Quarantine Diaries – Week 20

I’m home!!!!!!!

There was really only one major news item in SA this week, so I’ve flipped back to my secondary formatting for this post. I really hope that the news cycle will remain low-key, and that things will slowly get better on a more permanent basis.

As always: 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 with 34,633 cases, a weekly case average of 1,084 new daily cases, and a total of 298 deaths. Thankfully, there was some slight improvement this week!

  • Friday, July 24th: 34,932 (+299), 313 deaths
  • Saturday, July 25th: 35,690 (+758), 322 deaths
  • Sunday, July 26th: 36,083 (+393), 323 deaths
  • Monday, July 27th: 36,438 (+355), 323 deaths
  • Tuesday, July 28th: 37,984 (+1,546), 335 deaths
  • Wednesday, July 29th: 38,930 (946), 342 deaths
  • Thursday, July 30th: 40,253 (+1,323), 347 deaths

Total cases for the week: 5,620 new cases, 49 deaths. Both of those numbers are down quite a bit from last week, though I admit, it can get very difficult to tell how things are truly going when one day there are fewer than 300 cases reported and another, there’s over 1500! So the weekly average is becoming important – and this week we had a daily average of 803 new cases. That’s down almost 300 cases a day on average from last week! Our hospital trend is very slowly going down as well – we actually had under 1000 cases in the hospital yesterday for the first time since June 30th! This is a graphic of hospital and ICU daily numbers from late March until this past Wednesday:

Weekly stats, updated every Monday, are also mostly good: positivity rate is down quite a bit to 17.7%; doubling rate is up slightly to 18 days. Sadly, pediatric cases now make up 12% of all our total numbers here (up 1% from last week), and another child under 18 has died. That makes three children dead from covid in SA. And yet, read on for the insanity that is the school battle below!

This week in San Antonio
The big news this week is the ridiculous battle over whether or not schools need to open in person. Recently, the TEA put out guidelines that said schools will still receive funding if they are closed (open virtually) due to local health directives. Our local area formed a team to deal with this, and after some discussions, they mandated that schools must remain virtual until September 7th. But this made people go crazy. School districts in neighboring counties objected to having their 1-2 schools in our county virtual. One of the mega-churches decided to file a lawsuit, claiming they should be exempt due to religion or some such nonsense.

(school supplies, 2020-style, grr…)

Then the idiot attorney general got involved, again, and wrote some blustering letter about how local officials had no authority to mandate anything for schools, despite the TEA’s guidelines. The TEA responded by reversing said guidelines, now telling schools that they can’t get funding if they are virtual solely for covid-prevention. Now there are new lawsuits from other school districts here saying that they should be able to get funds while doing virtual learning, and our mayor has written the governor, asking him to intervene against the attorney general. OMG it’s insane. School is supposed to start on the 17th for us, and our district still says that the first three weeks will be virtual. I suspect there will be a lot more battling and wrangling over the next few weeks!

Other notable happenings in the SA area:

  • Wurstfest this fall is officially cancelled
  • major covid outbreak at the local children’s shelter, which probably accounts for some of the increase in pediatric numbers
  • a hurricane blew through the coast, and SA had to prepare for evacuees while their normal evacuee shelter is currently being used as covid patient overflow; thankfully, no evacuation was needed (this time at least!) // pic is of our windshield while parked to wait out some major rain caused by hurricane bands – it was like being in a carwash!
  • library increased its book-quarantine from three to four days after they’ve been turned in – not sure what prompted this, but I hope no one has gotten sick from returned items!
  • another SA congressman came out to say covid is a hoax – these people are unbelievable!!!!!

This week at home
Up in Wisconsin, the covid numbers in my in-laws’ county are starting to skyrocket. When we arrived in late June, there were 31 cases in the county (population 45,000). As of a week ago, there were 96. Yesterday, there were 207. And yet, still no one is paying attention. On my last walk there, I saw dozens of high school students and teachers practicing for some kind of ceremony, all grouped in a large mass, no masks or distancing. This reinforced my resolve to head back to TX, a trip which we started on the 26th (after a fun birthday party for Ambrose on our last night there!). We split the trip into three days, stopping on the second day in Dallas to visit my sister and brother-in-law (wearing masks the whole time!!). It was great to see them, and then it was great to finally arrive HOME!!!!!

Of course, it was still a mess of few-people-wearing-masks every place we stopped on the way down. I don’t understand why people are acting so cavalier about all this. At least some places, like Buc-ee’s, was better on this trip than on the leg up (since Abbott finally made masks mandatory in TX not long after we left). In any case, because of the risk, we’re gently quarantining for the next two weeks. This means that we’re not really staying apart from Jason and Morrigan, since we all live in the same house, but I’m not going to go see my chiropractor, for instance, until I’ve had 14 clear days, even if my sciatica is begging for it!

But generally, covid aside, I’m so happy to be home again, enjoying my parks for hiking and running, upgrading my strength workouts with weights, having Jason-hugs for the first time in a month, petting my kitties. It was a good decision to go up north when things were crazy and Morrigan was still working, but it was also a good time to come home.

Positives and Highlights and Nice Things
It was one of those weeks that blurred by due to travel, but there was a lot of good too:

  • Ambrose’s birthday celebrations
  • seeing my sister and brother-in-law on the way home, plus meeting all her kitties in person and her new foster kitten (poor baby has ringworm, hence the gloves)
  • My boys got hooked on my favorite series (the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson) via audio of The Way of Kings on the trip southward!
  • We are home!! Hugging Jason, seeing Morrigan and the house and all the kitties…so many good things!
  • an absolutely amazing ST workout with dumbbells and a phenomenal recovery shake afterwards (adding fresh lemon = !!!!!!!)

I really hope this next week continues to bring lowered numbers and less news – and hopefully some sanity in terms of schools! What are they doing in y’all’s areas? Let me know how you’re all doing!

About Amanda

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