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Sunday, June 5, 2022

It finally happened, but not to me. Not yet. My son John has COVID. You may remember that he’s been telecommuting from my house ever since we got back from Lisbon on March 14, 2020. Last year he was asked to go into work two days a week, so he’s been making the 105-mile commute to Van Nuys every Tuesday and Thursday. There has been a surge of cases in Los Angeles, two people in his office got COVID, and now he has it.

Day Zero was Wednesday night, when he had a scratchy throat. On Thursday he came home early, tired and feverish after a three-hour drive, and we ran a home test which came out positive, as shown above. Fever: 101.1. On Friday we went to an urgent care center and they tested both of us. He was positive, I was negative. They took our vital signs, asked about other medical conditions, and sent us home to isolate from the world. I have an appointment next week for a follow-up test and instructions to call if I develop severe symptoms.

We are both vaxed and boosted, having had our third shot in November, 2021. Should we get Paxlovid? As a vaccinated healthy young adult, John is not in the group that benefits from this treatment. As for me, well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But if we had to get COVID-19, this is not a bad time. The disease is better understood now, the variants are milder, and more treatment options are available. Our virus is most likely a variant of Omicron, because that’s what’s going around right now.

It’s all Omicron in California right now

According to the CBS News article, June 6, (link below), federal data suggests that there are more breakthrough cases among Americans who have had the third shot (booster) than among those who have had just the first two, although boosted people have lower deaths and hospitalizations. To quote the explanations have to do with “the growing complexity of measuring vaccine effectiveness at this stage of the pandemic.” I read the article, but that’s about as clear as it gets.

I could have tested myself at home and just waited it out, but I chose to go to the nearby Carbon Health Clinic. This way, they have a baseline of my general health, which is good, and a record of my date of exposure. Being new in the area and at higher risk because of age, I want my medical record to show my normal health status, in case it changes next week.

The incubation period for COVID is 2-14 days, according to the CDC, but some sites such as WebMD give an average time of 5.6 days. I expect that will be on Day 5 or 6–Monday or Tuesday. So how do you get ready? I ordered groceries delivered by Instacart, did my laundry, washed my hair, and notified the Festival Singers that I would be unable to participate in the concert today. Now I’m waiting, every once in a while trying an experimental swallow. Scratchy? Not yet. I watch John, whose symptoms include congestion, sore throat, and fatigue. And I wait for the other shoe to drop.

Gail’s positive test. June 6, 2022.

Monday, June 6, 2022: Here it is, right on time. Symptoms: congestion, fatigue. Fever: 99.1. I decided to use my last test. It was a kit I ordered from Amazon in December that expires on June 16, 2022. But I just ordered more tests from this free government site so I can see when I test negative again:

Stay well out there!

Today’s Notable Headlines

“Coronavirus Today: Why things are getting worse,” Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2022. https://www.latimes.com/science/newsletter/2022-05-31/coronavirus-today-why-things-are-getting-worse-coronavirus-today

“‘It is very easy to catch’ says doctor of COVID variant responsible for latest surge,” CBS Los Angeles, May 29, 2022. https://www.cbsnews.com/losangeles/news/it-is-very-easy-to-catch-says-doctor-of-covid-variant-responsible-for-latest-surge/

“COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Does it matter anymore?” The Hill, June 5, 2022. https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/3511241-covid-19-cases-are-on-the-rise-does-it-matter-anymore/

“Pfizer’s Paxlovid reduces COVID risk in seniors regardless of vaccine status -study,” Reuters, June 2, 2022. https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/pfizers-paxlovid-reduces-covid-risk-seniors-regardless-vaccine-status-study-2022-06-02/

“Why boosted Americans seem to be getting more COVID-19 infections,” CBS News, June 6, 2022. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-19-vaccine-booster-shot-infection-rate/

Other sources

“Symptoms of COVID-19,” CDC, March 22, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html#:~:text=Symptoms%20may%20appear%202%2D14,Fever%20or%20chills

Why am I doing this?

The pandemic hit like a tsunami and the ripple effect will be felt for decades. World upheavals, deglobalization, housing shortages, the Great Resignation, supply chain disruptions–we’re navigating changes not entirely caused by the pandemic, but accelerated by it. Since March 11, 2020, this blog has examined the modern pandemic experience in the media and in everyday life, drawing on my experience as a medical technologist, a historian, and an ordinary person living through extraordinary times.

2 thoughts on “It Had to Happen Sometime

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