Friday, January 7, 2022

When Covid Comes to Town by Jenn McKinlay

FIRST the winner of Lynn Cahoon's ebook giveaway is Libby Dodd! Congrats, Libby! Send your email address to Lynn at: 

lcahoon7@gmail.com 

and she'll sent your ebook!


Jenn McKinlay: You just don't think it's going to happen to you until the nasal swab says "You got the 'rona!" 

To clarify, this hasn't happened to me...yet. But two of my people are down and out with it. High fever, chills, sore throat, cough - otherwise known as "the works". One is already shaking it off but the other, a severe asthmatic, is laid low. I am spending my days away from home and cocooning myself in my office at night just in case someone needs an emergency ride to the ER. 




This is not how I pictured 2022 rolling out. When I picked the word "persist" as my word for the year, I wasn't issuing the universe a challenge. Sheesh! 

Still, if the past two years have taught me anything, it's that the Dalai Lama is right and we have to treat each other better than we have been. We have to start caring for strangers as we would our most precious loved ones and act accordingly.



Because, as I mentioned, one of us is a severe asthmatic, we got vaxxed and boosted as soon as we could, and have continued to wear masks in public and at work and school. Unfortunately the current strain of Covid is like a wildfire, hopping from house to house and burning everything in its path.

I am not a worrier by nature but I'm not gonna lie, when I look at my loved ones suffering high fevers and painful coughs and struggling to breathe, I'm nervous. Some thoughtless knucklehead brought this plague to work and infected my people. I've dealt with a lot of loss over the past two years, and I'm really not up for anymore. Really. Not. Up. For. It.

So, I'm going to go rogue here -- the Jungle Reds are by and large a sanctuary of non touchy subjects (mask - no mask - vax - no vax - what have you) but I'm going to have to go there -- and ask all of you to be careful out there. 

We value you as our friends, our community, and we would miss any of you should we lose you to this stupid plague. And so I ask you to please think about yourself, your loved ones, your friends, your neighbors and even the random stranger you don't know but who smiles at you just because, and consider what you can do to protect yourself and them, too. 




P.S. I'm writing this on Monday night so hopefully by the time it posts on Friday, we'll be in the clear or I'll be really sick - ugh! Yes, I'm posting my entire week right now in mid freak out. ACK!

Stay Well, Friends!

 








139 comments:

  1. Oh, Jenn . . . I'm so sorry to hear that this miserable virus has gotten to your family . . . I'm sending you thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery for everyone. [I hope you have good news when this posts on Friday] . . . .

    May we all be safe . . . .

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    1. Thanks, Joan! The good news is that one has recovered but the other one is the same. I suppose it's just a matter of time but...ugh.

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  2. JENN: So sorry to hear that 'rona has made its way to your family. Sending positive vibes and prayers that your family gets better soon.

    Since Ottawa has a high vax rate (over 90% double vaxxed, some boosted), I knew of just one person who got sick (besides me) during the past 2 years. But omicron is a different beast and is spreading like wildfire. I know they are saying this variant is a milder version than delta or the previous strains, but it affects each person so differently. It's no joke.

    Ontario started a new round of partial lockdowns this week to slow its spread but it looks like its going to be a rough January here and elsewhere.

    Stay safe everyone...you are my community!

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    1. No lockdowns here (yet) but my friends report that people are masking up and stores are closing do to lack of staff.

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  3. Also sending best wishes for you and your family and I hope by now your asthmatic family member is over the virus or at least on the mend. And wholeheartedly agree that kindness and concern for all should be how we move through this life.

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    1. Oh! Even on a sad topic, so great to see you! xx

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    2. Hopefully, there will be a cultural shift towards humanity...hopefully.

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  4. Well, da n. Hope all is improving.

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  5. Oh, dear. I hope you didn't get sick and that all your people are better by now. I have asthma, although not severe, and I don't wish breathing problems on anyone.

    We have been super safe. In fact, today I'm going to be back to cutting my own hair again. My booster is now already 4 months old, and I'm getting worried it's waning in strength. It's going to be another cold, just me-and-him winter again, I'm afraid. Good thing I have lots of work to do.

