I’m day seven from the first day of omicron symptoms. While omicron itself is no longer bothering me – just a sniffle – I am bored as hell in my bedroom and want out. I isolated from my family since I got the COVID positive test last Wednesday and am now really, really sick of reading books in bed.
When the boys went for a long hike in New Paltz yesterday, I threw open the windows and tidied up the downstairs, which was a huge relief. My OCD was SO triggered by the state of affairs downstairs. While Steve made a fantastic feast for everyone on Christmas Eve, he did not clear the dining room table of the remnants of wrapping paper and other holiday clutter. He just pushed it all to one side of the table during dinner time. Although I ate upstairs in my bedroom, I was downstairs long enough to see this state of affairs and silently made plans to clean as soon as possible.
I am keeping my sanity, such as it is, by taking long family walks. Anything outdoors is fine, so Steve and I took a lovely two mile hike around the neighborhood this morning. I’ll do more loops through our suburban streets with the boys after lunch.
The Washington Post has a great list of how to handle breakthrough infections. Really worth bookmarking that one. Look, every family in New Jersey has someone sick with omicron right now. The official numbers are huge and highly underreported, because so many people are using the at-home kits right now. The official numbers are basically useless.
The good news is that this omicron is somewhere between a cold and the flu. There’s a slight fever in the beginning that made me wobbly for a day or two, but I have been way, way sicker in the past. For the most part, I’ve been fine. I’m healthy and got all the recommended vaccines/booster, so I’m sure that helped. It was so mild that I even considered just exposing the rest of my family, so we all got sick at the same time. I’m fairly certain that they’re all going to get it at some point, so why not get it when school and work are closed? We chose not to go that route.
So, if we’re going to live with the constant risk of viruses, what should we all do? How should we live in a COVID world?
I do believe that vaccines helped minimize the impact of this disease, so do that, of course. It’s really political incorrect to say this, but I would add that everyone should lose ten pounds and start getting regular exercise. Healthy people can bounce back faster. Old people, of course, can’t stop being old, and people with diabetes can’t stop being diabetic. They are going to have to be permanently careful. Sorry.
But there is absolutely no way that we can go back to 2020-2021 shutdowns of work and school. No way. It’s over. Kids are so massively damaged right now, and I hate everyone who tried to cover up that information last year. It’s shameful what happened to young people during the pandemic.
Masks may be permanent. At-home COVID tests might be permanent. But we must never shut up young people in the basement again.
UPDATE: Recognizing the fact that omicron is going to be everywhere soon, the CDC has reduced the isolation of positive people to five days after test, not ten. Which is good news for me. And good news for the country, because otherwise omicron would shut down schools, hospitals, and all critical infrastructure.