18: Blogging through the Covid 19-crisis: 20 + months

I am doing NaBloPoMo this month. 30 blog posts in 30 days. Come join me. #nablopomo2021

photo credit: @foxxmad via Unsplash.

It’s been a while since I checked in here regarding the pandemic. I mean, what is there to say? Nobody wants to talk about Covid anymore, but we also cannot NOT talk about Covid, because — news flash — we’re still in a pandemic (even if some people don’t want to hear that).

I know, wouldn’t it be much easier to pretend that things are back to normal? That we did this Covid-thing long enough, and that we have held out long enough and should now be able to resume our pre-pandemic life with full force?

Believe me. I am ready for it. But we’re not there yet.

Germany is experiencing its 4th Covid wave and as much relief I felt about my family (and even my niece) getting vaccinated earlier this summer, I am equally worried now that there’s going to be another lockdown on the horizon.

California is actually not doing so bad right now. The 7-day running average case rate is currently at 12 (with a 6.9 times higher incident rate for unvaccinated people. Go figure). I don’t know why there are still people who don’t want this protection. I don’t know why there are people protesting vaccination mandates for school kids at our Capitol right now. Don’t you want to go back to some sort of normalcy?

Jon and I are both fully vaccinated. We’re currently waiting to get an appointment for the booster shot. Still, we have decided that we will not travel for the holidays. It’s just going to be crazy (as travel has picked up significantly, especially since the US opened the borders to travelers from Europe again). We haven’t seen my family (or Jon’s family in SoCal for that matter) in 25 months, haven’t really been anywhere (other than to my friend’s house in the Bay Area). And as much as I’d like to see our family, I still don’t feel it’s the right time to fly.

Yeah, I know that’s on me, some will say, as I’ve been free to travel. But am I really? It still feels like a huge undertaking for me with lots of things to take into consideration. And with the recent uptick in breakthrough infections, I am not keen on mingling with people any more than necessary.

This whole pandemic has been quite the roller coaster, hasn’t it?

I honestly have no idea how it is November already. Jon was saying the other day, 2021 just disappeared. 2020 was an awful year with the start of the pandemic and dealing with it all, but at least we were feeling things. 2021 has just quietly disappointed and disappeared.

Now, I am not being fair. If I think about it, 2021 wasn’t that bad. It had a few highlights, but I honestly had higher expectations. I will say that things did feel a little bit more “normal” during the summer (what does that even mean?). We were optimistic that things were finally looking up, but maybe it’s only felt more normal because we’ve gotten used to having a limited radius of movement and we allowed ourselves to eat out twice (I think). But overall, Jon and I have continued to be cautious. We are still operating in Covid-mode.

How do you feel about the Covid situation where you live? Are you wary of a winter surge? What are your plans for the holidays?

  1. This observation: “2021 has just quietly disappointed and disappeared” is SO true.

    There were SO many emotions in the sudden onset of COVID protocols back in 2020; that time was incredibly hard and stressful, but it also felt like there was some adrenaline to propel everyone through. It felt like the whole world (more or less) was on the same page at first – everyone was home, there was no vaccine (so no polarization on that approach), and it felt like a team effort.

    Now, we’re just weary of it all and there is so much animosity.

    Personally, we won the geographic lottery. We live in a small town in Nova Scotia (Canada) with low rates, high vaccine uptake, and A LOT of open space. My parents live in a neighbouring province and we’ve been able to see them relatively regularly (5-6 times since the pandemic started) and my father-in-law was able to visit from Ontario this October. Outside of that, we’ve not seen any family since pre-2020. We’ll stay home this Christmas, but my parents (fully vaccinated) will drive the 4 hours to see us. They live on a remote property near a lake (their closest neighbours are several kilometers away), so it has always felt very safe when border restrictions have allowed (at various points we have had inter-provincial borders closed here in Canada so we couldn’t go back and forth between NS and NB).

    But I definitely am ready for this to be over (and I’m not even letting myself consider the – very real – possibility we could have another shutdown of the school system this winter).

  2. This whole Covid thing git really real tithes morning when my dad was tested positive and my mom is basically just a matter of time. They are both vaccinated but who knows what this virus is going to do. With all those case numbers going up I guess it only was a matter of time but its still not something I wished for. I am just glad no one caught it (except my nephew) without the vaccination. Now there is at least some sort of protection.

    And I agree with Jon. 2021 somehow just disappeared while 2020 was fragmenting. I can see this in the number of pictures I took with my DSLR. I usually create a calendar for my parents with the latest photos but there are none to use. nothing really happened. Even though we did a little summer vacation.

    I am wondering how this 4th wave is passing Germany by. it is just frustrating that so many people here are still anti vaccination. I am tired of it all.

    I am sorry to hear you haven’t seen any family inn the past 25 months. That is really tough. I am hoping there will be many possibilities to make up for it rather soon.

