My thoughts on the three coronavirus vaccines that have proven effective? Give me all the drugs. Deaths and hospitalizations due to covid are at record highs. I haven’t breathed on my friends in eight months. Our most extravagant trip was to Ann Arbor to play in the leaves. And, as my good friend Tony said (you may know him as Dr. Anthony Fauci), “You don’t want to be the last person to get coronavirus.” But since I’m neither a frontline worker nor an NBA player, I’ll have to wait to get the shots. Until then, we’re trying to make it through what may be the final yet worst stage of the pandemic.
We had our first ‘rona scare last month. Amber’s officemate’s wife was infected and he came to work like, “Hi y’all!” That same day, Amber suffered from a severe migraine and vomiting. My bird chest was congested and the kids had sniffles. Amber was tested at Kroger’s Little Clinic. It was simple: We parked in a designated space, the tech came out and handed Amber a swab. She pushed it up her nose and towards her eye socket and twisted it in circles. Rapid testing was not available that day. So no results for 2 to 3 days.
Fortunately, she’s a salaried worker with benefits. But what if you can’t afford to take off work? There’s no incentive to quarantine while awaiting test results. What’s to prevent this person from becoming the company superspreader? How come the guy in the White House, whose lease soon expires, never took the lead on a national testing strategy to prevent this?
I was able to take a rapid test two days later at CVS. It was only offered at a store 30 minutes from home and there was one appointment available. I drove to the testing shack, sanitized myself, and eased a swab up my nose. The tech said, “You can’t stop right there. Keep going…” I obliged, pushing the swab farther up my nose, wondering if I’d get brain fluid on the tip. Tears ran down my face, as they did at my bachelor party, though that was more so caused by a depressive mix of mescal, weed, and Tijuana.
I headed home and got a call from the tech within 15 minutes. I was fine. The following day, we learned Amber was also negative.
Outside of The Scare, our covid routine has been much of the same since I wrote about it in May and October. I’m drinking less and down to one beer a night on weekdays. The beer has a good amount of alcohol (New Belgium Brewing Trippel Ale), so it’s probably more like two beers. If we’re up late, I may have half a glass of wine to last through whatever show we’re watching. Come to think of it, maybe I’m not drinking less.
As far as food, it’s still my pandemic splurge. I’ve become obsessed with fiber. Just the other day, I had a bunch of raspberries, prunes, spinach, arugula, Raisinets, and an avocado. That’s become typical. Now I can boo-boo with the best of ’em. I guess it’s not the most enjoyable thing to talk about, but man, it’s a quality of life improvement.
How about the kids? They’re still handling the temporary normal really well. They like the freedom of virtual school, impromptu video games/recess, and, as you see in the picture above, pretending to be elves. But they do miss Amber. They’ve always been attached, but since she started working outside the home full-time they’re REALLY attached. I’m talking tears if she leaves the house after work (“Dada, we see you all the time!”) and early morning bedroom invasions in search of skin-to-skin contact.
But one thing that’s helped is that our yard has become the yard where the neighborhood kids play. They’re outdoors, but it’s also the most covid-y thing we’ve allowed since March. The gang is loud and wild because they’re 6 to 12 and should be. I can’t say our neighbors enjoy it, but it’s helped the kids maintain and gain friendships. Maybe a little too friendly. A 12-year-old has left my almost-8-year-old love notes. “Cash-Cash, your eyes are the moon, so bright and handsome.” Gotta watch those tween cougars around my boys.
The pandemic has lasted longer than it had to, largely due to selfishness and contagious stupidity. Even as I write this there’s a superspreader political rally going on in Georgia. I’m guessing we have another six months until semi-normalcy and maybe a year until we do gross things like eat birthday cake after someone blows out the candles. I know that seems long. And I get down just thinking about it. But I remind myself that we have our health, stability, and more than 70 episodes of 90 Day Fiance left to watch on Hulu.
Stay masked, friends.