Covid report, Day 2

… I’m fine, I guess?

I’ll be real: if it was just a matter of symptoms, I would absolutely be planning on returning to work tomorrow. It wouldn’t even be in question. Right now I’m probably about exactly 48 hours from my positive test. My fever was up to 101.7 yesterday, although I sort of suspect the thermometer of measuring high, because I feel like 101.7 is real real sick and I never even felt close to that sick. The fever broke last night and I’m back to normal today. Really, the only symptoms I have are an occasional cough, equally occasional sneezing, and some really slight congestion– enough that I notice it but not enough that I find it particularly debilitating.

There’s also some fatigue; I got bored this afternoon and did some cleaning and took a long shower, shaving my face and my head, and I needed a nap afterwards. I slept until 11:15 this morning, too, and that hasn’t happened unintentionally in forever. One way or another, though, barring some sort of relapse the main difficulty has been keeping myself busy without losing my mind. The vaccines have done their job, as far as I’m concerned; this virus has killed a million people in the US and it was a two-day mild inconvenience for me. I’d prefer to not have gotten it at all, obviously, but so far this has been a best-case scenario.

Fingers are gonna remain crossed regardless, though. I know this fucker tends to morph on people, so I’m far from out of the woods, but so far so good. Plus Sushi has been super friendly for the last couple of days. She’s definitely the prickly one of the three cats, so it’s always nice when she decides to like people.

So, about that …

Please to be noticing the date on the following Tweet:

Fascinatingly, I am not sick. But my wife is! My wife, who never ever gets sick, who comes from a family where living to 120 is considered underachieving, tested Covid-positive last night. And I, who sleep in the same bed as this woman, remain, as of this morning, almost annoyingly negative. I don’t know how to explain this feeling I have right now. I don’t want to be sick, and I don’t want to have Covid. But my wife has it, and based on all the knowledge I currently have about this disease and its level of transmissibility, spending several days unmasked in the same room with someone who is infectious should practically guarantee that I catch it. And yet I have not caught it, nor has my son, so the possibility of doing so in the near future gets to continue to dangle frustratingly over my head.

I did not go to work today, as I had a slight sore throat (which I have had for several days) and I already had a doctor’s appointment scheduled this morning. I woke up, took a second test– negative again– then went to my doctor’s office, where they redirected me to the back of the building and into a “respiration room,” which was more or less the same as a normal room except with an enormous air filter in it running at high speed. They gave me a third test, which was negative again, then confirmed my plan to stay home as a good one. I went through my checkup, had a blood draw and a pneumonia shot (I replied “I will take all the shots” when asked if I wanted the vaccine) and went home. I spoke with someone from HR who also confirmed that staying home had been the right move because of the sore throat and told me that my Official Instructions from Downtown were to take a fourth test tomorrow morning. If I remain negative, I go to work; if I’m positive, I stay home. Friday is an inservice day, so no kids, and Monday is MLK day, so this would actually be a pretty good weekend to be sick in terms of not missing a lot of school.

Also, if I’m positive, I have to take a selfie of myself with the positive test and send that to the HR lady I talked to, which I find kind of hilarious.

Also possible: that sore throat has been with me for a minute now. It’s not exactly an unexpected thing for a teacher in January to have a sore throat for pretty obvious reasons, but it might be that I actually had covid last week and was so asymptomatic that I didn’t realize it, or at least my symptoms fell so in line with what I was expecting anyway that it never occurred to me to take a test. It’s not entirely unreasonable to theorize that I might have infected her. Another fun possibility that I didn’t think about until after the pneumonia shot was that that could also have side effects, and I do tend to get a day of gross out of vaccines, so it’ll be fun to try and sort those out from potential covid symptoms.

I have been instructed to monitor myself for headaches and diarrhea. Both of those are known symptoms of Omicron and not symptoms of a pneumonia vaccine.

One way or another, it’s gonna be a fun few days around here.

Make it make sense: update

We can’t do this. The kids aren’t vaccinated. People are going to die.

That is the weekend’s data rolled together, but compare it to previous Mondays. Jesus.