    Please check in today if you can, Jenn!

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    1. I think I must be asymptomatic. I've been caring for both of them with no symptoms - of course, I'm masked and doing from a distance but still if it's this contagious I would think I'd have gotten it.

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  6. Jenn, I'm sorry to hear two of your family got sick. Hopefully their path to getting better is proceeding apace and you and the other non-sick family member are still okay.

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    1. Thanks, Jay! So far, we're holding. Maybe just immune? I have to admit - and as a fellow comic lover I'm sure you get it - I thought maybe disease immunity is my SUPER POWER! Let's hope there's no kryptonite.

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  7. Hope they're feeling better Jenn--and you are staying well. Yes people, get your boosters and put on your mask. (I'm talking to you, Key West!)

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    1. AZ seems to have masked up - at least South Scottsdale has. Here's hoping this plague is short lived.

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    2. Roberta, I've been wondering about the situation in Key West since hubs and I will be arriving on January 29. I just bought a 90 day supply of disposable N95 masks that we can use in Key West.

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  8. Jenn, hoping everyone recovers soon. Take care.

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    1. Me, too! Hub had pneumonia six years ago and he said this is infinitely worse.

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  9. I am so sorry to hear this, Jenn. I hope your family members who were sick are now well and no one else has gotten ill. Thanks for urging people to get vaxxed/boosted and wear masks. That message cannot be emphasized enough.

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    1. Thank you. I would seriously do whatever it takes to stop a plague. Shave my head, give up chocolate, eat jellyfish, whatever. I do not understand why this isn't true for everyone. Okay, I'm stopping before I teeter into rantdom. *sigh*

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  10. Jenn, I hope you didn’t catch it and that your loved ones are recovering promptly. Take care.

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    1. So far so good. We're getting there by inches.

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  11. Jenn, I am so sorry to hear that your family members have gotten this virus. We just recovered from it and, as I told you all last week, it was terrifying. I am praying for a speedy and complete recovery for your guys and for the rest of you to remain healthy. Please let know how you all are doing. Sending love with those prayers.

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    1. Hank, we are so much better. I am feeling fine, Irwin is just a bit nasal and gets tired easily but otherwise, almost totally recovered. Thanks for asking.

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    2. So glad you've left it behind you. Hoping to get to the other side soon!

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  12. Oh, Jenn, I hope everyone is on the mend by now, and that you are staying healthy.

    I just found out that my sister-in-law, who turned 79 yesterday and has lupus, has COVID, along with the entire Phoenix family. They live in Nebraska, and had done well up to now, getting shots as soon as they could, masking, and keeping to a small group of family and friends.

    I'm the "mask tasker" in our family, and try to be super conscientious. I'm staying with my 92-year old mother for a week while her housemates, my brother and his wife, are on vacation, also in Phoenix. Mother wants to be taken to her beloved McDonald's coffee get together on Saturday, and then to brunch with my cousins, and I'm horrified at the idea. Ohio is having a massive surge. I told her I didn't want to go, so she did an end run around me, and asked my sister and her husband. Argh. They also have no business doing this, as both of them are immunocompromised. And all of them have had serious bouts with "the Covick", as my mom calls it, including a month in MUCU and rehab for her, and long haul issues for her and my sister.

    So if you see me ranting about masking, etc. on Facebook, these are the people I'm trying to get through to.

    I'm at my wit's end with this.

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    1. Oh, dear, Karen. How hard. If she does go through with all that, you'll need to stay away from her when she gets home, no? Sending remote hugs.

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    2. And that's just it, I'm still going to be here until Tuesday.

      Thanks for the hugs.

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    3. Hugs, Karen! Hope all stay well!

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    4. Karen, take care of yourself! The worry alone will kill us!

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    5. Hugs, Karen. Very frustrating!

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    6. Too frustrating, Karen. Sending hugs, because there is nothing else to be done from here. Arrgh!

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    7. Thanks, all. Judy, I'm afraid there's nothing to be done here, either!

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    8. Karen. I’m sorry you’re going through this. You and your family are in my prayers.

      DebRo

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    9. Hugs, Karen. It's all so damn frustrating.

