Quarantine Diaries – Weeks 44 and 45

We passed the ten-month mark of this pandemic in our area on January 13th. Almost a year of this now.

It was also the changeover of the government during Week 45 (oh irony), and it’s already apparent than the new administration is taking covid about a million times more seriously. You can tell just by watching all the masks worn at the inauguration! I know Biden won’t be able to just make the virus disappear, but I have hope that he can at least rein in all the chaos!

Week 44 – January 8 to 14
140,614 cases, 1,704 deaths, 1,782 seven-day rolling average, 19.7% positivity rate. There’s been a slight dip in the positivity rate, likely due to a record number of tests given last week. Otherwise, we’ve continued to have an insane number of daily cases – our rolling daily average this week is higher than our record-highest daily case load in July – and multiple days reporting dozens of deaths. People alway seem to forget that it takes a few weeks of increasing cases before the death tolls rise as well. We’re seeing massive increases there now, including an uptick from nursing homes (as we struggle to get as many vaccines to them as possible) and even one from the jail population. Hospitals are starting to plateau slightly around 1450 patients, which I desperately hope is a good sign and not just a minor stall lasting only a few days.

Vaccination rollout is going quick. I told my story last Sunday, but in general throughout San Antonio, multiple locations have opened up vaccine hubs, vaccinating up to 1500 people per day at each site. Second doses are starting to go to health care workers and those in nursing homes, which will really help. The City has converted the Alamodome into a vaccine hub to try to get out 9000+ vaccines per week. All 9000 slots filled up in under 5 minutes when the system opened on Saturday, and Metro Health received so many calls –  over 5 million – to request vaccines that their system crashed. People are desperate, especially as things just get worse and worse in the city, and this new fast-spreading strain from the UK has been found in several counties in TX (not ours yet).

In other news this week, another major business is on the cusp of being shut down after hosting a giant country music concert that had no safety regulations. And oh, the irony, it’s since been discovered that a woman who knew she had covid traveled to San Antonio for this concert, and likely infected hundreds of people she was in close contact with (no mask, of course). It drives me crazy that people and businesses keep doing this kind of thing – we are NEVER going to get past this if people keep being so STUPID and SELFISH. Ugh.

More from SA/home:

  • There were 15 student cases and 1 staff case at our local high school this week.
  • Edgewood ISD (one of the poorest school districts in SA) has partnered with one health system to get 100 of their teachers vaccinated.
  • Jason and I received our meagre stimulus check (thanks, McConnell!) and immediately put it toward debts.

Week 45 – January 15 to 21
155,588 cases, 1,857 deaths, 2,063 seven-day rolling average, 17.5% positivity rate. Local high school numbers this week include 12 students and 2 staff members testing positive. Our rolling average was over 2000 on multiple days this week, and we had several days with almost 3000 reported daily cases. Oy. It got so bad that the daily news brief returned to weekend broadcasts again for the first time since late May/early June.

However, we’re starting to see a few hopeful signs, including another dip in the positivity rate and the hospital admissions dropping off slightly after a high of 1520 patients. Fingers crossed that this is the beginning of a downward trend, and that the new administration – sworn in on Wednesday, hurrah! – will start to get this pandemic more under control. Especially given how many delays there have been in vaccine productions.

Speaking of vaccine delays, the city actually had to cancel and reschedule several days’ worth of planned vaccinations (1500-3000 appointments) due to a delay from Pfizer, and other hospitals systems had to do the same. The UHS system, where I got my vaccine, said they got in a far smaller number than projected this week, so instead of opening up to Tier 1b folks again, they expanded their partnership with the school districts and are trying to get as many teachers and staff vaccinated as they have doses. Other sites, and I believe the city, are also trying to get to teachers, since they’re really on the front lines of all this. And I learned that while other systems are using a more “honor system” based protocol, the city is actually checking up on people and have turned away folks who are trying to game the system by jumping ahead in the Tier line at the Alamodome.

Weird story for the week. On Saturday, I was on a hike with a few other women. We were all wearing masks and keeping several feet of distance between us, so it was clear we were a group paying attention to the covid situation. At the time of the incident, we were discussing the vaccine, and what we’d heard about side effects from those who had gotten it. There was a man passing us in the opposite direction, alone and without a mask, and he decided to intervene in the conversation.

Us: …fever, muscle aches…
Man: Or you could die.
Us: …
Me: I think I’m good, I already had my vaccine.
Man: Oh, you’re going to die then.
Me: …No, I–
Man: No, really. You’re going to die.
Me: (laughing awkwardly, thinking he’s making a joke about us all dying someday) I suppose one day…
Man: Didn’t you hear about the doctor who took the vaccine and died three days later? I’m telling you. You’re about to die.
Me: (edging away, our group moving on as quickly as possible) Yeah, I’m okay, I’m fine, thanks!

So, my dear readers, someone has predicted my death now…

Moving forward
Hopefully the Biden administration will help us all forward. More money in stimulus checks, more mask requirements, more money allocated to vaccine production, etc. Fingers crossed. (PS. It’s been another six days, and I still haven’t died. Lol.)

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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5 Responses to Quarantine Diaries – Weeks 44 and 45

  1. Karen K. says:

    I’m glad to hear reports of your death were greatly exaggerated. Seriously, though WTF is wrong with people??? My mom’s sister had polio when she was a small child, she survived relatively unscathed (though part of her hand was paralyzed) but she did have health problems her entire life and she was the first of her five siblings to die. You can bet your sweet patootie my parents got all of us vaccinated ASAP and I’ve done the same for my kids. My husband got his first vaccine a few weeks ago and hopefully he’ll get the second next week, though there’s talk they may change the protocol and not get the second jab at all! It makes me so angry because he’s a health care worker!


    • Amanda says:

      Yeah that makes no sense at all! Everyone should be getting the second shot as close to the intended timeline as possible. I know the vaccine isn’t 100% effective, but that’s why everyone should get it who can, so we can kill off the disease by starvation. I have friends who can’t get vaccines because of various allergies (like egg allergy) and it frustrates me to no end that I have family members who refuse to get the shot on principle, because it’s those other people who are going to suffer most from it. UGH.


  2. Your weird story: WTF? I think you reacted admirably. People are sooo weird.


    • Amanda says:

      My favorite part was after we walked away. We were not ten steps ahead when one of the ladies started talking very loudly about how that guy was clearly an antivaxxer and clearly knew nothing about how science worked. She wanted to make sure he heard every word of it. She’s 70 years old and gets very salty with folks when they’re stupid. 😀


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