|Baby Kamaria (Taken 12.19.21)|
Today was kind of a psychotic animal day for our household.
I felt like I had finally cycled back into normal sleep and was up before anyone else so I spent a few hours catching up on household nonsense like laundry and dishes, doing some writing (see after the jump) and then just generally enjoying the kittles before I finally talked to my mom. You see, while we were at the San Diego Zoo on Saturday night, she called me and told me that she had captured a (literal) bird with a broken wing. She didn't know what kind of bird, but she saw it and felt like she had to help it and watched it get exhausted crossing a busy nearby street and so with the help of a gentle nudge from a badminton racquet, she was eventually able to get it into a box. My sister delivered bird seed and she kept it in the box in the house overnight to keep it warm.
So anyway, I call her this morning and she hasn't had a chance to call or drop it off to Project Wildlife because she's busy taking care of my dad, so Nova and I were going to handle it. But then Darren got up, too, so we threw together quick brekkie sandos and it ended up being an all day adventure.
When we first spoke on Saturday, my mom couldn't identify the bird.
"It's big and black with a short white beak."
"Is it a pigeon or maybe a crow?"
"I know what a PIGEON looks like, ROSEMARY! It's NOT a pigeon."
"Is it someone's pet chicken?"
"It could be. Or I think it could be a roadrunner the way it zoomed across the street."
"Roadrunners aren't black. Is it a duck?"
"It could be a duck!"
When we got to the house, she had a giant box from a baby carseat (not a hoarder at all) and opened it to show us the bird and it was an American Coot! How the hell did he end up on a suburban street in Chula Vista? They're water birds known for having toes that look like leaves for when they're in wetlands and walking in mud. They're also known as "mud hens." Technically my parents live close to Otay River Valley, but the recent rains couldn't have been strong enough to saturate this long-dried area, could it? Whatever the case may be, we took it to Project Wildlife and the vet was inspecting it by the time we were on our way. Good luck, little coot.
We decided to head to San Diego Zoo Safari Park, but I wanted to detour to Bates Nut Farm which is in the same general Valley Center area. I worked for the company for a few years in high school and college yet I'd never been to the actual full farm. We did some shopping for snacks and then had so much fun feeding the goats and sheep and llamas and pigs and ducks and even an emu. Oh, and on our way there, we saw two puppies in the roadway, so we pulled over to shoo them out of the road. They were collared, so we just tried to usher them back out of the roadway up to the scary house we presumed was theirs.
And then of course, we closed the day at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. And of course I went straight to Kilima Point and it was empty except for the volunteer, so we chatted awhile, I patiently took photos of three older rhinos napping at golden hour, and after about 15 minutes of waiting, little baby Kamaria and mama Kianga came bounding up the hill and put on a show for us. Of course this drew a crowd so I had to back away from people, particularly the group with TWO open-mouthed coughing and cackling children. But it was fun watching Kamaria feistily engaging with the three adult rhinos before her mama pulled her away for the night. And since crowds move on and I stick around, so I always get some special little moments. It was a pretty good day.
Seeing the open-mouthed coughing kids, one of which at one point, had each forefinger all the way up the corresponding nostil without the dad noticing, reminded me that people just don't know what to do anymore. We know the obvious and you either do or do not: masks, distance, ventilations, vaccines, boosters. But the guidance for everything else is pretty shoddy, so here in brief:
- If you are sick, STAY HOME. If your kid is sick, treat it like your whole family is sick, and STAY HOME. Isolate until you can take tests, and if positive, for 10 days
- If you feel sick, or your kid feels sick - take COVID-19 tests.
- If positive: stay home. See a doctor if you get an extreme fever, or your blood oxygen starts dropping below 90%. (You got your digital thermometer and oximeter in 2020, right??)
- Isolate for 10 days!! I know. This super sucks, right? And isn't realistic if it is your children. But do what you can. And also, you can pass it to your pets, so if you thought you'd just lay in bed with the dog and watch TV, you're risking their health.
- Continue wearing your mask, even indoors, if you must be in contact with others in your household.
- Do what you can to increase ventilation. You don't want your exhalations just gathering up in the stagnant air of your home. Run fans. Open windows. Run air filters. Order up supplies for a Corsi-Rosenthal Box. You may get your parts while you're still in your 10-day isolation!
- If negative: you said you feel sick, so stay home until you don't. Stop dragging your kids around places while they're coughing and sneezing and wheezing, even if it isn't COVID. The flu, RSV, and all kinds of other gunk is going around. Let's stop being okay with people going out into the world while sick.
- Keep home antigen tests on hand in case you feel/get sick. Remember, we're dealing with TWO variants simultaneously and their symptoms cross-over, but many people are reporting just feeling a general cold or just super sleepy with omicron, while delta people are still experiencing numerous "classic" symptoms like loss of smell or taste. The symptoms of body aches, fatigue, coughing, shortness of breath, headaches, fever, diarrhea, can be a lot of things, but also any variant of COVID. Don't dismiss them (though sometimes those hangovers can feel just about the same.)