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  13. I'm sorry to hear this, Jenn. Hope everyone is on the mend soon.

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  14. So sorry to hear that the virus has hit you and your loved ones. I pray that they are well soon. My twin and her daughter were both sick with it over Christmas (despite being vaxx'd and in my sister's case, boosted) Luckily both are well now and we are doing our family get-together this Sunday. Thanks for 'going there'. Vaccines and masks are necessary acts of compassion for ourselves and our communities.

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    1. Glad to hear they're better, Gillian. I can't even imagine how Hub would have survived this without being vaxxed and boosted.

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  15. Yes, not what any of us wants for anyone but I am so sorry Jenn, hoping this will pass soon and they will all recover without any lingering side issues. Like many of our crew here we stay home, stay masked and pray that we and everyone else stay uninfected.

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  16. Jenn, sending all the prayers and positive thoughts I can muster to you and yours--praying all are feeling better by now and you have not gotten sick. And preach it, sister! Kindness is the word of the year.

    In my household, I'm fully vaxxed and boostered. Youngest nephew is due for a booster in a couple of weeks. Older nephew is finally finally finally getting first shot this weekend. Mother of 6-year-old grand-nephew refuses to allow him to be vaccinated. I've lost an aunt on Christmas Eve, a beloved S-i-L the end of July, almost lost my youngest brother, have another much loved aunt on oxygen the rest of her days, and have had numerous other family members sick. Of these, only my aunt was vaccinated--caught it just before her booster was due in mid-December. The aunt on oxygen caught it before vaccinations were available. I can't bear any more losses. And, as Karen pointed out, Ohio is one of the states having a massive surge. BE SAFE!!!! Please.

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    1. Oh, Flora, how awful. Too much senseless loss.

      All but a couple members of my family have had it, or have it now (and an unvaccinated cousin and his wife died within three days of one another). I was sick for months, starting in March of 2020, just when everything closed up, and since I never had a fever the doctor would not see me. All my friends said it couldn't be COVID because no fever, but my mother also never had one. I isolated for a solid year, and I hate to think it was for nothing.

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    2. Edith and Karen, thank you! Now you know why my reading mojo is still wonky!

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    3. Flora, oh, that is so difficult. I am so sorry. xxx

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    4. FLORA: So sorry to hear about how this has affected your family. Hugs.

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    5. Oh Flora, I am so sad to hear this. I don't think anyone here realized what was going on with your family members during this terrible time. Stay safe!

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    6. I'm so sorry, Flora. There is such a feeling of helplessness with this plague that just guts you. Hugs.

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    7. Thanks, Jenn! Inches is good--inch by inch, hope recovery proceeds for your loved ones.

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    8. Flora, I'm so sorry you've had such a hard year, so many losses. So glad that your older nephew is at last getting vaccinated, and maybe someone will be able to convince the mother of the six-year-old. So worrying.

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    9. Deborah, thank you! I have a bottle of wine I'm planning to open as soon as the jabs are all done. That bottle is getting old....

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  17. Oh, Jenn. I'm so sorry. This bug is nasty business. Sending lots of healing juju to you and your loved ones.

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  18. Jenn, I'm so sorry. Today is Friday and hope you are okay and your loved ones are getting better.

    I was told this morning that another one of my sisters tested positive due to her job at the hospital. The first one that tested positive is no longer with us. So I'm a bit scared. And yes she was vaccinated and was scheduled to get her booster the next day. So please be careful out there.

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    1. Holding your sister in prayer, Dru, and hoping she recovers easily.

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    2. Prayers for your sister's improved health, and for your safety, Dru.

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    3. Oh, Dru, I am so sorry to read this. Hugs and good thoughts.

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    4. Dru, so sorry to hear this! I'm very close to my oldest sister--she coughed on the phone the other morning and I freaked out for a few minutes.

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    5. Dru: So sorry to hear about your sister. Hugs, stay safe (and enjoy the snow today).

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    6. Oh, Dru. Sending best and strongest wishes for your sister ...and to you.

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    7. Dru, sending healing prayers for your sister. So, so sorry to hear of her illness.

