Quarantine Diaries – Week 15

We have officially passed the 100th day since COVID19 came to the San Antonio community (March 13th). In the beginning, we did well. Recently, not so much. Sigh.

It’s been a particularly difficult week for me personally, as I’ll discuss below in my “this week at home” section. Mostly, this involves having to go back into full(ish) lockdown measures for safety’s sake, even as too many folks in the city go around as if covid doesn’t exist.

Again: 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
Another record-breaking week. As expected. We started out with 5550 cases and 92 deaths, and continued the trend of exponentially increased numbers:

  • Friday, June 19th: 5962, 96 deaths (+412)
  • Saturday, June 20th: 6344, 96 deaths (+382)
  • Sunday, June 21st: 6882, 97 deaths (+538) – a new daily record high
  • Monday, June 22nd: 7156, 97 deaths (+274)
  • Tuesday, June 23rd: 7467, 100 deaths (+311)
  • Wednesday, June 24th: 7814, 104 deaths (+347)
  • Thursday, June 25th: 8452, 104 deaths (+638) – now this is a new daily record high

So that gives us 2902 new cases this week – daily average now 415 – with 12 new deaths. Hospitals were up to 628 patients last night (a month ago, they were below 90), while 202 are in ICU and 94 are on ventilators (more than our previous total hospital admissions). It is bad, bad, bad.

Keep in mind this is one county – not a full state (Texas is getting about 5500 cases daily now, and has far more total cases as a state than most countries in the world) and not even a fraction of the US as a whole. One county/city. It’s BAD. So bad, in fact, that one of our health authorities came straight out and said we’re currently running on the worst-case-scenario formerly predicted by statistics models back in March. The one that predicts we’ll have over 100k cases in SA by the end of August.

This week in San Antonio
We were really doing so well compared to other urban areas around the country. We really were. But at the beginning of this week, we were named 4th highest hot spot in the US, and that moved to 3rd highest by Wednesday. Other cities around TX are actually putting San Antonio up as a health travel warning. It’s not just us – Austin, Dallas, and Houston are doing just as badly – but again, our local officials’ hands are virtually tied. The governor came out this week and scolded Texas. Bad Texans! We shouldn’t have high numbers! If we don’t get better, he’ll have to do something about this! (While refusing to do something now, while refusing to mandate masks, ironically, because “Texas is too big to have a statewide order because each area is unique in their situation,” though each area isn’t allowed to mandate them either…) The most he’s doing is yanking alcohol permits from bars for 30 days if they are reported for violations. Oh, and he says we’re “pausing” the reopening of Texas, even though he’s already opened ALL businesses and there’s nothing left to pause! Literally, that’s it. Great leadership!

No one should be surprised. Hell, Prump decided to defund Texas’ covid tests this week (along with other hotbed states) because the high numbers are making him look bad. This is REALLY not the time to have a narcissistic a-hole who doesn’t care about lives in charge. But there you go. He really thinks less testing will “improve” the situation, or at least, will improve his “ratings.” Meanwhile, we have cases breaking out all over: the blood bank, food bank, dozens of HEB employees (70 in June alone so far), and who knows about businesses that refuse to report! Seriously, I read some stats this week on our situation: a quarter of all our covid deaths have been in the last two weeks alone, and in the same time period, hospitalizations have gone up 600%!

So we do what we can. The governor allowed one tiny new privilege to local communities: the ability to limit gatherings to 100 people. Of course, this restriction has so many exemptions (churches, amusement parks, pools, childcare, camps, sports, zoos, rodeos, carnivals, etc etc) that the ONLY things I believe that are ACTUALLY restricted are 5Ks/etc and protests. Go figure. (Btw, amusement parks actually opened here this week, claiming they had a lot of “safety measures” in place…but really, do you think they’re going to sanitize rides between each go, while hundreds of people wait packed in lines, most of them not wearing masks? No thank you!!) And of course, the new masks-in-businesses order went through this week. This has led to more violence, including the county judge (who initially went up against the governor re: masks) being assaulted at a local Lowes when he tried to intervene between a belligerent maskless customer and the employee being bullied. (The attacker turned himself in a day later and was only given a misdemeanor charge at the judge’s request.)

Last but not least, we have a unique circumstance arriving in San Antonio this week. Every year, the Saharan dust storms travel across the ocean and reach the Gulf shores. For several weeks, the air quality goes down sharply, and people are subjected to all sorts of breathing problems. We’ve already been warned that the Saharan dust can cause symptoms similar to those of covid, but there’s really no way to tell exactly what’s the source of your symptoms without a test. That’s going to put even more strain on a testing system that’s already booked a week in advance and which the Prumpster has now defunded… Plus, now we hear that the dust is thicker than has ever been recorded. Because 2020, right?

