has something to do with Colombia.” I was right. Continue reading “The Vanishing”