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    8. Dru, I’m so sorry. You and your family are in my prayers.

      DebRo

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    9. Oh, Dru, I hope she manages to shake it off quickly. Hugs.

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    10. Oh Dru, that's bad timing. We all will have fingers crossed for a quick recovery.

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    11. Dru, sending good thoughts for your sister!

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  19. Thanks for your message on being kind! - and masking. Living in a state with one of the lowest vaccination rates frightens me to no end (I'm triple shot and wear my masks), so I share your message and thoughts. Also hope your people are well and that you dodged the bullet, too.

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    1. So far it hasn't caught me. One person is back on his feet but the other is taking the scenic route. This plague is a butt kicker.

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  20. Be brave, Jenn. I join everybody else here in wishing your men a speedy recovery, and no fair sharing the 'rona with you! After a really triumphant November and December for the Dallas Winds, it looks like we might be headed back to canceling concerts or playing to limited audiences. I'm vaccinated and boosted and isolated in all directions, but I still worry, as I know of at least one musician who has tested positive in the past week. All we can do is take all the precautions available to us, and hope.

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    1. Sorry to hear that, Gigi. Two steps forward and three steps back. Ugh.

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    2. So depressing to take steps backward. Hope it blows over soon...

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    3. Gigi, stay safe and well. It's hard to think about ourselves when it hits so close to home. You must take care of you!

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  21. I am so sorry to read this, Jenn! I hope you are able to dodge the bullet and all of your loved ones are fully recovered. Thank you for the be careful out there message. I simply do not understand the mindset of those who continue to put others at risk by not masking or refusing vaccines when their only reason is a need to get on their personal high horse. Sad, and destructive.

    I'm double vaxed and boosted, but still mask and distance. I know there is no guarantees no matter how careful though. This week alone I've learned that two of my friends, both equally careful, have received positive test results. The newest mutant does not want to be denied.

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  22. Oh, Jenn, this is so hard. At least, with everyone vaxxed and boosted, we can hope the stupid thing will come and go quickly. If any silver linings, it's not March 2020, which would have been horrific. Yes, we are completely hiding. And lucky to be able to do so. We see no one.

    My darling grandkids and their dad (in Brooklyn) all got it--12 yr old got it a fully masked school, gave it to 18 year old who had healthily made it through an entire semester on college campus, and gave it to very healthy 50 yr old dad. Mom fled to the beach house. A week of being unhappily sick, then--gone. Ahh. But no less scary.

    Oh, you all, this is so disturbing. Jenn, keep us posted. xxoo

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    1. Gosh, Hank, so sorry for your family, and glad it's gone, but still.

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    2. Our local school district seems more conserned with keeping parents happy rather than kids safe. Everytime a school bus rolls by, I think about kids everywhere in school. Glad your family is okay now.

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    3. Beach house - now that was smart!

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  23. Wonderfully put. Heartfelt and honest. I hope you are yours are all okay now. Best, Michelle

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  24. Jenn,hope your family recovers quickly. Every single person I talk to/e-mail/text seems to have someone close who is sick. Or tests positive without being sick.Including us. Grandson nursery school class was shut down because someone was positive. Then grandson was positive ( for his birthday no less) but not sick. Then his mother...who thought she had strep...but no, covid. Now we wait for test results. !!!!!

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    1. Fingers crossed for negative results and good health for all, Triss!

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    2. Hugs and hope your results are negative

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    3. Fingers crossed, Triss! Hope your results are negative!

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    4. The sore throat does seem to be the first symptom.

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    5. Thank you everyone. Much appreciated. We are not sick but..... Results in a couple of more days.

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  25. Oh, Jenn, this sucks. I'm so sorry to hear your loved ones are ill and am hoping they are better today. My sister and her partner both tested positive but are now through it. A friend's daughter was down with it but is now ok. Fingers crossed your men have a similar experience. Omicron is vicious and vile and cares not about vaccination or booster status, it seems.

    Props to you for posting on this topic; it's so helpful to hear real people's actual experiences. So much can get lost in the muck of social media and the mouths of public officials -- most notably, kindness and compassion.

    Sending love your way, Jenn.