This week at home
I didn’t know, when I went on a 3-mile rainy hike with a group of four other ladies on Friday, that it would be my last group hike. I had six more scheduled for the last 1.5 weeks of June. But we all discussed the situation in town here, and decided not to schedule any new hikes in July. And then decided a day later to cancel the rest for June, too. The previous two weeks of hiking had been marvelous and a great way to re-connect with people again. And now, because people are acting like babies here (refusing masks, not social distancing, hosting big gatherings, etc), we’ve lost this physical and mental lifeline once again.

This has compounded on me personally because my exercise is being impacted in so many other ways. It’s now too hot to run outdoors morning or evening, and gyms are one of the worst spots for covid-spread, so Laurence and I have stopped going there, too. It’s making my anxiety worse, and my mental health is low this week. It doesn’t help that Morrigan is out there working in fast food 40 hours a week, and I have no idea how well he’s scrubbing up when he gets home at 2:30 in the morning. He’s in that age where he doesn’t really take this as seriously as he should, and of course there are four others in this house that may be affected. And now we’ve heard that there’s a possibility that Ambrose’s chosen community college may not open to students this fall. He’s already said that if that’s the case, he’s not going to do online school, but he’ll take a gap year instead. Online school is pretty much his worst nightmare. And since he didn’t get a job when Morrigan did, we’re reluctant to send him out to work, doubling our potential exposure rate. It’s a mess, and I’m not coping terribly well this week.

To complicate and worsen it all, Morrigan found out that his scholarship is not being renewed for next semester because he slagged off in his classes for the last few months. (I’ve so far resisted the urge to say, “I told you so.”) But because he has the luck of the gods and always has, he has the option to change his worse grades to pass/fail this semester because of the covid/online issue, and after that, his improved GPA will reinstate his scholarship. I just hope that he actually learns his lesson this time!! Also, while Ash’s energy and weight is up a bit, I noticed a few days back that his tongue has gone yellowish, indicating that he’s getting jaundiced again. He’s probably not drinking enough and will need another IV or subcutaneous fluids. Poor baby. It’s just been a mess here at home this week.

Positives and Highlights and Nice Things
I need these more than ever right now:

  • hiking in the rain! (Even if it was my last group hike for awhile)
  • awesome new outfit from Torrid, plus some new exercise tanks and capris from Lane Bryant and Superfit Hero
  • signing up for a year of personal coaching through Girls Gone Strong
  • cats on catnip (ha!)
  • one of the nearby Red Robin restaurants reopened for curbside pickup – they’d been closed since quarantine began, even after allowed to open, and I’ve been craving their fries so badly!
  • Jason and I went on a hike Wednesday evening, and it was a weird one where not a single person besides us were wearing masks, and we saw a woman jogging in shorts and a regular (frilly, lacy, sparkly) bra; a man with one hand wrapped up so much it was larger than a boxing glove; a man using a golf club as a walking stick; and a wild vole, which I didn’t even know we had in Texas!
  • the trailer is out for the new season of Unsolved Mysteries coming in July!

How are all of you? Tell me good news, if you have it!

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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8 Responses to Quarantine Diaries – Week 15

  1. Melissa F. says:

    That is a lot to handle, Amanda. The only words of comfort I can offer is that I’m so with you on much of this — the pandemic, kids and their college situations, effectively managing one’s mental health. I hear you, my friend.


  2. Hairdressers in England are definitely reopening on July 4th – that’s my main bit of cheerful news!!


    • I think everyone’s sick of coronavirus, but the virus isn’t going away and people need to accept that.. There’ve been a few unpleasant incidents over the last few days – large gatherings are still banned, but people have been holding “lockdown parties” and, on a couple of occasions, police have been attacked when going to break things up (and police here are not armed). Most people are toeing the line, but it only takes a few idiots.


      • Amanda says:

        I wish I could say that most people are toeing the line here. Ugh. But it seems like the majority of people are just done with this, and it’s going to be no good for anyone. People in the US are so used to individualism rather than collectivism, and they’re used to following the rules out of fear rather than genuine desire toward morality or kindness, that we’re in a really bad situation now.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry to hear that cases are on the rise – it’s worrying. It’d be quite interesting to look at histories of different countries and how it translates into obeying the state …. the very strict lockdown imposed in Spain just wouldn’t have happened here, but it worked well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad you were able to get in some group hikes before having to shut everything down again. I’m sorry it’s getting so bad there and can only hope people will start being smarter and wearing their dang masks!


    • Amanda says:

      Me too!! Like, it’s NOT THAT HARD. I wish politicians hadn’t made it into a party divide. If all the republicans came out and started wearing masks and saying this is real, then maybe we could make some progress. I feel like if someone would just start stroking the Prumpster’s narcissistic ego, telling him that if he ordered mandatory masks he could pretend that was his stance all along and be known as the president who made the greatest contribution to stop this country’s spike in cases. It would be utter bs, but if they phrased it the right way, we’d have a mandatory mask order countrywide within days.


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