S#*t Gets Real (Happy Spring Break)
My husband is a Boy Scout to the bone. Prepared. Ready for the worst case scenario - whether filling a suitcase for a whirlwind vacation, packing up gear to go camping, stocking a portable tool box for mountainside deck-building, or getting through the average day during a global pandemic.
Here he was in the mid-2020s - pre-vaccination, pre-KN95 mask saturation, smack dab in the middle of WTF-ery.
You can't see it, but there's a HEPA filter over the end of the tube of that full face, underwater snorkel mask. #PreparedMan. And yes - he wore that standout virus resister everywhere that wasn't here inside our super-sanitized, hyper-bubble-only home.
It worked. He did all the family errand-running in his "scoober" (as our eloquent granddaughter called it). I did curbside pick-ups, Door Dash ordering, and backyard distance-seated happy hour planning. We stayed well. When volunteers were requested for a Texas antibody study, we signed up for 3 blood draws. Last draw, PreparedMan's antibody numbers were low. Mine were high. We tried to figure out what the numbers meant, to no avail. It's a study. They're figuring it out. We shrugged at our confusion and recommitted to mask wearing and take-out.
But here's the Boy Scout today - with the tired, fever-y eyes of a sick man. He has Covid-19.
I had plans this week. People here. Me there. That kind of thing. Now, here we sit - isolating inside our home, wearing masks, texting one another from one floor to the other - waiting to see how awful his fully-vaccinated symptoms are going to get. Wondering if we'll be making the 60-mile drive to the monoclonal antibody infusion clinic.* Rewinding decisions made last week and asking the big questions - how, where, who?
Our guard is decidedly down. In February, we took a 10-day, 3,000 mile road trip. We ate homemade picnics in the car, made infrequent stops, attended vaccinated-only events with masks on, saw only fully-vaccinated friends. We didn't get sick. But last week, the ever-ready man took his first business trip of the pandemic. On a plane. Four days in a different city. On a plane again. Home one night. Sick.
Trust me when I say, this Covid s#*t is not over. It just isn't. No matter how much we want it to be.
Friday, in my 590-thousand person county, 58 new Covid cases were reported.
Over the last 7 days, the average new case count was 65. Five people died from Covid. In my little county.
In our 332-million person country, 44,358 new cases of Covid were reported YESTERDAY.
1,684 people died. Y-E-S-T-E-R-D-A-Y. For a current events perspective grabber, about 285 Ukrainians died yesterday in the war with Russia. (The US estimates 2000-4000 Ukrainians have died since Russia invaded the country on February 24.)
965-thousand Americans have been counted dead from Covid-19 since March 2020. You likely don't need to be told we've had wars that have lasted longer than this fight with a virus (two years). But it's the virus that's managed to take the most American lives.
- Civil War - 655-thousand dead
- World War I - 116-thousand dead
- World War II - 416-thousand dead
- Korean War - 36-thousand dead
- Vietnam War - 58-thousand dead
- Iraq War - 4.4-thousand dead
- Afghanistan War - 2.3-thousand dead
- 9/11 - 2.9 dead
I'm just here to tell you, with absolute certainty, we are not finished with Covid-19. Keep your masks on. Wash your hands. Have the sanitizer handy. Stand 6' back from one another in line at wherever it is you think you must go. Eat/drink/be merry on a patio. Be careful.
You might have fared better in a war. Any war.
It is not over. It's coming for us all, apparently. Even my Boy Scout.
*The MAB infusion drive/drip has happened. Here's hoping.
Update: Each day is better than the one before. So all's well. Thanks vaccinations/booster, monoclonal antibody infusion, and masks!
Must say this about the photo below. I am grateful to have a World Citizen/Leader for president right now. So grateful. But dang it, 79-year old man, PULL UP THAT MASK! It's not over.