Friday, July 08, 2022

COVID-19: Mild Ain't Mild. BA.5 Takes Over | City, County, State All Reporting Rising Cases, Hospitalizations | More Stuff About Shooting |

I Miss Denny (Taken 6.9.22)

I feel like after two years of posting about COVID-19, that I'd be more prepared than most people for what to do and how to handle being sick. Let's set aside that I tested positive on a PCR test in December but had no symptoms and wasn't even told I was positive until 11 days later, when I'd already tested negative on numerous home tests. That didn't really count, as I never went into isolation. Still not quite sure that wasn't some big lab fuckup so I'm still doubtful I was positive. This time, I'm trying to do everything right and I can see just how and why so many have been so frustrated about the whole process. I mean, on top of being sick which is already physically painful, emotionally draining, and psychologically isolating. My COVID-19 experience, after the jump. 

For example, I started feeling shitty on July 5th. As I said, I can count on my hands the places I've been in the past week: San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park (where I mask whenever I'm within a few yards of anyone else, or in bathrooms, or when I'm at enclosures that dead end into glass - like the gorillas or hippos). I made a quick trip to Costco on Saturday. In and out of the store in about 20 minutes, always moving. I went to Vons on 4th of July to pick up ice cream around 9pm. Masked the whole time, in the store under 10 minutes, no line. I went to Ross a couple times last week, but I don't even think those are in my window. That's it. I really have a small, cautious few places I go. But I had to work. I sold merch on Saturday night at the Casbah. I let my guard down. I can think of 5 or 6 people I spoke to outside, without a mask, in close proximity. Fuck. But I already went through all of that. 

What I wanted to talk about is everything else. We keep hearing that case numbers are likely an undercount because home tests aren't reported. And me, who has a whole page of quicklinks to CDC, CDPH, SDPH that I've accessed hundreds of times, have NO IDEA where I'm supposed to report my positive case. There's a runaround. Tell your primary physician: I don't have a primary physician because I've never used my health plan. Report to your County: county sites have no link or information where to report, only where to confirm with a county administered test. I even tried the California Notify app, but I guess I have to call an 800 number to get a text code to then enter to anonymously notify anyone who was around me who also has California Notify...which I presume is a number close to zero since it overrides your bluetooth which everyone needs for everything else. Each test kit supposedly has a QR code for reporting, but feels like another weird ass data collection scam. I eventually did report this way which then reports to the CDC, but it still sucks to be giving so much information to the medical testing company itself, then trusting they'll get the information to the right places. So for now, I probably remain an unreported case in a sea of unreported cases, in a county that has high transmission but because we have enough hospital beds are still considered at the medium community level. WTF? Just my post on Facebook had about a dozen people pop up saying they just had or have it, or people who have all the symptoms but are too afraid to test because then they'd have to miss work or school or daycare or family trips or camp or whatever else. 

As someone who I would say is a little over-informed about COVID-19, it is quite debilitating in unforeseen ways. Beyond the exhaustion and stuffy nose. There's a desire to maximize treatments and minimize the duration. Yesterday I was diligently alternating between Advil and Tylenol every four hours, which works until you finally fall asleep for twelve. I'm popping all the things - Vitamins C and D and Zinc and B12 for good measure, plus my regular daily OTC allergy pill, plus regular intervals of Alka-Seltzer Plus for Severe Cold. I also called the local MARC (Monoclonal Antibody Regional Centers) but had already fallen asleep when they called me back and now I can't get them to answer the call line. There's paranoia that I'm going to get Darren sick; that he'll have to miss work, that we have to isolate even longer on top of my five days. Or my pets. I've been spending time on the catio with Strawberry but are we sitting far enough apart? What if I get her sick? Should I be masking alone outside or breathing fresh air as freely as possible while it's safe and not too cold to do so? And then there's fear. What if I get worse? What if my unique body, weight, ethnicity, habits, vices, health, and age make me one of the exceptions and I get progressively worse? Is that back pain because I tried to sleep on a cot in the studio  on Tuesday and ended up bingeing The Bear with my laptop awkwardly on my knees or because the virus is reaching my lungs? I have a digital thermometer that hit 100 yesterday and I quickly got that back under control, but my pulse oximeter seems to be mostly good with 97-98% blood oxygen but last night kept dipping down to 92%-95% when I was trying to sleep, waking myself from the sound of my own lungs whistling. 

And then the last thing is feeling helpless. I don't want to go contaminate the fridge or kitchen, so I have to ask for everything. I want to wiggle my nose and have the studio be manageably clean, the bathroom clean and sparkly, a comfortable bed in position so Darren can safely have the upstairs and I don't have to put him at risk at all and I can use the reliable wi-fi instead of having to tether off my phone. And of course, he wanted me comfortable, so I ended up sleeping practically all day today and all day yesterday in our room on our big comfy bed. Tonight, I insisted, after hours of fans and airing out, that he sleep there since he has work in the morning. Is that a mistake? If I sleep on the living room couch with all the windows open, a fan, and an air purifier on, am I doing enough or should I really just go suffer back in the studio? I don't know that answer. 

Being sick with COVID makes you realize all your failures: Why haven't we better invested in fixing our wi-fi so it reaches the whole apartment? Why haven't we donated the stacked boxes of clothes to Goodwill already? Why did we buy dozens of bins for organizing stuff but they still remain stacked, ready to organize? Why haven't I done more to clean my studio? Why didn't I put together the Corsi-Rosenthal Box for which I already bought all the supplies? Why did I take off my stupid mask when I was working? 

All of this, and I come to find out my sister and niece both had it a couple weeks back, but cleared in time for their current trip to the UK. I talked to my mom yesterday, letting her know that it was probably not a great idea for Darren to come move my dad for the week until we're all sure I'm in the clear and he hasn't caught it, only to find out today that they didn't want to freak me out but my dad is currently in a hospital getting a blood transfusion. So yes, this all sucks. I guess I better figure out my health plan shit because I'd really like to not suffer through this garbage any longer than I have to. I miss being in the same room as Darren. I miss my hippos and gorillas and mandrills and tamarins and caracal at the Zoo. I miss freely moving about this cabin. 

Stay really, really, extra safe out there 

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