On Monday afternoon, as I was driving to my parents’ house to drop off a batch of Christmas cookies, I started to notice a tickle in the back of my throat. I was concerned enough to not give them hugs and only stayed to chat in their kitchen for 20 minutes. It felt like post-nasal drip from allergies, so I didn’t worry that much.
On Tuesday morning, I cancelled my jogging date with a buddy, did two Zoom calls, and knew that things were getting worse. I drove around the area, hitting up every little town’s pharmacy looking for tests. One place swabbed my nose, but said it would take four days to get results. I texted my findings with local friends, who were also circling the county in their cars looking for tests.
On Wednesday morning, I finally got a rapid test at a local Urgent Care Center. I was positive.
For the record, I am fully vaccinated and boosted. My booster shot was two weeks ago, so plenty of time to take effect. I wear masks in public places. I have not been avoiding activities, because life and sanity are important, too.
I would describe this infection as halfway between a regular cold and the flu — not horrible, but not nothing either.
The other family members seem to be spared. Jonah is still at college, but will be coming home in time for a 2:30 covid test. Steve and Ian waited on line for two hours outside the public school that gave all residents a free COVID test. They’ll get results later today. They look fine, but who knows.
This virus is everywhere in our area right now. I’m getting constant texts from local friends and family — all fully vaccinated — talking about the positive results around them. It’s crazy.
My prediction is that half of all Americans are going to get it by the end of March. It’s extremely contagious, and vaccines won’t stop it. The good news is that the illness isn’t too bad, and it will push out more virulent versions of the virus. I think schools are going to shutdown again and that things are going to get very confusing in the next few weeks.
If you haven’t gotten your booster shot, get it now. I think it helps. There’s really no point in hiding out completely, because living in your basement is not sustainable or healthy. Stock up on testing kits if you can find them. Put some meals in the freezer. And just live your life. Whatever.
In the meantime, we canceled the extended family holiday parties here. At least three of the 16 guests are positive. Steve will have to figure out how to make the day feel festive for the boys. I can’t leave my bedroom to cook and finish the present wrapping. It’s fine. We’ll get some takeout food and watch lots of movies from our respective corners of the house.
PICTURE: Two-hour line to get COVID tests out the local middle school.