No, wait. It’s Groundhog Day. I am Bill Murray’s jerk character, Phil the weatherman who can’t figure out what the hell he is supposed to learn from living the same day over and over again.
And you all thought I was done talking about coronavirus.
I told you I wasn’t, but I swear I wasn’t planning THIS.
You might even have been worried I’d lost my zingy writing voice after the virus was done with us a few weeks ago. Don’t tell anyone, but I was worried about that, too. I have a lot more to say when I am irritable than when things are fine-n-dandy.
Things were fine-n-dandy for a while. By fine and dandy I mean, a couple weekends ago the kids and I (and their friend) went to the San Francisco Zoo, Aquarium by the Bay, and even walked from Pier 39 down to Fisherman’s Wharf to do the self-tour of the USS Pampanito (WWII museum submarine). All in one day in fact! It was so much fun seeing the land animals and ocean wildlife. Being up close with giraffes is almost a spiritual experience. Walking through the submarine from WWII was surreal. That was our second time in the USS Pampanito and it was just as freaky to be below water level as the first time when our kids were little. The ship seems to be tilting slightly to starboard. I was imagining hiding hundreds of feet underwater in a soup can, packed in like sardines with terrified shipmates while being bombed from above or the bullseye of a torpedo. No way.
Fear lingered below my psychological surface while walking through that old museum submarine. I was empathizing with ghosts. Days later, I remembered reading a hardback book from my mom’s bookshelf, The Cruel Sea. I read it when I was a young teenager. I distinctly remember reading that novel based on WWII and imagining myself being hunted in a German Uboat. I also remember the feel of the old book and its light blue hardcover. There was no dust jacket.
The rude guest covid19 is back.
Today we were notified in the late afternoon that SK#1 was exposed five days ago. “Okay,” I thought, “no problem. We have some extra immunity from being sick a month ago for days on end, maybe he won’t get it. They all wear masks, so he should be good.”
Then, two hours later, I picked up my kids from the bus stop. SK#1 already had a fever. He wasn’t aware of the fever until I aimed the thermometer at his forehead.
He’d gotten the email notification, too, and had been thinking he wouldn’t get sick because of recent infection.
I was aware that science says we can get this virus repeatedly. Still, I’d been hopeful for two hours. Honestly? The fever is a slight shock. But why should I be shocked? Five days after exposure is exactly what we’ve been told to expect.
Sick Kid#2 boot-scooted straight to the bathroom upon arrival home. I boot-scooted right on past the bathroom door with my nose pinched and tried not to hear what was happening. When he emerged he was saggin’ from the effects of noisy diarrhea, and had the fever, too. He went to bed, skipped dinner in favor of sleep, and I haven’t seen him since. In case you are confused about the timeline, I am writing this Tuesday night 2.22.22. dé·jà vu. Day 1 of their symptoms.
Please don’t offer the idea that this could be something else. It’s not helpful and, if I am being brutally honest, it hurts my feelings. I know it’s flu season. I know there are other things going around. I am a mom with kids in school.
We are living this experience and we’ll see what happens.
This is not about death and dying or severe illness. I am not worried about that. We did this in January right after snowmaggedan, so I’ve already worked through my misplaced fear that something bad might happen. “Misplaced,” according to some (and some of my friends), because we are vaxxed, and barring any unknowns, the science says odds are in our favor that nothing bad will happen by getting covid19.
There’s the question of some added immunity because we had the virus a month ago. Do we? Will we be less sick this time?
I am not afraid.
What I am is annoyed. The disruption of my kids missing school again. SK#1 just got everything finished and graded that he’d missed, couldn’t do at home, from all those days on “independent study” during Round One with the virus.
I had to cancel in-person things this week. No way I’m takin’ any chance exposing my medically fragile circle of peeps. None of what I canceled was “social.” They were work and volunteer-related in-person meetings. Meetings that can’t happen now or won’t be the same over the phone.
There are doctor appointments that must happen in person that are now in jeopardy of postponement.
It popcorn snowed at our house today. It was downright gorgeous for an hour. Then the sun went down and it’s downright cold tonight. Finally winter weather again. The poor blossoms on the fruit and nut trees. It might be bad news for them that it was too warm for a month and now it’s freezing overnight like it’s supposed to in February in our neck-o-the-woods.
I have nothing to complain about, really, but I am whiny anyway. It’s groundhog day, dé·jà vu, and Round Two all rolled into one, after all, and I have to figure out what I am supposed to learn from it.