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    1. Thank you, Amanda, and back at you! Can't wait until this is behind us.

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  26. This is not good, not good at all. It is so irritating to see so many of you suffering with this nasty virus after being so careful all this time. We are seeing an increase of COVID diagnosed patients is past week, being referred to our home health care agency. I don't think there has been a COVID referral patient for more than a month.

    Take care everyone. Be well. Positive thoughts and prayers.

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    1. I hate that it feels like it will never be over. Sigh.

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  27. Jenn, I'm sending love, hugs and positive thoughts for all of your family. This Omicron variant while apparently being less deadly is nothing to dismiss casually. The thing I find most worrisome is that it appears to be hitting kids particularly hard; but the silver lining is it's mostly like a manageable flu bug. The folks with pre-existing conditions like severe asthma are in real danger. I have two nieces who both had COVID in late November; one fully vaccinated had a breakthrough case; the other non-vaccinated spent four days in the hospital and is still on oxygen at home. I'm trying to be non-judgmental but I simply don't understand the vaccine resistance folks.

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    1. My nephew had Covid last year and he just got walloped by the new strain. He is unhappy to say the least.

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  28. I''m afraid I can't manage to be "non-judgmental" - I've gone back to having groceries delivered, which fortunately I can and can afford to. Praying that omicron burns itself out soon. Jenn, we're thinking of you!

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    1. My husband who is an executive coach has been working on me for almost two years about being less judgmental. I am judgmental but I keep it to myself most of the time. We have a friend who calls unvaccinated people stupid and selfish. I'm a big believer in doing things for the common good and that's what bothers me the most about people who refuse to get vaccinated--I perceive them to not care about the common good.

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    2. Emily: I so agree with you about the common good. It's a concept being lost in today's world...

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    3. Jay wrote succinctly about those people last week. I'm with Jay!

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    4. Yup, I remember what Jay said. Yup.

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    5. Thanks, Hallie. I really thought we were going to get lucky but I think everyone got too comfortable being back in the world.

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  29. Jenn, I hope and pray all is now well with you and your family.

    In the early, pre-vax days a number of my relatives had Covid. My perfectly healthy nephew was sick for several months but his doctor didn’t feel he was sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. Dan checked in with the doctor every day via telehealth, and reported his vital signs. Among the other relatives who had it, one had underlying health issues, and he died. Another one, who is a cancer survivor and has had heart surgeries, survived. Still another relative who got sick before vaccines died from long-term complications back in November. Also in November, an aunt who had been vaccinated and boosted died from a breakthrough case just two weeks after sending me the most beautiful note of encouragement when my brother was dying from a massive heart attack.

    There are still people in my life who laugh at the idea of masks and refuse to be vaccinated. Some think I’m overreacting because I wear a mask and limit my away from home activity, even though I’ve had the vaccine and booster. If I get sick, I don’t want it to be because I was careless. I’m trying to protect others, as well as myself.

    DebRo

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    1. Oh DebRo, sending hugs your way. Sometimes that's all you can do is take care of yourself to protect yourself and those around you. Except nag. Nag, nag, nag. It's why older nephew is getting vaccinated.

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    2. I'm so sorry about all your losses, Deb. You are absolutely doing the right thing.

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    3. So sorry, Deb. That is an awful lot to deal with. Good for you for putting your health first. This is not the time to be lax, for sure.

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  30. I wish your boys a swift recovery. My granddaughter had it over Christmas break but recovered in time to rejoin us and start her last term in culinary school. Keeping my fingers crossed she doesn't get it again out in the world. We're all vaxxed and boostered and wear masks. Not much else we can do. I will not comment on people who won't do the same because it would turn into a rant.

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    1. The ranting does sneak out of me sometimes, too. I get it.

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  31. I'm masking when in public, which isn't often these days (I've stopped going to in-person services at my church and the Maine Millennial picks up most of the groceries on her way home, because it makes sense.) I do it to protect others, and so I can spend an evening in with my friend who is 95 and has COPD without worrying.

