Quarantine Diaries – Week 54

So. It’s Week 54, and there’s SO MUCH information this week that it needs its own weekly post. So here we go: Week 54, March 19 to 25.

This week, we’ve arrived at 203,191 cases, 3,076 deaths, a 179 seven-day rolling average, and a 2.3% positivity rate (down 3.3% to lowest rate ever!). The hospitals got down to 182 cases earlier this week, which is lower than we’ve seen since the beginning of our summer surge last year. Our school reported 1 staff member positive for covid this week, first report for our specific school in several weeks (fingers crossed it doesn’t start going up!).

We’re now two weeks out from the mask mandate and occupancy limits going away, and from when the majority of schools around here had spring break. Starting in a week or so, we’re going to see how the numbers play out. Already, we’ve seen a steadying, bottoming out, and slight increase of our daily rolling average and hospital level, and I hope that’s not an early sign of reversal!! The rest of the vaccine doses can’t come quick enough!

Speaking of vaccines, there’s big news on that this week. Jason had his second volunteer shift yesterday, and they’re supposed to schedule him for a vaccine now. Fingers crossed! Unfortunately, the city is now having trouble getting volunteers to come in for their shifts after an announcement this week: The state of TX said that starting Monday, all adults will be eligible for the vaccine. Really, it makes no sense that they’re going this fast – they literally opened up the 50+ category last week – but I guess it’s just going to be a free-for-all now. And you know what? I don’t care. It means that I can sign Ambrose up for a dose, and Laurence, too, because by “adults” they are including the 16-17 age group that can get the Pfizer shot. I mean, why not, right? The sooner I get my family sorted and vaccinated, the better!

Unfortunately, it’s not just first-dose appointments that seem to be a free-for-all. I have one sister who, as an educator, got her first dose ages ago, and whose second dose was canceled due to the ice storm. She’s been unable to get a second-slot appointment in the month since then. Then my other sister and her husband, who got their first shots because the pharmacy had extra doses thawed at the end of the day, have been unable to get their second shots because the pharmacy literally hasn’t received another shipment of Moderna since then. What a mess! Too many people, too few vaccines, and the city here says that incredibly, their no-show rate has quadrupled, with a full 20% of people missing their vaccine appointments last week! WTF?? I don’t know if those people found a way to get their shots elsewhere or what, but that’s crazy. It’s a mad scramble and frankly, whoever is the best at technology and has the most time to go trolling for appointments are the people who are going to get in first, not the people who need it the most. Though the state did make one good ruling with this “everyone qualifies” free-for-all: Anyone aged 80+ can go to any site and go immediately to the front of the line without an appointment, and must be prioritized over everyone else. So that’s something.

I was looking over the city’s data a few nights ago, and checked on a few things that I stopped looking at awhile back. I noticed, for instance, that our pediatric rate is up to over 18% of all total cases – the highest rate of any age group except those in their 20s. It’s really too bad we don’t have any vaccines approved for people under 16 yet, because it seems like kids are spreading the disease like wildfire if you go by the numbers. Yeah, their rate of death is a lot lower, but 1) longterm effects and 2) you can’t really get a herd immunity when 20% of the population can’t be immunized, even if you could get all the rest of them to accept the vaccine (not happening in the US). Of course, if they did have a vaccine for the under-16s, we’d be in an even madder scramble right now…

Other news for the week:

  • Krispy Kreme is giving out one free donut per day to anyone who is vaccinated. This of course has become a fat-phobic joke around the internet, but f*ck the fat-phobic a$$holes!! I do wish it was Dunkin, though, because I’m not a fan of Krispy Kreme at all, heh.
  • A reporter asked how many cases of the UK variant we’ve had here, and we were told that they know of only 6 cases, all mild cases that didn’t require hospitalization and all recovered from now.
  • We had a few anniversaries this week, including the anniversary of our first (and only) shelter-at-home order on 3/23 (which had to be lifted by June due to state orders), and the anniversary of our first covid-death in Bexar County (3/22). With the ~3100 people who have died of covid over the last year in SA, covid has tied the two top causes of death we normally see, heart disease and cancer, which each take about 3000 people annually. Remember all that talk about how this was less deadly than the flu and so we’re overreacting? *eye roll*
  • The CEO of Texas Roadhouse killed himself this week because he could no longer stand the longterm complications of covid. Apparently it caused him severe tinnitus. I know nothing about the guy personally, but this is sad, disheartening, and just horrible.

There’s also been quite a bit of home news this week. Laurence went to the high school for the first time since before spring break last year. He had to go in to take his SAT, and the experience was a bit surreal for all of us after a year of him being home. My stepmom, Lauren, had her first covid shot, on the same day that my dad got his second. Their daughter, my half-sister who is 17, was able to get an end-of-the-day shot at the same time, with an appointment for her second in April. Woohoo! In less happy news, I had my first experience with a doctor’s office not taking covid seriously. I mean, it was an office in a hospital and it said masks required, but half the folks in the lobby (and a few employees!) were either not wearing masks or not wearing them properly. I was stuck in the office for frickin 2.5 hours after my appointment time, and so angry the whole time. I definitely don’t want to go back to that doctor again!

Lastly, I got a call from my sister on Wednesday evening to tell me that my grandfather was being rushed to the hospital for the third time since this weekend. He’s in horrible condition and deteriorating. I mean, he’s been in horrible condition for the last few years, and everyone is surprised just how long he’s made it, but it just keeps getting worse, and now it looks like he might be transferred to hospice today. I haven’t been able to visit him since New Years Eve 2019, and we aren’t allowed to go into the hospital, and I have no idea if there’s going to be any way to say goodbye. I hate this so much.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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4 Responses to Quarantine Diaries – Week 54

  1. I’m so sorry about your grandfather.

    We’ve got the issue with kids as well. Since schools reopened, secondary school children have to be tested regularly, and infection rates have gone up – not a lot, but enough for it not to be a coincidence. None of the vaccines are licensed here for children yet, and I’m not sure any of them have been tested yet, but it looks like it’s going to need to happen.


  2. Melissa F. says:

    Very sorry to hear about your grandfather. Not being able to say goodbye is horrible.
    We just came back from getting my husband his second vaccine, so that’s a relief. On Thursday there was an opportunity for myself and the kids to get vaccinated — long story — but someone posted the time and place online and all the spots vanished. I was so pissed. PA needs to open things up to everyone and it looks like that may happen by May 1, but personally I feel like they should just do it already. My frustration with all of this is at an all time high.


    • Amanda says:

      Uuugh I’m sorry that happened to you! Hopefully you’ll all get vaccinated soon. So far I’m the only one in my immediate household and I really hope we can get the rest of us done soon!


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