Quarantine Diaries – Weeks 55 and 56

Still sitting in equilibrium here in SA. There’s been little news or developments, and we’re in a race against this disease with vaccines now…

Week 55 – March 26 to April 1
205,777 cases, 3,152 deaths, 190 seven-day rolling average (continuing to increase, sadly), 2.1% positivity rate (down 0.2%). Hospitals are sticking around the same level, about 185-200 people admitted, definitely not going down anymore. No reports from the school this week. In good news, San Antonio passed 500k folks with a first dose of vaccine, and nearly 300K folks are fully vaccinated.

There hasn’t been a lot of major local news this week, just lots of little things. Easter camping at Brackenridge is once again shut down this year. The Catholic church decided to open all pews instead of every other pew in SA. The SA city council approved a vaccine wait list because people have been so frustrated by their inability to get an appointment. (Remember how I said last week that those with time and tech skills will be the ones to get in first? Yeah.) The weekday briefing in SA has been dropped to twice a week while our numbers are low. San Antonio is FINALLY starting to get in more vaccine doses than we were originally allocated (something about the population numbers got mixed up and we were getting far less than we should have been for months now). Morgan’s Wonderland is partnering with local hospitals to get one-dose J&J vaccines to special needs kids aged 16+, and their parents (the Gordon Hartman foundation is amazing, y’all!).

(hospital data through the end of March)

Bizarrely, the one bit of big news is from Austin (north of us) but may affect us eventually. They’re the city/county that decided they can enforce a mask mandate even though the governor removed the statewide mandate, because they say their mandate is from the health department rather than the city government. That, of course, went straight into court proceedings, and this week the initial ruling is in their favor. Went straight to appeal, and we’ll wait to see what happens then. But if it goes well, then our health department can do the same because precedent will be set. We’ll see!

At home, lots of good things are happening. Jason, Ambrose, and Laurence all had their first Pfizer vaccines this week. Hurrah! The boys are scheduled for their second doses in three weeks, and Jason is scheduled for four (because his vaccine location is the city-run one that has a lot of delays). My sister Becky and her husband Jeff both finally got their second doses (their pharmacy hadn’t gotten in another shipment since their first!). My sister Aaren got hers through work, and her husband is fully done now. So on the vaccine front, my family is moving along and I’m soooooo happy about that. On the negative side, this was of course the week my grandpa passed away, with limited ability to visit him in the hospital re: covid, but I’m glad at least that my mom got to visit him and my grandma was with him when he passed. It’s also my second experience with a doctor’s office not paying attention to their own mask rules, with multiple doctors and nurses this time either without masks or not wearing them properly. Sheesh guys! You medical professionals should be the best about this!

Week 56 – April 2 to 8
208,606 cases, 3,222 deaths, 187 seven-day rolling average, 2.1% positivity rate (no change). Hospital numbers are creeping back up slightly. At our school, one student and one employee were diagnosed with covid this week. I’m grateful that number isn’t higher, because 1) Laurence is going in next week for a theatre audition in person, and 2) Community Labs is reporting a major increase in one school district, going from 12 cases to 59 in a single week.

Officials in SA are now monitoring for the India variant of covid, though so far there have been no confirmed reports. We remain at six confirmed reports of the UK variant. There were also reports of two “breakthrough” cases of covid – people who contracted the disease after being fully vaccinated. Both cases included exposure more than a month after their second doses. However, both cases involved very close contact with a household member with covid, neither got severe cases, and both have fully recovered. So the good news is that the vaccine really helps not just in prevention, but in disease severity and recovery! Generally vaccines continue to go smoothly here, and the priority no-appointment-needed age group has dropped from 80 to 75 this week.

We got amazing news this week. Well, at least it’s amazing for me! The city has decided to open up some city services again! Swimming pools will open in May – last year they didn’t open at all, and I’m so looking forward to swimming again! Park pavilions can be rented out again. And the best news of all: the libraries will open up on April 13th for “brisk browsing” (with masks, temp checks, one-way traffic, etc). I haven’t been into my library, my second home, for 13 months and you better believe I will be there on April 13th!!! Life is starting to get closer to normal now. Hey, I even had a Girl’s Night Out last night – on a patio, masked when not eating – to help celebrate a friend turning in her PhD dissertation this week! Look at all of us SMILING there – we have mouths again! Ha! (Woman of the hour pictured in the middle at the head of the table.)

Moving forward
I feel like we’re in the Nine of Wands phase of this, the “you must keep going even though you’re so tired, you’re almost there, just keep going” phase. In another week or three, my family will have all their shots, and in a month, we’ll all be fully vaccinated. More and more folks I know are getting there. Soon. Soon.

About Amanda

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