Saturday, May 21, 2022

The pale horse caught up with me

 Two years I managed to escape it, but now we all have COVID.

It's not hard to figure out how. Two months ago, the schools lifted the mask requirement. Since then, we've all been sick several times, even though my kids still wear theirs. Cloth masks aren't that great to begin with, and they only protect others, not yourself. But N95s aren't available in child sizes. I got them better masks during the steep wave earlier this year, but they cost a lot and weren't reusable. If I'd known cases were on the rise now, I would have gotten more, but the first I noticed was when we were already sick.

Marko caught it first, no surprises there. Middle school requires a lot of mixing around; there are always cases in his school. He had a sore throat and a fever for two days. I should have tested him, but I didn't. Last time I tested him, it took two adults to hold him down and swab him, and it just felt a little heartless when he'd be staying home till he was recovered anyway.

He was sick for two days, well for two, and then I got sick. Sore throat that felt just like a regular cold, with fever following very shortly after. I tested myself that evening and tested positive. So did John.

Various kids have had various symptoms all week. I'm sure the school district would love us to keep track of everyone's individual symptoms and test everyone. But they agreed to my plan to keep us all locked down for ten days and test each kid once before they return.

I'm glad we're all vaccinated. Nobody has been seriously ill. But we adults have been very uncomfortably ill, with excruciating sore throats, coughing, fever, whole days in bed. Today is day 6 for me and I'm sneezing and blowing my nose like I've got allergies, and I still kinda want to stay in bed. But this counts for very good improvement, all things considered.

I feel frustrated and helpless. Sure, there have been times when I've taken calculated risks. I don't know if it's better or worse that none of those times actually gave me COVID, just the non-optional duty of sending my kids to school. (Virtual is not an option this year, here.) I'm mad that we didn't keep masks; people can fight over their effectiveness but I'm pretty sure they kept us COVID-free for two years. Now certain sources are saying that cases are high enough now that people should consider masking again. Seriously? Talk about shutting the barn door after the horse is out. I feel we always do just a bit too little for the current risk scenario. If I briefly feel that we're doing enough, and I actually feel comfortable going out . . . the rules relax further, it becomes less safe, and I stop feeling like I should go out anymore.

I wish I could just relax now, having had it, but they're saying now it's mutating fast enough that a person may be able to get it as much as four times a year. This is just how we live now. Just tolerating an amount of sickness we never did before, with of course a certain number of deaths annually. I hear the flu was the same. There wasn't a seasonal flu before 1918, and now there is, and we just accept tens of thousands of deaths from it, plus of course the misery of the rest of us having to get it. And it's such a little deal that we write off other illnesses as being as insignificant as that.

I'm tired, you guys. None of this had to be this way, but everything seems to be getting stupider all the time, so why not, right? Can't have our health, can't have anything.

Anyway, the kids are mostly well now, and bored, but they're murdering each other significantly less than they sometimes do, so that's something. They'll get back to school in time for two weeks of end-of-year fun, and then it'll be summer. As worried as I am about keeping them entertained without school, I'm glad we'll be able to go outside and play with the neighbors at least.

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