Covid hits home
I’m done with this stupid pandemic, especially when it intersects with birthdays, Catholic mass and Diego’s autism, as it has during the first month of 2022.
My son Diego is obsessed with birthdays, especially his own, which was ten days ago. For at least two weeks preceding the Big 28th, he was “notifying” everyone on the planet to make sure they would observe it somehow.
Things got more dramatic when Diego and his brother Andres caught COVID nine days before the Big Day. Diego, fortunately, was asymptomatic and could deal with having “tested positive” (as opposed to really having COVID) and isolating for five days, as the Centers for Disease Control now tells the fully immunized and boosted to do these days.
One of the routines Diego was alarmed to miss was Saturday mass with his Abuela. No matter, he had his brother find a Catholic mass on YouTube and settled on the sofa to watch it by himself. Thirty minutes into the service, he walked into Andres’s room, hand outstretched, and said, “Peace be with you.”
A cruel, cruel virus
This virus is cruel, as many are, except COVID-19 is the one causing a pandemic right now and for who knows how much longer. You can never tell who will get it and how much it will affect any given person. Statisticians and epidemiologists will give you probabilities and totals, which are great for public health policies, but not as helpful at the individual level.
What’s a person to do at this point? Plan one’s life around COVID?
I mean no disrespect for anyone who does, as your situation might be very different from mine. This is a no-judgment zone.
Unlike privileged me, you might, for instance, live in a country where vaccines are not readily available and the health care system is a disaster. You or a loved one might have a seriously compromised immune system or live with a very elderly parent.
Me, I’m done with Covid.
Let me explain: Who knows how many times I’ve been in close contact with infected individuals, seeing as every day I spend hours with 4-year-olds whose masks (hard as I try to avoid it) are wet with saliva or down to their chin? Any one of them might have had COVID while in school but shown no symptoms.
I actually felt silly about wearing a mask at home so I didn’t catch COVID from my sons. Ridiculous or not, I masked up around them —mostly. I always end up doing (again, mostly) what the scientists over at the CDC ask of us in terms of mitigation strategies and getting immunized. I figure they’re more likely to be right than my friend who sells insurance, and my vaccinated/ boosted relative who insisted on getting tested every day for six days straight because her boyfriend tested positive.
Also, in truth, I highly prefer not to get COVID. There’s the chance, however minute, that it could be severe, even though I’m vaccinated and boosted and have no underlying risk factors. Also, I would hate to pass it on to someone vulnerable.
Above all, it would mean having to teach my 4-year-old students with special needs on ZOOM, which is like remotely teaching a person who’s afraid of heights how to jump off an airplane, open a parachute and land softly.
I make no predictions about this pandemic. What I will say, however, is that only impossible scenarios would bring it to an end or cause infections to drop precipitously— for instance, if every one of us 7.8 billion Earthlings went into lockdown (simultaneously) for about two weeks, or if a very high percentage of the world’s population were promptly and fully vaccinated.
Oh, one more thing I venture to write with conviction: Getting vaccinated is a no-brainer.
Here’s what the State of Connecticut, where I reside, had to say in its COVID-19 Update, dated January 13, 2022:
“Compared to being vaccinated, being unvaccinated currently has the following relative risk:
• 3 Times higher risk of being infected with COVID-19
• 19 Times higher risk of dying from COVID-19
• 7 Times higher risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19”
Anyhow, no one knows where things will go. Maybe weaker variants will circulate. Or perhaps more serious ones will come along, in which case I’ll change my mind about how I lead my life when it comes to COVID.
In the meantime, I shall do my part as a member of the human community by getting vaccinated, getting tested when needed and wearing a mask where required. Otherwise, I am done with COVID.
From way back when, when the pandemic was just getting started: The Coronavirus Is Bringing Out People’s True Colors