  3. I can’t with COVID anymore. I mean, I have to because the numbers in my county are the same as they were last year at this time, before vaccines. One of my co-workers and one of my close friends have it and they were both vaccinated, so…I’m really struggling with the idea that there’s ever going to be normalcy again. I’m not seeing family again for holidays and I’m starting to think that my risk management strategy is really going to turn me into a hermit and it’s destroying my mental health and maybe I need to start reevaluating some of my decisions. LOL You just read my breakdown happening in real time.

  4. We are just coming out of our fourth wave here, and it has been horrific. So many people have died. So many people were unable to access medical care and surgeries because they were all cancelled because the hospitals were full. FULL. It’s at the point now where the only thing I care about is the kids staying in school, because virtual school was so bad for us. I feel I can take pretty much everything else, I can stay at home, I can line up to get into the grocery store, I can minimize everything, I JUST WANT THE KIDS TO BE IN SCHOOL.

    1. Ditto @Nicole. Online learning was so, so hard. Now that I have additional work responsibilities, I don’t know how I’d manage to keep my head above water. I would definitely have to change my strategies and expectations. I too would be fine to hunker down and do anything I need to keep the kids in school.

      It is incredible how much of a toll this is taking on education. I work at a university and the wave of challenges this year has been unreal. Freshman have essentially lost their final two years of high school and are coming in completely unprepared for the academic rigors of university; second-year students whose initiation to university was virtual learning with open-book testing are essentially feeling like they’re jumping in off the deep end. Upper-year students are floundering because they remember the before-COVID life and learning style and struggle to adjust to the new reality. It breaks my heart…and then at the opposite end of the spectrum, I watched my little guy in primary last year ACTUALLY crying most days because he hated online learning so much.

  5. Ugh. Yes, I’m remembering how hard it was last year at this time, but thinking “NEXT Christmas everything will be back to normal!” Wait! We’re still in a pandemic! How is that possible?
    i have to say things seem fairly optimistic where I am. Florida had two really, really bad waves of Covid but now we’re doing well. I don’t know what to think anymore, but we’re basically going about our lives normally, while wearing masks. The schools are in no danger of closing (but our schools were open last year as well.) I know other people in different areas are having a quite different experience.
    Our plans for the holidays are the same as usual- we don’t normally go anywhere. My son will be traveling back and forth from college, but since we’ve all been vaccinated I’m not too concerned. Fingers crossed!

  6. Somehow I feel like this is going nowhere…… and this is our new normal….. It sucks, I’m so over it!
    I received the Booster but this isn’t 100% coverage, as we all know by now. However, I decided to travel…. back to the US…. within the next two weeks. Of course I’ll always have Covid in mind but I know how careful I am / will be. It’s a risk and I just hope all preventive measures I’ll take will keep me and everyone around me safe.

  7. MN is the worst in the nation right now, which isn’t too surprising because it’s colder and people are more indoors. I got boosted in August since I’m immune compromised; Phil got boosted a couple of weeks ago. We are celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. I am nervous about it but I felt I couldn’t continue to put it off forever. I will feel better when our kids are vaccinated but that’s probably a Q1 thing? Everyone in my family is vaxxed except 3 nieces/nephew, 1 of which had covid. Covid has been hard for many reasons but especially on family dynamics for me… We are the outliers in taking it very seriously… We also just bought plane tickets for a Feb trip to AZ. There is a chance the boys might have one dose of the vaccine by then? Paul will wear a mask at the airport/for the plane ride. Will obviously won’t. But with all adults being masked and the air circulation on planes, I feel pretty safe traveling w/ the kids. Once we get to AZ, we will be with my (vaccinated) sister and her family + my vaccinated parents. We don’t eat indoors at restaurants so will eat outdoors if it’s warm enough/at my sisters/get take-out/etc. So it feels like an ok risk to take overall. Everyone has a different approach to risk calculation and has to weigh the pros and cons. My niece turns 1 around that time so the purpose of the trip is to get time w/ her + get our kids together and escape our brutal winter!

  8. 2021 has been such a weird year. The thrill of the vaccines, the scariness of the Delta variant, and then the questions about when/if to get a booster. I’ve scheduled my booster for next Friday (12/5) so I can have the weekend to recover, as I’m worried I’ll have the same bad reaction as I had to the second shot. But hearing about so many breakthrough infections means the booster is indeed necessary! So I’ll do what I have to do. :)

    Florida isn’t doing too bad on the Covid front, which is surprising. We’re at the moderate transmission level, so things seem to be slowly getting better around here. Most people don’t wear masks anymore – I think that’s the biggest change I’ve seen. I’m thankful that I live near family so I don’t have to worry about traveling for the holidays. That would be a really difficult decision to have to make!

  9. Oh, San. I am so sorry that this (redacted to keep this site family-friendly) pandemic continues to limit your contact with your family to virtual-only. Sigh. I hear you though. And – since I’m commenting super-late – I’m also getting more and more worried with Omicron. Our cases are higher than ever, our hospitals are full, and I’m really starting to second-guess whether I should, in fact, go see my family for a few days (driving by myself) later this month. They will NOT want to hear that, though. I set it up pre-Omicron, of course, but… ooof.

    All of that to say that I completely get your cautious approach. But man, it is getting. so. old.

    Keeping you in my thoughts, friend. <3

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