Tuesday Trippin’ December 6

Ah, Covid, for some of us, the never ending story goes on. It’s been in the house yet again. This time it got everyone but me, and we’re not far enough along for me to declare myself free and clear. In truth, I could be one of those people who just didn’t test positive. I’ve certainly had more than my share of upper respiratory ills this season. Just no lower respiratory symptoms so far, and no positive tests.

I’ve been washing my hands like I do the dishes in a house filled with super spreaders. That’s because I am the primary dishwasher, and the one in kindergarten, like most kindergartener’s, observes no personal boundaries, and she’s regularly in two different households with pretty different rules.

The high schooler goes to school with 2000 students, and many of them are anti-vax, anti-mask, anti even wash your hands. Then there’s everyone else in the house, they have constant high traffic public exposure through work. I knew the pandemic wasn’t really over. Russ and I got every vaccination and are among those rare birds who are still masking indoors in public, but here we go again anyway. I’ve said that Covid was back in the house recently, but that was when it was just one of us and now I’m saying it again for all but one of the rest of us.

I wash so much, I use moisturizer with pharmacy grade lanolin levels. I’ve used it for decades, ever since I went to a dermatologist for the cracked red hands, but I’ve been using so much more lately. I’ve learned to keep my hands off my face better during the pandemic too, but I’ve had so much sickness in spite of following the rules.

It’s not possible to get too many hugs from your granddaughter, but all those other illness that were suppressed during the height of the pandemic are roaring back, especially through the schools and even more especially in kindergarten. That’s the likely explanation for being so careful, and still getting so sick so often. I wouldn’t give up a single minute with either of my grandchildren…well, okay, they’re not always peachy perfect. But, being there for those times is important too.

Other than hyper-vigilance, I don’t have an explanation for being the only one who didn’t get it (yet), except, well, I did take off to the beach when it became obvious that the only purpose my staying could serve was to infect me. It’s so much harder to isolate if you are normally the care giver/chief cook and bottle washer. The only way to be separate is to leave, and the beach is not that much farther away than alternative locations.

Before that sounds too cushy, we’re not talking beach umbrellas and salt rimmed glasses and the balmy temps further south. We’re talking driving to close beaches and through the National Wildlife Refuge, walking a little on nearly empty beaches, having strangers give you grief for wearing a mask, eating mostly frozen meals in the hotel room and dreaming of one day having frequent access to gulf or ocean blue spaces again. If you stay in a hotel away from the high traffic areas, it’s way less expensive to take off than to stay home and go to the doctor, or potentially the hospital, and way more appealing. In fact, nearly empty beaches, that’s my happy spot.

Russ has some underlying stuff and a lot of trepidation about getting Covid. I wasn’t leaving if it wasn’t ok with him, but he had all his vaccinations, seemed ok and we were keeping in contact. He had instructions to call me back if things escalated. I was confident that I would be able to tell, (or someone else would tell me if he needed me, even if he never did), Everyone else was either vaccinated at least once, on their second go with Covid or both. So, what I really expected was for Russ to tell me if anyone else needed me and someone else to tell me if Russ needed me.

The beach was pretty nice, I headed for the “forgotten” Florida, but was dragging with the upper respiratory junk that I still did have, and pretty stressed too. There were plenty of bike trails, and conceptually I wished I had brought my bike, but realistically, I didn’t have any business using it. There are times when I can ride things off or burn them out. This wasn’t one. I didn’t really even have much of a walk down the beach in me until the last day.

I had gone a recent second round with the scary antibiotics, the ones that have “aortic rupture” as a side effect that is more likely in patients over 60 and also in patients who are exercising. I didn’t ride again until I’d been back home for almost 3 days and now we have drizzling all day rain with sub 50 degree temps. I did just buy some wet weather gear, but not a complete set, and I’m not trying it out on the heels of a stressful illness.

For all of us, we took a few days to take a breath and some naps. We all needed that before the Covid, and certainly needed it once it made the rounds again. So, we took it seriously and took the moment. As such, there’s been little to no progress in the project department. As much as that hurts and as badly as I want to be in ramp up mode, we won’t make it a success if we are as exhausted as we have been recently when we start the campaign.

So we’ll just do our best and keep putting one foot in front of the other. We’ll catch our balance. The last person to get sick still has positive tests. It will be at least a week before we know if I get to avoid this round of Covid for sure. I’m cautiously optimistic.

So, until then, I hope you have a glorious day, and hopefully in another day or two I’ll be back out on the trail.

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