Quarantine Diaries – Week 7

This week was an exercise in anxiety. Local and state orders came to a clash, and with that, one particular member of my household began to argue that he should be allowed to go out and visit with friends again because the governor lifted Shelter From Home orders (never mind that the city extended local orders!). When Jason and I explained that we needed to be extra careful because I’m immunocompromised, he balked and said that I don’t really have an autoimmune disorder or any underlying conditions. In a nutshell, he claimed that I’m making up my health issues as a way to control his life. Dude, not everything is about you. One day, I know that he’ll start acting and thinking in a way that reflects his adult age, but these weeks have been a challenge! Only 3.5 more months to get through! Sigh.

To repeat: If your mental health is at a point where you cannot bear to hear more about quarantine stuff, skip to the bottom of this post for a list of positives and highlights and Nice Things. We all need some of that right now!

Friday, April 24th
Local count: 1195, 43 deaths, 383 recovered. Most of those new cases are from the localized outbreak at the county jail. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to try to contain the virus in that kind of close quarters. // Today was the official first day that retail businesses could reopen via curbside service, and it appears as if folks in San Antonio were so excited for this that they were out as if quarantine never happened. Sigh. I’m so tired of hearing nonsense from shortsighted people, as well as support from our ridiculous, idiot president. (Seriously? Disinfectant injections? I thought that was an Onion headline the first time I saw it.) At least Jason’s employer put his team on WFH until at least the end of May. // I was out at my hiking trails today and was annoyed to find a bunch of people out in non-family couples/groups, taking up the whole trail side-by-side and refusing to move into single file when they crossed others’ paths. Makes me glad my running mask arrived today!! This is thin, breathable, and moisture-wicking – plus it’s made with recycled plastic bottles! Probably not the best protection for quarantine but at least it’ll be better than nothing while I exercise!

Saturday, April 25th
Local count: 1231, 43 deaths, 497 recovered. I read a terrifying article about the major strokes folks in their 30s and 40s are having after contracting COVID19 (symptomatic or not). (Source: Washington Post) We just have no idea what the longterm effects of this disease are going to be! San Antonio had a protest today which makes me want to Bang. My. Head. Over. And. Over. Seriously, people – statistical models say that if we stop social distancing, we’re going to have nearly a million cases in SA by August! Ugh! Mostly, though, I avoided the news today and spent my time listening to an audiobook and dying my hair with Lush rouge henna. It’s subtle – except on my temples where I have mostly white hair – and I’m quite pleased.

Sunday, April 26th
Local count: 1254, 43 deaths, 531 recovered. Ambrose and I went to donate blood today. Sadly, I was disqualified, so no donation for me today. Oh well. But Ambrose gave! And Jason made a trifle for the family as a celebration: Nilla wafers, homemade vanilla pudding, and homemade strawberry-lemon marmalade, mmm…

Monday, April 27th
Local count: 1275, 44 deaths, no recovery data. As expected, the TX governor made his announcement to open up Texas. On the 1st, restaurants, movie theatres, malls, museums, libraries, and retail businesses can open as long as they keep their capacity at 25%. On May 18th, bars, gyms, hair salons, swimming pools, and others will likely also open. Additionally, the governor said that no local community can require people to wear masks (or at least, can’t impose fines for not wearing them). All this, of course, is going to lead to an inevitable resurgence of the virus here. My family is going to keep acting as if none of this has happened – whether or not my eldest likes it – and will keep wearing masks and doing essential trips only. Unfortunately, one of our essential trips recently has been to Walmart for a last-min replacement of our router. Jason reported that the store was in awful condition – hardly any decals, no plexiglass at registers, half the employees without masks, much of the store ransacked (why are people bulk-buying TVs??). The employer in the electronics area was clearly very ill, feverish and sweating and wheezing, nearly falling over. Jason stayed as far back as he could, and immediately got out of his clothes and showered on returning home. UGH.

