Just when we thought we were going to make it through the pandemic without infection, Simon got it a couple of weeks ago. He had a serious fever for about 48 hours, but beyond that, his symptoms were pretty mild. That he caught it wasn't great, but it was the circumstances that had us firmly in the anger zone.
Let me back up though. In early 2020, initially I thought, well, we're all going to get this sooner or later. Then we started to understand the risk factors. With Diana's history of bronchitis, allergies, small sinuses (that's really a thing) and other respiratory things, that scared the shit out of me. Simon has already had pneumonia twice, plus frequent allergies, so that made me uncomfortable as well. As time went on, mitigation was awkward, but straight-forward, and it became clear that kids were fairly resilient to the disease. He went back to in-person school in January without issue. In April, with Diana and I vaccinated, we resumed theme park visits, since they're mostly outside and they require masks indoors. We tended to keep some space in front of and behind Simon in the queues, but again, the risk was understood to be pretty low, because science.
Where we weren't looking was in a small private group setting with another kid and parent, and that's where he got it. I won't go into the details, but beyond the implicit trust we would expect from other adults, there were indications made about safety. Yes, we should have asked a direct question in this circumstance, but the circumstance felt a lot like we didn't have to. To say that this has created trust issues doesn't quite describe it, but we've been careful to make sure that it does not affect Simon's friendships.
We all got tested, and wouldn't you know it, vaccines work. If you can live with a kid shedding the virus and not get sick, that's a pretty good indication that it's working. Friday his doctor cleared him to return to school in-person.
The problem though is the same as it has been since early in the year: Adults are fucking up what should have been a slam dunk in public health achievement. The feds bought everyone a shot. The third wave here in Florida was worse than the previous two, as was the case in a number of states. Why? Because of some ideological bullshit about freedom that doesn't actually work without cooperation. Then throw in moronic governors who actively tried to sabotage the public health experts of people on the ground in local municipalities. All of that desire to open America for business without mitigation has extended the pandemic by months, when it could have effectively been over already. And then my kid got it.
I wonder if Americans will remember that the pandemic showed just how much of a shit show our healthcare system is, especially given its connection to employment, when we experienced record unemployment. We can't keep operating this way. It isn't moral.
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