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Well, we asked my Dad to go in for an antibody test since he was living with my mom when she was ill and he is indeed chock full of nutritious antibodies. One mystery resolved.
Six and a half months of 2020 down. Three to go.
Maybe it will be like a software product launch, with endless rolling delays.
thanks to everyone for your kind remarks. It’s nice being able to unload about this stuff anonymously though I am lucky to have as good a support network as one can in this particular era.
One other interesting episode is that our family friend’s son, who is a medical resident in NYC mentioned that he had been positive for antibodies. He isn’t changing his behavior but it was kind of fascinating to me to think about having gotten to the other side of this.
So a pretty rough/emotional weekend for me. When my mom passed in early April it was kind of at the peak of quarantine/shutdown before a lot of the protocols for operating safely had been established and we could not safely travel to Cleveland to be there for the funeral. The plan had been then to all gather a few months later when the pandemic was over and have a memorial. Since it looks like that isn’t going to happen I went to Cleveland to see my dad, who I had not seen in a while.
It was really bizarre and difficult. I think that because “regular” life is so disrupted and surreal anyway, the reality of my mom’s passing was blunted. I wasn’t seeing anyone in person. But going back home it hit me like a truck. She was such an strong presence in that house. Whenever we came home with our families it was always such a big deal for her and she always wanted everything to be super-ready and filled the house with food. And it was so empty without her.
I did get to see my aunt/uncle and some close family friends distanced in their backyards, which was nice. I had trouble keeping it together with them-they’re all so tightly associated with my mom in my mind that seeing them kind of brought fresh waves of grief.
I am really jealous of people in the suburbs who have private outdoor space and can safely maintain some kind of in person social life. There’s not really any opportunity for that in the city.
It was also just odd seeing my childhood neighborhood also pandemicized. Obviously everything around me in Philly has changed but being back to my hometown and seeing everyone distancing and whatnot was bizarre. My reality has been so compressed lately that when I stopped to get gas I went to the glass of the rest area to peer in-I hadn’t seen people indoors for so long that I wanted to see what it was like.
On the upside, my dad seems to be taking care of himself better than I would have guessed. My mom handled so much that I was worried about him being on his own but he seems to be taking care of himself OK. He’s going to get an antibody test this week (he was exposed when my mom had it and had some minor symptoms). He’s socializing with friends outdoors and my aunt/uncle indoors and has been doing outdoor dining and grocery shopping (we’ve tried to get him to let us set up deliveries but he refuses). We got him a good mask (KN95) and he seems to be wearing it indoors around people. But we’ll be a lot less worried if we know he has antibodies.
It’s so hard not to be bitterly angry at how badly the pandemic has been managed here. Not just the loss of my mom, but everything that I would normally rely on to make it through this-the ability to gather with my family and my community – has been stolen from me.
So I had a very 2020ish social interaction. My Dad has been joining me for my synagogue’s Zoom morning religious observances so I went into his gmail calendar and set it up to send him emails every morning with the link.
So last night I was testing out the calendar links to make sure they worked correctly and I click on one and some guy is just there in his living room looking uncomfortable. I introduced myself and explained what I was doing and he asked where everyone was. I checked the schedule and told him that there were no Sunday night services and he logged off.
I hope that everyone is staying safe. We have had entire blocks destroyed a about a mile from us and the drugstore a few blocks from us got trashed. They’re boarding up all of the stores in our immediate vicinity.
Part of the problem is that we are very reluctant to make public health recommendations without randomized control studies. And there’s good reason for that generally. But during a health emergency it deters them from making low downside/high upside recommendations that might make a big difference in the interim.
At this stage we know from a fair number of studies that vitamin-D insufficiency is heavily correlated with Covid severity. And we have good theoretical reasons why it would make a difference. But absent formal trials we don’t get official recommendations* to supplement vitamin D, even though there is no real downside and potentially strong upsides.
*Some countries have but not ours.
@Hfantods I think that there’s good reason to think that the masks provide protection to the wearer, particularly the surgical style masks and masks with filters. But health authorities are (a) more likely to be conservative about claims that something will protect the user (b) are trying to foreclose people saying that it’s their business whether they wear a mask and can assume the risk.
We went to visit my wife’s parents in New Jersey. We were in masks outdoors and distanced. I am glad we did it, but the whole experience was creepy and dystopian.