Tuesday, April 28th
Local count: 1307, 44 deaths, 574 recovered. No specifics yet on how the local community will incorporate the new statewide rules, but hopefully soon. I’ve been happy to see many businesses stating they won’t be opening even though the governor says they can now. My hiking group has stated that despite the new rules, they won’t be hosting any hikes or events in May. I miss them fiercely but I’m both happy and proud at the way they are handling all this. I can’t wait to see them all again, and not just on Marco Polo. Exercising alone, like today’s awful run, is just not the same!

Wednesday, April 29th
Local count: 1326, 46 deaths, 591 recovered. The city put in place an extension to their current shelter-at-home policy that’ll extend to May 19th (for now). It incorporates those businesses that the state says are allowed to open (malls, museums, theatres, etc) but still requires social distancing, face masks, no public gatherings, playgrounds closed, etc. Also, the city isn’t planning to reopen city libraries even though they could open under state guidance. Oddly, the state government says that childcare facilities are only open to essential workers but now says specific non-essential workers can go back to work, with no provisions for childcare for them…hm…I think perhaps they didn’t think this one out too closely…

Thursday, April 30th
Local count: 1374, 48 deaths, 638 recovered. Major jump in cases today – about a quarter of the entire week’s total cases – because a large number of tests from the county jail came back (asymptomatic carriers). More than half of the cases at the jail are asymptomatic, so this strongly shows just how underestimated our COVID19 numbers are when we’re only testing those with symptoms. Furthermore, we have enough positive cases among jail guards that the policy is now that asymptomatic guards can continue to work with an N95 mask. !!! Otherwise, there won’t be enough guards! // BiblioTech, the county’s all-digital library, will open for limited hours and capacity starting on Monday because it’s located in a low-income area that needs the library as a resource for school, work-from-home, job applications, etc. // At home, I’m ending April with more runs/walks, dressing in one of my favorite dresses, and some delicious gluten-free chocolate cake from HEB. Because it’s important for me to stop sitting paralyzed here. I need to start experiencing and enjoying life again, even under these new circumstances.

I started to look at overall weekly trends locally and I’m pleased with what we’ve been able to do, even with the giant outbreaks at the one nursing home (75+ cases) and the county jail (130+ cases including 70ish asymptomatic). A weekly snapshot had us peaking around Week 4 and 5 (if social distancing continues and we don’t have a second peak).

  • Week 1: 29 cases, no deaths
  • Week 2: 84 (additional) cases, 5 deaths
  • Week 3: 141 cases, 4 deaths
  • Week 4: 361 cases, 13 deaths
  • Week 5: 303 cases, 15 deaths
  • Week 6: 249 cases, 6 deaths
  • Week 7: 207 cases, 5 deaths

Those are good numbers and we want them to get smaller, not go up again. This is a long-term illness that’s going to be hanging around for at least the next year until we can develop a vaccine and some adequate treatments. That sucks, but the worst thing we can do is stick our heads in the sand and allow the numbers to skyrocket until our health care system is overwhelmed. It feels like that’s exactly what Texas as a state (and frankly, the US as a country) is doing, and our local government – thank goodness for good leadership here! – is doing the best they can to prevent a tidal wave of illness from devouring us.

Positives and Highlights and Nice Things
It was honestly not the best week for me, but I’ve tried to pick out a few nice highlights from my week:

  • several really good runs and walks, including some leisurely ones where I got to observe a lot of beautiful wildflowers as well as some really odd things left behind by people –>
  • online coffee dates
  • a lovely cool front these last few days
  • a fun event on HPWU
  • dying my hair red with Lush henna!
  • Lush bath bombs
  • walking through the neighborhood with Jason
  • finding the best filter for iced coffee so that making my own becomes much easier!
  • a new accountability group for May, created by my hiking friends
  • I learned how to create a custom workout on RunKeeper
  • amazing gluten-free cake from HEB, mmm…

How are the rest of you doing in this crazy, mad world?

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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