|Ajani the Mandrill Smiling (Taken 7.14.22)|
Posting this is a little premature.
I guess everything I'm doing is a little bit premature.
I took a home test on Wednesday and the positive line was so faint, I declared my battle won. I geared up to go to the San Diego Zoo in the evening, then thought better of it. I was sure I could make it until Friday.
Alas, I could not. And Darren had the day off on Thursday and the weekend could get a little crazy with Nova coming back from her on-campus UCSD residential program and PRIDE events and I took another test -- again with a line so faint and only visible in the bright outside daylight -- and declared myself officially over it. SHAME! SHAME! To be fair, the literature here is super murky. After re-reading tonight, I think I now know that any positive test is still positive and "dead virus" isn't being read on home antigen tests, only in lab PCR tests, so justifying one for the other was a mistake or intentionally confusing or whatever.
Point is, I went out in public, with an N95, and people suck so bad at boundaries that IF I still have live virus and IF it can escape my mask and IF anyone caught it from me, then they should've backed the fuck off in the first place without me having to bitch about personal space. There is no reason ever for a grown ass man, a total stranger, to touch my body EVER, let alone in COVID times, and least of all so you can photo-op with a gorilla.
And now I join the selfish masses. I'm not going to stop living for a stupid virus.
It's a lie, of course. I thought I was doing the right thing, I guess it just depends what you read. I'm still living in a separate studio from Darren and sleeping on a cot. The second cot I'm sleeping on, by the way, because I was leaning over to grab something on Wednesday night and put too much weight on a fragile end pole of the first cot and broke it. It's not unusable but I'm not using it while I sleep down here, that's for sure.
And so this is my current predicament. I'm living life...going to the Zoo, having dinner and drinks with Darren (outside, of course), and trying to ease into normal life, all the while the thought of being in shared indoor space with anyone ever gives me the heebie jeebies, even being outdoors freaks me out if I'm not free to move often and away from anyone, certainly not being within a sneeze length of any strangers, inside or out. I could just keep testing with home tests indefinitely until we completely run out and still get that ever so faint line, or I can just do my best, get to ten days --- YAY FRIDAY -- and carry on.
The burden is real.
San Diego has been in high case transmission for nearly two months. This week, we moved into "high community transmission" under the CDC's standards which takes cases + hospitalizations + hospital beds into some unknown maths. That is a really big deal. The County has no courage to mandate masks again, but if they did, they would've been mandated two months ago, if not especially now.
I don't know if I need to lay this out, but I'm on an extended show hiatus. And shopping. And I haven't eaten inside a restaurant in over two years. That's not changing. If you in the very rare, off-chance see me, maybe just say hi from a distance. And for those of you in public without masks, I really have nothing to say to you. Like, nothing. Please don't talk to me. Mind your space and spit and aerosols. Unless you catch me at the Zoo --- outside and distanced and minding my business. That, I think I'm allowed. And maybe I'll say hi. But only if you're wearing a mask and mind goddamn normal human spatial boundaries.
Stay safe out there.
I will say this. A Zoo trainer once told me that while most animals, particularly apes and related animals, show their teeth in anger or threat, that mandrills actually SMILE. Before I got sick, I would spend a lot of time with Ajani and Isoke, but then there was some construction on their habitat so I hadn't seen them in a very long time. On Thursday, when it was quiet and still and nobody else was around, I got some time with both boys. They do this full teeth smile, but I almost never capture it because I'm just trying to BE with them. Thus, not my greatest photo ever, but it means so much to me.
