It was a bad week. On Wednesday evening, my oldest son called to tell us he was positive for covid. Morrigan had been sick for a few days, but it took that long for the test results to come in. He had a lot of the classic symptoms – fever, nausea, cough – but as of that night, no difficulty breathing. To complicate matters, he was supposed to move from the dorms into a room rental on Airbnb (that he’d already paid for, someone else living in the main house) on the 10th, which clearly can’t happen now. So a flurry of phone calls followed on Thursday to housing, Airbnb, the health department, etc. Student housing suddenly decided that we needed to pick him up immediately – that day, they said, though we stressed that we live 800 miles away and simply can’t do that!
So Jason left this morning and will stay in a hotel tonight, then checking Morrigan out of his dorm tomorrow morning. They should be back by tomorrow evening. Then we’ll all be in quarantine in different parts of the house for the next few weeks. It means a lot of changes in plans – Morrigan can’t return to his job (they put him on a leave of absence), Jason and I had to cancel our anniversary weekend trip (supposed to be next weekend), I’ve handed off the hikes I was scheduled to host, etc. We did a big grocery run yesterday to make sure we’re stocked for the next few weeks, and we’ll manage as best as possible. It does seem really f–ed up that the housing department wants him to travel while he’s still contagious rather than let us pick him up in a week when he should be safer for everyone. It’s not like he has any roommates at the moment – he’s completely isolated in his dorm room! And his housing contract says he’s paid through the 10th. But it is what it is. Sigh.
Anyway. In the meantime, we got a care package to Morrigan on Wednesday night (ordered locally for delivery so it could get there right away): medicine, easy to eat foods, comfort items, etc. And when I talked to him yesterday, he was feeling a bit better. Not all the way better of course – and not happy about coming home – but improving. Hopefully he’ll be 100% better soon, and the rest of us can stay safe and covid-free. At least Morrigan will be able to return to his job at some point, and he got a full refund from Airbnb!
So many people I know are falling to covid now. I have multiple friends whose families were suddenly felled this week. My sister-in-law is still not doing well, having one of those late relapses into coughing. My brother-in-law and his wife got sick at the beginning of the week, but thankfully their tests came back negative yesterday. Morrigan’s roommate, who left for San Antonio a week before Morrigan got symptoms, had to be tested along with his whole family, and thankfully their tests came back negative, too. Everyone always gets sick around this time of year, and that’s obviously going to be worse during a pandemic. We’re all playing the “is it covid or is it something else” game. Things are getting really scary right now. It feels almost claustrophobic. Especially with my family going on full lockdown – can’t even leave for exercise after tomorrow evening – for the next two weeks.
San Antonio’s numbers this week: 83,885 cases, 1,372 deaths, 795 seven-day rolling average, 9.2% positivity rate (down 0.8%). A few notes on these. First, the seven-day average includes several days of very low numbers because city-run testing sites were closed for holiday weekend. We’ve had some days with 1500 cases, so it’s likely that average will go way up next week. Second, the positivity rate did go down this week – however, city health leaders say this is likely because there were an exponentially high number of people (without symptoms or exposure) getting tested before Thanksgiving (trying to give themselves a “safe” marker for family gatherings). The rate will likely also increase next week. Hospital rates are still generally going up, but not nearly as exponentially as we saw with our spike this summer. This is attributed to people getting tested and treated earlier in the disease, as well as some better treatments we have now vs June/July.
Meanwhile, people are starting to protest again. There was a petition to impeach the mayor because of his (extremely minor) Thanksgiving weekend curfew. Then a group of men with Prump 2020 flags (give it up, it’s a lost cause, guys) went to the Alamo an hour after curfew and started yelling, “Fine me!” Okay, dudes. They had the audacity to declare this protest as equal to the Black Lives Matter protests. Rolling my eyes so hard here. The city didn’t respond to either of these things. I have to guess that the city leaders were privately rolling their eyes, too. After the holiday weekend, Metro Health put out a directive that strongly recommends not dining in (at all) or gathering indoors with people outside your household. Furthermore, they say to avoid any indoor activities that involve yelling, singing, or exercising with people not in your household. None of this is enforceable, but they strongly recommend it. The governor won’t let us enforce anything really – despite the fact that cases have gotten so bad in Texas (over 17,000 cases daily for the last two days!) that even the White House is urging aggressive testing and stronger mitigation efforts here! You know it’s bad if the Prumpster’s administration is actually saying something!
Metro health has also said that if you got together with people over Thanksgiving, you should assume you’re positive and get tested. We had a tiny (mom, stepdad, sister) gathering in our garage (above), each household away from each other, garage door open, masks on except when eating. (You can’t tell from this pic, but it was pouring outside, hence not being on our deck.) We took all the precautions, and aren’t going to worry about getting tested at this point (except perhaps my sister, who traveled here and home via plane). In other home news, the local high school had 9 students and 2 teachers test positive just in the first four days back from break. The school district’s response to the uptick in the area? Kids are no longer allowed to use neck gaiters as masks. I mean, we’ve only known they are worse than wearing no masks for months now…
Last bit of news is actually a story of this week’s total covid-a$$hole: As Jason was leaving the grocery store on yesterday, a man approached the store. This man was wearing a confederate flag bandana around his neck (always a danger sign!). He spotted a hispanic woman with a baby, walked over to them, and fake-coughed loudly on them. Then he pulled his bandana over his mouth (but not his nose, of course!) and walked into the store. UGH. I’m not normally an advocate for violence, but frankly, I wish the woman had given that man a good knee to the privates. And then called the cops on him for assault. That man’s behavior was absolutely unacceptable!!