Quarantine Diaries – Week 9

This week, I began to focus on what life will be like moving forward in a pandemic, which I’ll discuss a bit more on Sunday. It reminds me of when I first began to KonMari my house in 2015 – the first step is to envision what you want life to be like. This quarantine sucks, but it also gives us the opportunity to live life a bit more deliberately, which is both terrifying and exhilarating. We won’t be returning to our normal habits – not soon, because SAFETY, and not ever, because we have the chance to find Better Things right now. The world is a scary place right now, but I can also envision it being more beautiful on the other side as long as we stop pretending things will ever be the same again.

Same as before: 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, May 8th
Local count: 1835, 56 deaths, 927 recovered. Some interesting data has come out this week about our last few months of quarantine. Apparently, 1 in 5 positive tests have come from health care workers, which just shows how much of the burden is being put on them and why we shouldn’t endanger them further with going out early and without masks! Conversely, so far none of our cases have been from the homeless population despite proactive screening and tests in addition to providing extra resources and housing to as much of the population as we’ve been able to. There’s speculation that their immune systems have become more resistant because of their living conditions. I’m curious what the numbers show in other metropolitan areas with large homeless populations.

Saturday, May 9th
Local count: 1887, 56 deaths, 970 recovered. Jason and I went to the park on Saturday for our early Mother’s Day hike and found so many people there. Jason and I hiked 3.6 miles, and we were almost never alone on the path. We didn’t bring masks because we were out to exercise, but I wished almost at once that we had. Very few people were wearing them – it’s difficult to exercise in them! – but some of those trails were only three feet wide and it’s impossible to maintain 100% social distancing in that situation. I think I’ll avoid that particular park for the rest of this pandemic! Glad the local parks I normally visit aren’t like that.

Sunday, May 10th
Local count: 1901, 56 deaths, 976 recovered. Mother’s Day, including our awesome outing to Mildfire (with masks, social distancing; great business and cause!) and our safe family gathering. Our county judge keeps talking about how it’s great that we’re spending more time with family, out in our yards and neighborhoods, and I agree. Of course, he also keeps saying that we’re spending less time on technology, which is absolutely ridiculous and not in the slightest true…

(hanging out with family outside, and all three are STILL on their phones)

Monday, May 11th
Local count: 1920, 57 deaths, 978 recovered. Asymptomatic tests were finally approved today. Pretty soon our count numbers will skyrocket and I’m not sure how accurate my graphs will be given that a certain percentage of new cases will be symptomless. I’m not even sure how they’ll be counting “recoveries” in asymptomatic cases. We also have caught a few more outbreaks in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. We were already testing everyone in congregate settings – a policy that the state adopted this week based on our success – so we’ve been able to catch these cases early, hopefully preventing too much spread. Lastly, we had several public protests in town today against the hate-speech ordinance the city passed last week. Our mayor calls this “anti-anti-hate speech” which cracked me up. Some people are morons.

Tuesday, May 12th
Local count: 1942, 57 deaths, 1048 recovered. Speaking of morons, our attorney general fired off political letters to San Antonio and several other metropolitan counties, claiming that our local orders are in conflict with the governor’s (they’re not) and citizens’ rights are being violated (also not). He threatened to jail certain local officials, and our county judge lambasted the AG publicly. Go Judge! The politicians (and businesses, to be honest) capitalizing on this pandemic are really pissing me off right now, and I’m sure they’re pissing a lot of you off, too, so here’s a kitty photo to make us all smile just a little.

Wednesday, May 13th
Local count: 1972, 58 deaths, 1050 recovered. We had a bit of mask-related violence in SA today. A man who refused to wear a mask was not allowed onto a city bus, then he got into an argument with a person wearing a mask and shot him. Another man got belligerent when a store refused to let him in without a mask, and assaulted someone. WTF, guys? Stop it!! Also, notice that all the violence is being done by folks who refuse to wear masks? We’re dealing with that population of idiots. // Tough day today at home as Laurence came down with a mild case of food poisoning. Poor kid. I also got a wild itch to start xeriscaping my yard, so Jason and I dug out the first section. I probably went a bit too hard on my body, and additionally ended up covered in mosquito bites. Oy.

Thursday, May 14th
Local count: 2041, 59 deaths, 1051 recovered. A lot of the new cases are coming from even more nursing home outbreaks. // Spent a lot of time in the garden today, digging and churning dirt, lining the border, mixing in manure and moss, and finally, planting the first of the border plants. They’re small now, but within a year these will be large and beautiful! The blisters on my hands are large and awful now, haha!

Totals for the week: 236 cases, 5 deaths. This is down from the giant spike last week, but still higher than it had been prior to the jail outbreak. Again, not sure how helpful these graphs/numbers will be going forward purely because asymptomatic folks are now getting tested.

Positives and Highlights and Nice Things
This has probably been my most social week since quarantine began. I was out at quite a number of places I haven’t been in months, and I saw half a dozen friends and family (all from a safe distance, of course!). I always feel so much more energized when I’m engaging with the community, so it was a good week for me. Highlights include:

  • My friend Stephanie needed someone (last minute) to help her out during the inspection of the home she’s trying to buy, so I got to help. Plus see her and hang out for a few hours at a socially-safe distance!
  • Jason, Laurence, and I walked/hiked 2.23 miles for Ahmaud Arbury
  • woke up to discover Jason had signed me up for the Real Life Ghost Stories Patreon as a Mother’s Day gift!
  • a continued wonderful early Mother’s Day celebration, plus the rest of the fun Mother’s Day weekend
  • lemon mascarpone, mmmmm…
  • my new weighted blanket, which is AMAZING
  • Ambrose finished two of his four AP tests, and Morrigan is nearly done with finals week.
  • Jason finally cut his overgrown hair. (At home. Using our own clippers. Because SAFETY.)
  • first phase of the new yard project started and almost done!

We’re approaching two full months under quarantine conditions now. Oy. How are the rest of you faring?

About Amanda

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