This might even apply to me at this point (sigh): 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!
This week in numbers
We began the week at 3840 cases after a record high of 822 new cases in Week 13. We’ve also seen 82 deaths so far here in San Antonio. This week:
- Friday, June 12th: 4012, 84 deaths (+172)
- Saturday, June 13th: 4242, 88 deaths (+230)
- Sunday, June 14th: 4393, 88 deaths (+151)
- Monday, June 15th: 4437, 89 deaths (+44)
- Tuesday, June 16th: 4876, 89 deaths (+439) !!!!!
- Wednesday, June 17th:5142, 90 deaths (+266)
- Thursday, June 18th: 5550, 92 deaths (+408)
Oh jeez. We had 1710 total new cases this week – that’s more than double our record number of cases last week (822), which was nearly double the previous record (435 – less than one DAY this week!) – and 10 new deaths. Literally the last 2.5 weeks of our spike has been a full HALF the number of our total cases since March 13th. Sigh.
And it gets worse. Our hospitalizations are up to 267 (formerly stable around 80), with a doubling in ICU and ventilator cases. The numbers are going up daily. Our positivity rate is up to 10% of tests, and our case doubling rate is dropping fast. All REALLY bad signs.
This week in San Antonio
As you can see, our city is in crisis. Things are getting so much worse. Every day I see more and more news stories about businesses shutting down due to outbreaks among their employees, and especially stories about various HEB employees around the city getting sick. HEB is our main grocery here, and they have been INCREDIBLE from the very beginning of this pandemic. They already had protocols in place from years back, and within days of our first case, they had their employees protected by masks, gloves, and plastic screens, plus markers on the floor for social distancing and limits on products that were being hoarded. I mentioned two weeks ago that the store has finally given up making masks mandatory for customers because of the trouble so many folks were causing (mostly white male folks, I’ll add). Far too many people have stopped wearing masks there, and as a result, the number of cases among HEB employees have gone from one every now and then to at least a dozen per week (33 of 57 local stores with at least one case as of 6/15, almost all of them in the last two weeks!). It’s shocking how inconsiderate people can be!!
So with all this spike stuff going on, there’s been a flurry of mask-related politics happening here. First, our county judge begged the governor to allow cities the freedom to make masks mandatory. The governor responded that he believes in “individual responsibility” – aka “no.” Texas (not just SA) spent another few days with record-breaking numbers of new cases, hospitalizations, and daily deaths, at which point the San Antonio mayor, along with eight other mayors around TX, again wrote to the governor asking him to let us mandate locally. Response was another big fat NO. In fact, on Tuesday, the governor came out and told the state that we shouldn’t worry about covid despite this spike because the situation is “under control” and there is “abundant hospital capacity” to treat us as we get dangerously ill.
At this point, our county judge decided to exploit a loophole in the governor’s mandate, and put through an emergency order requiring all businesses in our county to require masks for customers. If you want to stay open, you must require masks, within five days of the order. HEB immediately complied – I think they were relieved to have something legal on their side – and then we just waited for the governor’s response. Texas is one of the top states in the nation for outbreaks at the moment, but so far Abbott has just been sitting back and letting the virus get on with killing us. Imagine my surprise and delight when he said he wouldn’t fight our new emergency order. Perhaps he just needed a way to save face while letting us do what we NEED to do. Either way, masks are in again, hallelujah!
Other notable local news this week:
- libraries opened for contactless curbside service on Tuesday, yay!
- all 4th of July firework displays and parades have been officially cancelled
- both Texas NFL teams now have multiple players with covid, not long after they started group practices (you think?)
- the governor announced that all public schools will resume as normal with no need for masks or general precautions in the fall, oy…
This week at home
My calendar is starting to look a lot like pre-quarantine. I have a dozen hikes scheduled for June (including three that I’m hosting!), multiple medical appointments for the family, Gavroche’s surgery, Father’s Day, family and friend socially-distanced hangouts, Morrigan’s work schedule (for car purposes), and a few online gatherings. It’s a bit nerve-racking to be going to so many places and to have so much exposure to people, especially with the spike we’re having here. But the thing is, it’s possible to do these things and stay six feet away from people and keep a mask on when you have to be closer. (You can even take 6ft-apart selfies, like these photos!) On hikes, I wear one of my Buff masks around my neck and pull it up any time someone is passing the opposite direction, or if the trail gets narrow and we have to be closer together than we like. It’s not comfortable to wear a mask around my neck in the heat, but I’m determined to do my part to keep everyone safe, and so is the rest of my hiking group! I wish everyone was doing the same!
And beyond events and appointments, so much is happening at home right now: Gavroche is recovering well from his surgery this week. I’ve been working on a frickin’ kidney stone. (It’s my second, and this time hasn’t landed me in the ER with a swollen kidney at least! No one in my family has ever had a kidney stone, so why is this on me? I have a feeling it has to do with my antidepressant, because both times I’ve had one it was a few months after starting this particular medication at this same dosage.) Laurence has been going to the gym regularly to using the exercise bikes. I covid-cut my hair rather than risking a visit to the salon. Morrigan had his annual vision appointment to update his eye prescription. My sister Julia had a bike accident and ended up in the ER, but thankfully she only ended up spraining her wrist rather than fracturing it like they thought (and hopefully neither she nor my dad and stepmom ended up catching covid in the ER!). My sister Becky got a second batch of foster kittens. New neighbors are moving into the house next to us.
Positives and Highlights and Nice Things
Gotta find the positives. Gotta find the positives.
- I hosted my first hike and it was awesome!
- my covid haircut (ie DIY haircut) came out really nice
- my sister Aaren adopted one of my sister Becky’s foster kittens, so we’ll get to watch her as she grows up!
- my first test of agoraphobia came over the weekend when I drove myself 40 mins south to an unknown location to attend a leadership hike, and it was soooo worth it and I’m soooo glad I was able to do this!
- finally got to pick up my library holds!
- great new pride tank top activewear from Torrid arrived
Please tell me you are all doing better than we are and that your governors aren’t absolute idiots like Abbott…