- High Risk for COVID-19 in San Diego County - County News Center (7.14.22)
- Experts rue simple steps not taken before latest COVID surge - AP News (7.13.22)
- It’s Day 6 of Covid, and a Rapid Antigen Test Comes Back Positive. Stay Home, Say Virologists. - KHN (1.31.22)
- I'm including this link from January even though CDC updated guidance after this post. It means that I technically broke protocol in two ways: I was technically on Day 9 instead of 10 when I went to the San Diego Zoo on Thursday, and even a barely visible faint line positive test still means I'm positive. I guess I fucked up. I'm still only doing stuff outside, I'm still sleeping in the studio, and I'm still masking with actual N95 masks instead of just the KN94 or K95 or whatever the sub-N95s I've had are rated. On the other hand, Dr. Michael Mina, who is cited in this article, and others says that I could still test positive, however faint the line, for days or weeks. This is where we "live with the virus". Everyone has a threshold and I guess nine days plus some brain dancing and justification and rationalizing was mine.
- Citing risk from Omicron variant BA.5, White House urges Americans to get Covid-19 boosters - STAT News (7.12.22)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Emergency Use of Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvante - FDA (7.13.22)
- Weekly Epidemiological Update - WHO (7.13.22)
Globally, the number of new weekly cases increased for the fifth consecutive week after a declining trend since the last peak in March 2022. During the week of 4 to 10 July 2022, over 5.7 million new cases were reported, a 6% increase compared to the previous week. The number of new weekly deaths was similar to that of the previous week, with over 9800 fatalities reported. As of 10 July 2022, just under 553 million confirmed cases and over 6.3 million deaths have been reported globally.
- Global COVID-19 Stats (JHU 7.15.22 pm):
- 560,396,550 Known Cases/22,029,348 28-Day New Cases
- 6,365,633 Known Deaths/45,995 28-Day New Deaths
- US COVID-19 Stats
- CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Data Tracker
- American Academy of Pediatrics Children and COVID-19 Dashboard
- 89,294,240 Cases/3,131,472 28 Day New Cases
- 1,023,256 Deaths/9,941 28-Day New Deaths
- CDC Data Tracker:
- 124,048 New Cases/88,932,987 Known Cases
- 351 New Deaths/1,018,035 Known Deaths
- 5,852 New Admissions/33,742 Current Hospitalizations
- California COVID-19 Stats (Data From 7.15.22):
- State of California Safe Schools For All Hub
- Vaccination progress dashboard
- Coronavirus: Resources for Californians
- R-effective: 1.05
- 58,429 New Cases/9,677,827 Total Cases (40.6 new cases/100k)
- 130 New Deaths/92,185 Total Deaths (0.1 new deaths/100k)
- 16.7% 7-day test positivity rate
- 4,432 COVID-19 Hospitalizations (35 patients, +0.8% from prior day)
- 481 COVID-19 ICU hospitalized in CA (-6 patients, -1.2% from prior day)
- 2,123 ICU beds available (-55 from prior day)
- San Diego County
- Free Testing Sites and Schedule in San Diego
- Vaccination Locations San Diego
- Vaccination Dashboard
- COVID ActNow Daily Updates for San Diego Metro
- San Diego Unified School District COVID Dashboard
- State Data (Data From 7.15.22):
- R-effective: 1.13
- 5,666 New Cases/857,262 Total Cases
- 17.4% Daily Positivity
- 7 Deaths/5,370 Total Deaths
- 417 COVID-19 hospitalized patients (+22 patients, +5.6% from prior day)
- 45 COVID-19 ICU hospitalized patients (+2 patients, +4.7% from prior day)
- 250 ICU beds available (+15 from prior day)
- County Data:
- High Risk for COVID-19 in San Diego County - County News Center (7.14.22)
- 2,191 New Cases/857,182 Total Cases
- Case rate: 46.5 per 100,000 residents overall
- 27.01 for fully vaccinated people
- 43.95 for fully vaccinated + boosted people
- 87.71 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.
- 7 New Deaths Since Last Report/5,370 Total Deaths
- 14.9% Daily Test Positivity/17.6% 7-day average/16.4% 7-day average after 7-day lag/14.5% Test Positivity (14-day average)
- +22 Hospitalizations Since Last Report
- 395 COVID-19 Hospitalizations. +81% over 30 days
- 43 ICU Patients. +95% over 30 days
- 43 Staffed ICU Beds Available
- 28 Community Outbreaks (7-day)