It’s getting colder, which means we’re spending more time indoors. So it’s no surprise that the number of COVID-19 infections is rising in communities across the U.S.
Pandemic winter is coming.
After six months of seeing only his parents and attending school from home, our high schooler returned to school in October. He was happier, more engaged in his studies, and much more interactive at school. Even his teachers noticed how much more outgoing our introvert seemed.
But it was only a matter of time before the first outbreak hit his school. Just before the Thanksgiving break, we heard about a student testing positive. We were notified because our scholar sat next to that person in one class.
I’m not an anxious person by nature, but those first several days were challenging, I won’t lie. My husband and I projected calm, even if internally, we wondered what our chances were of catching the ‘Rona.
We spent over two weeks keeping to ourselves as we carefully watched for any signs of infection. My son would test his sense of smell whenever he came into the kitchen to check on dinner. I saw the infrared thermometer was out and on my husband’s vanity, so I knew he was checking, too.
Only as we reached the 14-day mark (and after two rounds of negative tests) did we agree to resume eating dinner together as a family and start hugging each other again.
Now that we’re careening into the Christmas season, I look ahead to a quiet winter of diligence while we wait for herd immunity to develop.
I’m buoyed by the news of three promising vaccines entering the distribution pipeline, it’s only a matter of time. I’m one of the lucky ones in the BAMC clinical trial for the Astra Zeneca vaccine.
(I’ve had several friends call me brave for joining the trial, but I didn’t need courage to join. I carefully read the protocol first, and it’s solid science. I feel optimistic about how three different vaccines have gotten to the approval phase in less than a year. Go science!)
Meanwhile, we wait.
Yes, there’s some discontent this winter. I miss my loved ones, seeing friends, going to events without a worry about disease. And travel, oh how I miss plane travel!
I am hopeful that we all will remember this time, that we will never take simple pleasures for granted, and that we won’t settle for the way dysfunctional things were in the “before” times.
Most of all, I look forward to my elderhood. There’s an entire generation of smart, great-hearted, enthusiastic people who will make things better for all of us after experiencing the Great Pandemic of 2020.
I wish you hope, health, and happiness.
The featured image is of a sign that says, “Gregor Samsa does not need a mask. You do.” Photo credit: Iris Gonzalez