- Test regularly with PCR tests at County provided sites. Use antigen tests when presenting symptoms. The way they work is different and too above my paygrade to explain (literally $0. I make $0 writing here everyday), but a rapid-test when you're asymptomatic may not give you a real picture of your status while a PCR can catch the virus a few days before any symptoms present themselves.
- If you get contact traced for exposure, the advice varies, but monitor your symptoms and I would increase my testing to 2-3 PCR tests/week if you can find the time and the availability. I've only used San Diego County test sites, so I don't know how good pharmacies are with availability and appointments.
I know I'm leaving out a ton of stuff. I also wrote this before I realized that every website has basically put together a similar guide in the past day or two. Here's CDC's page about quarantining and isolating. And we know I'm not a doctor, scientist, virologist or anything related, so do NOT take any of this as if I am. But like, if I was symptomatic and tested positive, I would likely temporarily move into the studio and make a giant fluffy pillow fort, try to see if the County is still offering monoclonal antibodies and who gets them, see if I can get a script of Fluvoxamine (if that's still a thing,) and load up on fluids, up my vitamins, do salt gargles, medicate with OTC appropriate pain-relievers, and sleep as much as possible. Mostly I just wanted to talk about it because it isn't cute when parents drag their sick kids to busy tourist locations just because Mee-maw is in town and they feel like they have to. /rant
- UCSD fears mass COVID surge could hit San Diego around New Year’s. Here’s why - San Diego Union Tribune (12.18.21)
- Enhancing Readiness for Omicron (B.1.1.529): Technical Brief and Priority Actions for Member States - WHO (12.18.21)
- 'Winter of Severe Illness, Death' for the Unvaccinated, White House Warns — Fully vaccinated individuals must still get boosted for optimal protection, says Fauci - MedPage Today (12.17.21)
- How we're doing it:I know that throughout this pandemic I have continuously erred on the super-safe side of things. If this ad hit when I was single party-Rosey of my 20s and 30s, I might not be so uptight, or if my dad wasn't so vulnerable, I might loosen up a bit, but the reality is that I live in this world at this time in my life with my personal risk factors as well as the risk factors of those around me and I'm just not ready to roll over with the idea that 'everyone will get it' and if that is, in fact, true, I would like to postpone that for me and my household as long as possible.I watch DW news out of Germany from time to time, and they had health a analyst named John Campbell out of the UK who said "everyone in Europe needs to be ready to be infected, or exposed at least, to omicron in the next few weeks." I don't know his credentials and he still has a "simple steps for prevention" poster as his backdrop emphasizing hand washing (super important in life, but not necessarily for COVID) so I'd take his statement with a Himalayan salt rock, but he said "the R number is between 3 and 5 in the UK right now" which is massive. He also recommended Vitamins C, D, Zinc, and lots of sleep, which is like, okay general life and wellness advice but not to be relied on more than ventilation, high-quality masks, and testing.So we will and are cutting back on some things once again. We did a huge Costco stock-up so we hopefully won't have to go in person for awhile and can just supplement with delivery or quick trips to our local grocery stores and non-peak times. Disappointingly, I had to let Tim know we won't be at the Casbah Christmas party. We got tested again on Saturday but with a new company administering at the site and more people testing in general, we didn't get our result as fast as last time and we're still waiting. Could also be a holiday problem. We're still go to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park and Sea World, but we stay masked for the duration, even outside, and are pretty stealth about dodging crowds and groups as best we can.
- You might get a breakthrough case of Covid-19 this winter. Here’s how to prepare. If you’re hoping for the best but still want to plan for the worst, there are things you can do now. - Voc (12.18.21)
- What To Do If You're SIck - CDC (12.8.21)
- You Tested Positive for Covid. Now What? The Omicron variant has fueled a rise in Covid-19 cases across the United States. Here’s what you need to know if you get infected. - New York Times (12.18.21)
- In light of today's Manchin news, I thought this was worth a repost: The Manchin industry - Popular.info (9.21.21)
- White House
- Statement from Press Secretary Jen Psaki
Senator Manchin promised to continue conversations in the days ahead, and to work with us to reach that common ground. If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.
- Global COVID-19 Stats (JHU 12.19.21 9:21pm):
- 274,708,408 Known Cases/17,133,207 28-Day New Cases
- 5,354,554 Known Deaths/202,499 28-Day New Deaths
- US COVID-19 Stats
- CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Data Tracker
- American Academy of Pediatrics Children and COVID-19 Dashboard
- 50,846,823Cases/3,106,218 28 Day New Cases
- 806,438 Deaths/34,208 28-Day New Deaths
- California COVID-19 Stats:
- State of California Safe Schools For All Hub
- Vaccination progress dashboard
- Coronavirus: Resources for Californians
- R-effective: 0.96
- San Diego County