Welp, it’s taken slightly longer than expected – most likely due to the wonderful vaccine efforts going on – but we’re definitely seeing another upward covid trend here. After a month of things bottoming out and stabilizing, we’re seeing increases in hospital numbers and daily average cases. The rest will follow soon. Thank you, Gov Abbott, for removing mask mandates and occupancy limits, which has led to this. Also: a real thank you this time to all the businesses still enforcing mask mandates and occupancy limits!
Week 57 – April 9 to 15
211,397 cases, 3,291 deaths, 224 seven-day rolling average (up 37), 2.4% positivity rate (slight increase). Hospital numbers continue to creep up ever so slightly as well.
The vaccine situation just keeps twisting and turning. J&J vaccines were pulled this week due to potential clot issues like the Oxford vaccine in Europe. Pfizer, which had previously said their vaccine covered the South African variant, had a blow as a study out of Israel had the opposite results. In town, the city posted a vaccine signup waiting list on Wednesday, though it’s only valid for people aged 65+ at the moment. People over 70 can now go to any city location without an appointment and get a vaccine. At the end of this week, 711k people have gotten their first dose in SA, and 418k are fully vaccinated.
Our school district voted this week to ease safety protocols. This means that kids can remove masks outdoors now, if they have enough distance. PE teachers and coaches can do the same. Volunteers and guests are being allowed back on campus in a limited capacity, and award ceremonies are back on with specific regulations. There’s more, but I’m not going to list it all. I’m just going to say that I’m glad Laurence will get his second vaccine next week. He had an audition at the school this week and only removed his mask for his actual monologue. I’m really, really happy that my kid is safety-conscious. He could have pushed back on staying at home, but he was so adamant about not going back to in-person school under these conditions that he even refused to go take the PSAT in the fall.
A few awesome pieces of news this week: My half-sister got her second dose this week! (She, like my dad, had no side effects at all beyond mildly sore arm.) And the libraries opened Tuesday. I didn’t even need books, but I had to go inside! In mixed news: My family has decided to host a memorial service for my grandfather after all. It’ll be on the 24th…and it’s a potluck. Sigh. Jason and I are bringing individual bags of chips and at least one other person is bringing cupcakes. It’s really ironic that my comment on the cupcakes was, “Well at least one other person is health-conscious.” Amazing how the definition of that has changed! I’m happy I’ll get to see my family, but I’m wary as well, since this is the side of the family that won’t wear masks, won’t get vaccinated, etc.
Week 58 – April 16 to 22
214,631 cases, 3,330 deaths, 222 seven-day rolling average, 2.2% positivity rate (back down slightly). Hospitals continue to climb in a slow increase. One student at the local high school tested positive this week.
The US crossed a milestone this week – a good milestone this time! A full 50% of US adults have had their first shot, and 33% are fully vaccinated. In town, our mayor finally got his first shot. San Antonio is running about the same on average – 54% of eligible folks had their first shot by the end of this week, and 34% are fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, there’s a worrying trend: after weeks and weeks of not-enough-supply and too-much-demand, this has suddenly flipped. At all the mass vaccination sites, there are tons of empty appointment slots and no one seems to want to fill them. The city’s no-show rate is up to between 30-50%! Eek! We aren’t even close to “herd immunity.” Because of this trend, several mass sites have opened up their afternoons to anyone age 16+ on a walk-in basis, no appointment needed, hoping to get more people in.
More personal milestones this week in the quest to return to (semi) normal. Over the weekend, my hiking group met for brunch with a member who is about to have a baby. It was the first time I’ve eaten inside a restaurant in SA since the day the pandemic hit the city (3/13/20). Laurence and I rejoined Planet Fitness, and as soon as he is fully vaccinated, we can start going to the gym again. Ambrose (above) and Laurence (right) received their second Pfizer doses, so that they’ll be fully immunized in two weeks. Sadly, they’re both experiencing side effects – headaches and dizziness for Ambrose; headaches, fever, dizziness, and hollow belly for Laurence. Fingers crossed it passes quickly! My stepmom Lauren had her second vaccine dose yesterday, and I hope she ends up feeling okay!
Last but definitely not least: Ted Nugent. Snort. Thank you, karma. That is all.
We seem to be in a race to get enough people vaccinated to counteract that state government’s stupidity, but we have to content with people’s fears, political nonsense, and distrust of the medical field. Sigh. Please, people. Get vaccinated.
Ooh, where did you go to lunch?? I had my first inside restaurant meal with Ruben in more than a year last week, we took the train up to NYC to visit Cecelia for the weekend. It was so exciting! (Restaurants are at less than 50% capacity, lots of spacing, and we kept our masks on when we weren’t actually eating or drinking and when servers came to the tables).
Heh, not even anywhere exciting. It was Panera. We only ate inside because they had no outdoor seating. We also kept masks on when not eating/drinking, but TX of course has no occupancy limits at all anymore. UGH. And it didn’t seem like Panera was terribly intent on keeping anyone out. It wasn’t super crowded, but it was definitely over 50% occupancy. I felt okay because I was fully vaxxed at that point, though. I’ve eaten inside a few other restaurants over the last year, but they were all in small towns with low virus numbers and only when covid wasn’t in a surge/peak. And I’ve eaten at a few restaurants with outdoor seating in town as well. But it still felt like a milestone – eating inside in SA! Heh. Where did y’all eat? And how was the train? My brother just few in to SA for our family’s memorial, from the Baltimore area, and he said the travel was awful both in the airport and on the plane.