On cars and Hogwarts, again

If you’ve been around for a while, it’s possible that you remember this story: my son attends a pricey private school, one that my wife and I are affording with financial assistance. When we first started sending him there, I was driving a Ford Escape that had a six-figure mileage and was, itself, old enough to have a drivers’ license. My current Kia Soul is an upgrade. However, there was a day, several years ago, when I was picking my son up during the winter in the Escape and experiencing a bit of class anxiety. I comforted myself with the existence of what looked like a station wagon in the parking spot next to me that also was covered in salt and muddy snow and looked kind of shitty, only to discover that I was comparing my $2000 Escape to a fucking $100,000 Porsche.

He’s at summer camp right now, and I just went to pick him up, and I found myself in the car line behind a Tesla– I don’t know exactly which model, but not the one with the weird doors. One kid got in that car and they stayed in their spot, possibly waiting for another kid. My kid came out and got in my car, so I waited for the lane to be clear and pulled out to drive around the Tesla that had been parked in front of me.

Only to find myself behind another fucking Tesla.

My wife and I do just fine, I swear, and I see the effects of actual poverty every day at work, and again, no one in this building has ever been anything other than perfectly nice, but damn, there is just no faster way to make myself feel broke than to look around at the cars any time I’m near Hogwarts. It’s ridiculous.


I suspect we’re going to be back up over 100,000 new cases a day nationwide by the end of the week, (EDIT: Ha, it happened today!) and the CDC just announced that everybody should start masking up indoors again. I just ordered a new pack of filters for my favored mask. I was really hoping to not have to teach in a mask again this year, but apparently only about 20% of 12-15-year-olds are vaccinated nationwide and I’m sure that number is lower in my district, so I really don’t have any choice. Indiana’s numbers are going up, but they aren’t spiking to the degree the nation’s are yet and St. Joe County isn’t as hot as the rest of Indiana, so I’m pretty sure the school year will be starting as normal this year. That said, I don’t think I knew on July 27 last summer how this year would be starting yet, so who the hell knows? I suspect everyone will just close their eyes and pretend Covid has gone away, but we’ll see.

On returning to normalcy

I feel like I should already know why you get so many pictures of Warren G. Harding if you Google Image Search the word “normalcy,” or at least that I should be able to figure it out if I apply some thought to it, but I’m not going to do that. This post could use some weird, frankly, and that picture is funnier if I don’t know why it came up.

One of my oldest friends passed through town on Friday, and we hung out for a while and chatted on the back porch; the topic of masking did not come up. Yesterday we put the pool up; it’ll likely be a week before we can take a proper swim in it, judging from the weather report, but it’s full already somehow and ready to go, and my wife got to say the words “I’m going to go buy sand and acid” to me earlier today and that was fun for both of us. I mowed the front lawn today (no cicadas yet, but I’m watching) and did some weed whacking and other various Adult Chores, and I was done with my grading within two hours of getting up.

It has, by any account, been a Productive Weekend. I still have some school stuff to do after dinner, but there should be plenty of time for guilt-free video gaming tonight.

I also filled the car up with gas, which is only significant insofar as I needed to break a $20, so I went into the gas station to buy a lemonade, and realized when I was almost inside that I didn’t have a mask on. I shrugged and went in anyway; the county mask ordinance has been cancelled and a two-minute in-and-out at the gas station is about as safe as an indoor interaction can possibly be. If someone had said something to me, I’d have gone and gotten a mask, but no one did. This is the first time I’ve purchased something in a store without some sort of face covering on in well over a year.

(I even did it without any particular self-recrimination about looking exactly like the kind of guy who refuses to wear a mask rather than a vaccinated person who briefly forgot, but I’m blogging about it fifteen minutes later, so maybe I don’t get to pat myself on the back about that one.)

In keeping with the theme of this year, which had about six “first days of school,” this Wednesday represents the first Last Day of School; this year will feature at least three, if not four. My students have their 8th Grade recognition ceremony on Wednesday and are not expected to return to the building afterwards. Friday is the original Last Day of School for everyone else, and since there was a day of school cancelled in January because the entire city lost power, June 1, which is the Tuesday after Memorial Day, is the technical Last Day of School, a day after a three-day weekend where I expect no students at all to attend. Then there’s my Last Day of School, which is June 2, and then I’m off until August, barring a day or so a week where I’ll have various responsibilities that can be done from home and studying for this math test from Hell I have to take sometime.

Bring it on.