I’d rather sit on the beach watching the waves and seagulls.
2.27.22 Update: dé·jà vu and cat poo, too!
Yesterday was Day 5 of Sick Kids. The predominant symptom has been the low-mid grade fevers that seem to be gone for a few hours then pop back up from what seems like Nowheres-ville. Kinda like Who-ville except the villain is spikey-grinchy, not green and lyrical. Last night SK#2’s fever was 101.1. SK#1’s fever popped back up during those same hours.
Other reported symptoms have been headache, more diarrhea, and feeling feverish.
A new question arose. If SK#1 was the exposed person, why did SK#2 come up sick as well on Day 5 of SK#1’s exposure? They both came home sick the same day, Tuesday 2.22.22.
No, it’s not a “twin thing,” as in, one is sick so the other one manufacturers or feels sympathy symptoms. My twins have never exhibited anything like that.
Because I am a lunatic when it comes to trying to figure certain things out, I obsessed about it for two days. Outloud. Finally, SK#2 gave me the answer.
After school, outside on the steps in front of the school, everyone takes off their masks. My kids included. WHAT? Breathe, Bonnie. Don’t react.
He further explained they hang out with their friend, let’s call him, At School Sick Kid (no blame here – it could be any of us), while waiting for the bus. They have no thoughts about keeping “social distance” (as contrived by scientific recommendations since the pandemic began) during after-school hang-out time. They are outside, after all.
They are normal teenagers behaving naturally.
Thank goodness for that! Damn this rude intruder.
For the science nerds and the people that need cold hard proof we are in covid19 Round Two, I have no such thing for you. Our experience of being sick, of how the rude guest covid19 behaves in our vaxxed and previously infected household is all we have. On Day 2 of their symptoms, Sick Kids both tested Negatory with the OnGo Rapid Antigen Test. A PCR test would come up positive no matter what due to recent infection so we’ve been told not to bother with it. Thankfully, their viral loads were lower than what a rapid antigen test could detect in that moment.
I have no proof for those who need it.
I only have our experience.
I now realize some people think my anxiety is too high about getting covid19. Some people think we are all too anxious about every sniffle. Some people want to make sure I consider every alternative. I don’t really understand why my own judgment about my kids is questionable. I am their mother and generally not known as being unreasonable or off the mark in terms of their illnesses. I am not saying I am always right, but in terms of illness, let’s just say, I’ve never been wrong.
I could go on about how no flu or cold virus in all of their 17 years has ever behaved this way. A weird fever that comes and goes. Or how the constellation of symptoms feels and looks different over the course of days. I could go on about how everything fits with what science, even in its infancy about this virus, is telling us.
Well-meaning friends, who I believe truly care, have suggested or asked if my kids’ illness could be something else.
I scratch my head and wonder why there is so much doubt. My feelings get hurt. I wonder why they don’t trust my mama analysis of the situation. Are we so tired of this damn virus and want it gone so badly that we can’t believe someone we know is sick, again?
Is this related to what I am supposed to learn from groundhog day? From the rude guest entering our sanctuary again?
I don’t want this to be covid19. I don’t want my kids to lose more in-seat school days. I don’t want to miss in-person doctor appointments, meetings, or social activities.
I don’t want to see my kids sit with a freaky fever for what seems like days on end.
But this is what we are living.
Don’t worry about us. Worry about the thousands who are sick with covid19 and truly in danger and actually dying. Worry about grandpas and grandmas and immune-compromised who are trying to keep covid19 out of their homes and bodies. That’s who we are thinking about and why I will not allow us to go about the world as if these symptoms are “something else.”
Worry about the culture, environment, and wellbeing of a high school whose teachers walked off the job last week because the school board voted to drop mask rules altogether, going against their MOU with the teachers union to follow state guidelines.
That’s my alma mater, in my community, peeps. And Nevada Union isn’t the only one so divided and challenged.
Last night Big Kitty’s relentless yeowling to be let out wasn’t enough to get me out of bed at a stupidly obnoxious hour (whopper migraine day interferes with rational thought). I put earplugs in instead and sent him an ESP message to shut the fuck up. STFU.
I woke up to this:
I wonder if Roxy the Rocket has eaten any prior evidence of Big Kitty’s discovery that pooping on a pee pad is not so bad?
(post edited 2/28/22)