Have you noticed that, at any given time, you and two or three people you follow on WordPress are on the same wavelength – thinking about the same topic. Probably not that mysterious or strange because I follow a lot of like-minded people and the topic that I was thinking about this week was covid. Laura Bruno Lilly wrote a post titled “What in Your Life did Covid-19 Interrupt.” I started to comment but didn’t because I was thinking about writing a post. Then Jan Wilbur posted “The Difference Between Now and Then is This.” Her post is about the heartache in families created by unvaccinated members. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about unvaccinated people lately. My vaccinated friend had a breakthrough case after contact with an unvaccinated friend who is a member of a conservative Christian community near us where many members don’t believe in Covid-19 vaccinations for whatever reason. The person who infected my friend had gotten infected by an unvaccinated couple who developed symptoms (and tested positive) after attending a church event where several other people had been infected. My god, what would this community do if there was an outbreak of Gonorrhea among their members?
Yes, Laura, Covid-19 did interrupt my life, or more accurately, some unvaccinated people who became positive with Covid-19 interrupted my life. A little over a week ago I spent a delightful afternoon playing cards with two vaccinated friends. That evening the friend who hosted us called to say that the person she had been with the previous Wednesday just called to say she was covid positive and had symptoms. My friend had made an appointment to get tested the next day but wouldn’t get the results until Friday. Her granddaughter got her a rapid result test which was positive, and on Friday the other test result was positive. She has had flu-like symptoms for the past week.
Back when I was in high school we would say, “That’s the way the cookie crumbles,” whenever something bad or inconvenient or annoying would happen. It was our way of coping, a way of living in a world that was generally annoying to a teenager. Well, I’m now 74, annoyed, and my Covid-19 cookie has crumbled.
During the past week I have been somewhat anxious because I have had symptoms. But to paraphrase what my other vaccinated friend who was exposed, “Jez, I have those symptoms every day.” Yes I have a sore throat and headache that comes and goes with allergens and atmospheric pressure, and I am perpetually fatigued or about to be fatigued or am just over being fatigued because I’m old and have fibromyalgia. I have pain in some part of my body all the time because I’m old, and active, and have fm. All week I have been fearful, wondering whether I was developing symptoms. Because I was constantly thinking about my body, I wasn’t distracting myself as I normally do. My pain levels are higher when I think about what is painful and where by body is hurting. I also have been isolating because I didn’t want to spread the virus (to unvaccinated people?) if I was indeed carrying a load of virus within in my nose.
My response to being exposed and potentially infected surprised me. I felt shame. From the very beginning I had tried to do everything right. Remember how we wiped down everything that came in the door. I panicked when I got confused about what counter was safe and which one wasn’t as we were wiping down groceries. I got vaccinated and have worn masks when in unsafe territory. And I might be infected anyway. We have talked with friends about how we could keep each other safe. And I might be infected anyway. We stopped eating out until we could do it safely. And I might be infected anyway. Now we had new calculations about safety to make because I was exposed to the virus.
We had planned to leave for a month’s camping trip to Maine the day after Labor Day, a week after I had been exposed. We knew we could do it safely and could isolate as easily on the road as we could at home. We’ve done it before. But I didn’t want to leave if I had symptoms so I didn’t start packing. As the week-end approached I started to fear having to pack in just one day for an extended vacation where I was trying to take all the food we would need. Reservations had been made at 4 private campground so we couldn’t delay our departure by one or two days. I spoke with my friend and she was still feeling pretty sick and I began thinking about what would happen if we left as I was developing symptoms and then Jim also got sick. Neither one of us would be able to do the work necessary to hook up and drive us back home. We decided to cancel the trip until next year.
Maybe I better not write my next paragraph. My mother taught me to not say anything about someone unless I could say something nice. I’m too tired to find nice words to use when describing people who don’t know how to use science, have distorted political views, are self-centered, and maybe are just plain stupid. Damn it, if you aren’t vaccinated and have no medical condition making the vaccines unsafe for you, then get vaccinated this week. Do it before you crumble someone else’s cookie.