Quarantine Diaries – Week 40

So…this was a weird week. It had good news, and a frustrating turn of events. Read on for oddities on our (possibly-pointless?) ten days of family lockdown.

Numbers: 99,142 cases, 1,440 deaths, 1,100 seven-day rolling average, 12.5% positivity rate (down 3.2%). Despite the decrease in positivity rate, everything else continues to climb sharply upward. Hospital admissions saw record numbers of daily new admissions multiple times this week, and we’re approaching the threshold of strained hospital capacity that we had this summer. One in five cases in the hospital are now covid-related. Texas as a state appears to be even worse – one day there were over 58,000 cases reported in a single day. !!! I have to think that was some kind of backlog issue, as we’ve been averaging around 13-15k, but toward the end of the week, there were a few 20k+ days, so there’s that. Things are so bad in Texas – the worst surge that any state in the country has seen – that the White House is again urging the state government to start shutting things down and taking more precautions. (So far, the request is ignored.)

School cases are also on the rise, with all school districts in San Antonio reporting a great spike in numbers since the week of Thanksgiving break. Not unexpected, but also very worrisome as the districts just blithely keep saying nothing is wrong. Our local high school reported 11 student cases and 1 staff case in the last week.

Everyone is itching for this to be over. The vaccine started to arrive in SA this week, with 6,000 doses on Monday and another 20k+ to be delivered throughout the week. (One of my friends, who works at the hospital on base, got his first-dose covid vaccine this week!) However, the city leadership is cautioning that it might be June before we have enough doses for the general population, and also that it’ll take “at least six months” before virus transmission subsides and things can start returning to normal. Unfortunately, too many people seem to be taking the news of the vaccine as a license to let down their guard. With Christmas around the corner, this is really scary.

Other random news from San Antonio this week. I mentioned recently that the city shut down a strip club that had been in violation of covid guidelines multiple times. Well, this week, the strip club sued the city, claiming that the city shouldn’t enforce covid guidelines. Really. The city in turn sued the strip club, claiming that it should be permanently closed and the building boarded up for at least a year, because over 300 calls to police have been made for drugs, prostitution, shootings, etc in the last couple years. It’s becoming an Ordeal. *eyeroll* On the more serious side of things, Metro Health is seeing another shake-up in leadership, with more people leaving or shifting positions. Everyone is burning out. Pandemics suck, especially when you have incompetent leadership that has done NOTHING to quell the cases exploding throughout the country. When the president is a science-denier…sigh.

Now to discuss our personal family lockdown, day by day, including the frustration that came toward the end:

Day 6 (Friday): Jason had his covid test in the morning, with results to come back in 3-5 business days. Morrigan feels 100% better, and if he continues to have no symptoms through the end of the weekend, he’ll come out of isolation on Monday (Day 15 since his first day of symptoms). If Jason has no symptoms and his test comes back negative, he’ll be able to come out of isolation on the 19th. So far, all of us are doing well. (Pic is of yoga – trying to exercise during isolation.)

Day 7 (S): I woke up with a sore, swollen throat this morning. This likely means nothing because: 1) I cooked a meal last night using a jarred korma sauce, not realizing that it would be super spicy, which my body CANNOT take. I got really sick afterwards – like food-poisoning sick – so the throat swelling might be related to that. 2) It was really hot/humid in the house, so I put my fan on overnight. I usually get a swollen throat the first time I use my fan after awhile with it off. 3) A wet front came through, bringing in who-knows-what allergens. It’s not unusual for people to get major allergy symptoms around this time of year here. But, you know. It’s the “is it nothing or is it covid” game. We’ll just keep on the way we’ve gone and hope it’s enough. My throat felt normal by noon.

Day 8 (S): No recurrence of yesterday’s symptoms. We all feel fine. Morrigan is still adjusting to a normal sleep patterns after working nights, plus he’s dealing with some sad news (unrelated to covid).

Day 9 (M): Morrigan came out of isolation today. He’s 15 days past his first symptoms, 14 days past his covid test, and 5 days without symptoms or even a mild fever. We’re still nervous because there’s no clear line as to when someone with covid is no longer contagious, but he should be okay, according to doctors. Since he’s out of isolation, I armed myself with masks and gloves, then Lysol-ed the heck out of the room he’s been staying in.

Day 10 (T): Jason’s test results came back late in the afternoon – negative!! Yay! We suspected this would be the case since he’s had no symptoms at all. Now, the plan was to keep him in isolation until Saturday, but we had a little discovery in the evening. Long (VERY long) story short, Morrigan showed us a screenshot of his test results. Which, as it turned out, weren’t for an active covid test. They were for an antibody test, which only detects a past infection. To complicate matters further, while the results (from Quest Diagnostics) clearly said they were antibody results, all current antibody tests are done by blood – but Morrigan says that his test was a cheek swab. He also could only show us a screenshot of the results, saying that that’s all the health clinic emailed him and that he no longer had the email. Um…hmm. Okay. So everything we knew was suddenly called into question. He may have had an active covid infection, or he may have had an infection at some time in the past, or this may be something else entirely. Given the conflicting information, we aren’t sure about anything anymore – which, I admit, is frustrating beyond what I can put into words. Either way, we decided it was probably safe for Jason to come out of isolation (given his negative test and lack of symptoms) as long as we don’t share food, kiss, etc. The whole thing is a complicated, very-long-story mess, so I guess all I can really say is that I’m glad we played it safe regardless. No matter what the situation actually was, everyone is healthy now. I’m going to leave it at that.

PS – At the time of publishing this post, Jason is on his Day 14 and still has no symptoms whatsoever. Just in case anyone was worried about him coming out of isolation on Day 11.

About Amanda

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