    But I'm selfish, and I'm also doing it for me. I hear how hard it hit my fifty-something, insanely fit sister, and how it's wracked others. I don't want to feel terrible for two or three weeks. Other than getting together with family - and mine are all vaxxed and boosted, thankfully - there is NO activity worth feeling like crap for weeks on end.

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    1. I am the world's worst sick person - I'm like a a dude with a man cold requesting last rights from his clergy - seriously, I am soooo bad at being sick. No one wants me to get this thing. No one.

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  32. Oh, Jenn, I’m so sorry. I had it just over a year ago and it was the sickest I’ve ever been in my life. Hoping your guys recover very soon. We have gone to wearing KN95 masks whenever we deal with people. Walmart pickup, etc.

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    1. So glad you made it through, Jennifer. Miserable stuff this Covid.

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  33. I don’t trust strangers because I can’t trust their belief in science. I’m being kind by being vaccinated, boosted, and staying home. I don’t go out, anywhere, these are the days of delivery living, distancing (10 ft., please), and being so, so grateful that I’m retired and living in a very nice home with my wife, two cats and lots and lots of books.

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  34. Jenn, I am so sorry your family members are going through being Covid sick and so sorry that you must endure the worry that you are going through. I have tried to tell my husband that just because we have had the two vaccinations and the booster doesn't mean we can't get Covid and be sick. He thinks that if we would get it, we wouldn't be sick at all. I hope he doesn't have to learn the hard way that he might be terribly wrong.

    Right before Christmas, I was supposed to attend a Mannheim Steam Roller Christmas show, but I backed out. It was a sold-out show of almost 1,500 in the audience, sitting in close quarters. They were supposed to wear masks, but the friend with whom I was supposed to go and who did go herself, said that some people wore masks during the show and some didn't. Masks were supposed to be mandatory, so another example of not being able to depend on others doing the right thing. I am staying in.

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    1. Caution seems to be the word of the moment! Very wise to stay home right now.

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  35. Jenn, sending many many hugs. We are thinking about you. Even though we are triple vaxxed, that 3rd shot was back in October... So we are staying in for now, having groceries delivered and not seeing anyone. The only positive thing I can say is that it's good for writing!

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    1. Yes, I'm a prisoner in my office so the writing is getting done!

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  36. Oh, this post made me feel so worried, frustrated, but empathetic for all of us with this terrible pandemic still raging on. We also have suffered several losses of family members & 2 of our close friends, both before and after the vax came out, and sooo many loved ones having the virus, even after the jabs! My heart goes out to everyone here on this great blog. Sending all my love and heartfelt best wishes, thoughts, and good vibes for all of you! Stay safe, everyone! xoxo

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    1. Hugs, Lynn. I do hope this ends sooner rather than later.

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  37. Thinking of you and your family, Jenn, and hoping your guys are better soon. Yesterday I picked up my grandson and took him to my son's house for his semi-weekly visit. This morning my son called to tell me the boy had tested positive. I'm sure you know all the things that were going through my head. He has been vaccinated, but he's only 11, so not boostered yet. In general his health is good, but does that even make a difference now? Nonstop worry here on my part.

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    1. Hugs, Judi. The worry is exhausting.

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    2. Truer words were never spoken, Jenn. Sometimes I retreat to my bedroom and cuddle with a couple of the cats until I feel like I can cope again.

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  38. Looks like we have a third Covid case (not me). So, all of my men have fallen. I may never leave my office again.
    Stay safe, everyone! XOXO

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    1. Oh no, Jenn! That's so awful. Keeping your family in my thoughts and fingers crossed! Virtual big (((Hugs))) to you!

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    2. Jenn, I can't imagine how scary that must be. Many here in Oregon are getting hit hard. I'm on the board of a women's networking org as program chair, and it's been horrible worrying about everyone and my husband who is vulnerable with medical issues from his stint in Vietnam. Sending you and your friends good juju and healing vibes.

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    3. Ah, damn, Jenn! I second or third or whatever the healing vibes for your guys and for you. Hope your critters are keeping you company. XXOOOOO

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    4. Well, damn. Wishing all the best for the household!

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  39. Prayers for all of you. My two cousins just had Covid after having all the vaccines and booster. Luckily they didn't have symptoms and are better. Take care.

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