The future of COVID: Multiple waves, multiple infections even within a year

Great. From The New York Times ($; emphasis mine):

A virus that shows no signs of disappearing, variants that are adept at dodging the body’s defenses, and waves of infections two, maybe three times a year — this may be the future of Covid-19, some scientists now fear.

The central problem is that the coronavirus has become more adept at reinfecting people. Already, those infected with the first Omicron variant are reporting second infections with the newer versions of the variant — BA.2 or BA2.12.1 in the United States, or BA.4 and BA.5 in South Africa.

Those people may go on to have third or fourth infections, even within this year, researchers said in interviews. And some small fraction may have symptoms that persist for months or years, a condition known as long Covid.

“It seems likely to me that that’s going to sort of be a long-term pattern,” said Juliet Pulliam, an epidemiologist at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

Was almost afraid to check. Been feeling largely fine this week, but it’s nice to finally have a test confirm I’m virus-free.

Even part of a day away from the work grind makes an enormous difference.

It helped to invest part of that day in an evening of recollection where I met someone who happens to be from my parish; that helped lift me out of the spiritual funk I’ve been in since COVID happened, and I’m deeply grateful for that.

Nunc coepi – I begin again. Always, I begin again.

Taking cues from my husband the former COVID screener, who says that I should actually be okay to go to Mass tomorrow.

I’m generally feeling better — well enough to go out masked if I need to be out. I get a little fatigued here and there, but I’ve largely been fine.

Honestly, I’m more worried about pro-abortion crackpots who are making noise about protesting at Sunday Masses.

My husband the self-declared atheist just told me that God will prevail. Annoyance aside with the horrific Twitter yammering, I’m inclined to believe him.

Can’t decide whether my sense of taste is off because of COVID or because of plain old sinus congestion. Either way, I’m not used to nacho cheese Doritos tasting like corn flakes.

Not at 100 percent. But I’m okay enough to be useful, and the office workload is exploding, so I’m back working from home.

If I had my druthers, I’d be offline sucking down hot tea and watching “Aggretsuko.” Never has a workaholic, metal-loving red panda meant so much to me.

Are vents bad for this disease?

Now that the kid is recovering nicely and I’m much less worried about her, my thoughts are drifting to the fact that HOLY CRAP I ENDED UP WITH THIS STUPID COVID THING.

Sick of this illness already, especially when I probably was too optimistic yesterday about being on the upswing. It’s more like being at a standstill—a phlegmmy standstill that exhausts me ands burns deep into my sinuses.

I hoped to be back tomorrow to work (from home, as I have the past 2 years now), but now I don’t really see that happening.

Been so tired and hangry all afternoon, and running on barely 3 hours of restless sleep from last night. Probably not a good idea when you’re dealing with a disease with a zillion different outcomes.

Oh well. Vent over. Kinda needed to unleash, I guess. And I just blew the carb count on chili dogs and a chocolate cake shake. Time for Advil and bed.

Ask not for whom COVID-19 tolls

So, the Evil Virus finally showed up for us over the past week. And it’s all the fun it’s been cracked up to be.

In our case, it’s actually been less, compared with what others have experienced. At least F and I are still alive, for one thing. (I had two cousins die from COVID over the past year or so.) Our experience has been more like The Worst Flu Ever, with persistent fever, body aches and headaches, and a sore throat that feels like needles in the voicebox. I’ve never seen F quite this sick, and I haven’t been this ill in a long time.

But as I’ve mentioned to friends and colleagues – and on this here website – I highly suspect that things would be a lot worse if we weren’t vaxxed.

(C was smart enough to get a fresh booster shot a week or two ago, and I’m convinced that that is what kept the virus from taking him down with us.)

And even though I’m still overweight, I’m nearly 70 pounds lighter than I was a year ago; as obesity is a comorbidity of COVID-19, I’m even more grateful now for the weight loss.

Our illness has been relatively mild enough to be treated with Advil, hot tea with honey (plus lemon for me) and other fluids, and binge-watching anime on Netflix. (I will gush at another time over our discovery of “Aggretsuko.") So, at least we’re fully hydrated and entertained.

Fortunately, F is very much on the upswing after the onset of her symptoms last Wednesday; given her school’s COVID protocols, she may be okay to go back in the next day or so. For now, I can report – with perhaps more optimism than merited, since I tested positive yesterday – that I may not be far behind: My fever has subsided so far, though the body aches linger, and my biggest issue is a scratchy, phlegmmy throat.

F and I let our guard down with the masking over the past month or two (although she still continued to mask at school, even when most kids did not). I regret that now, even though the past few weeks of freedom reminded me of how much I hate wearing masks.

(C said when he called the school nurse’s attendance line this morning to notify the school that F would be absent, the voicemail box was full. F’s friends have confirmed that an awful lot of kids at school have been out sick. So, we can confirm that no, the pandemic isn’t over.)

Grateful that this whole experience has been survivable. Hope this is a cautionary tale for people who hate masking as much as I do. And I pray for those who are dealing with this, especially in far worse manifestations than ours.

Appreciate the well wishes from all the kind folks. Now both F and I are COVID-positive. Been loading up on Advil, tea with honey, and anime on Netflix. It’s like the World’s Worst Flu, and I can’t help but think this would be a lot worse if we hadn’t been vaxxed.

F stayed home from school yesterday with a low-grade fever and sore throat. She tested negative on a home COVID test.

She woke up today with a 102.6-degree temperature, so I made a doctor’s appointment for her this afternoon. And then she took another home test.


Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post: “… there is nothing on the list of pandemic school ‘lessons’ that we didn’t already know before covid-19 — and for a long, long time.”

The New York Times says KF94s, made in South Korea, are “one of the best options” for masks. I assumed that a couple of months ago, when I bought a few on a hunch that the quality control in that country was more trustworthy than that in China for KN95s.

Pro tip: If there’s one near you, go to a Korean supermarket like H Mart to find them. They’re often pretty well stocked with KF94s.

"Schadenfreude is not a Christian value"

Fr. James Martin on how to respond when anti-vaxxers die of COVID:

“The problem is that even a mild case of schadenfreude is the opposite of a ‘Christian value.’ Jesus asked us to pray for our enemies, not celebrate their misfortunes. He wanted us to care for the sick, not laugh at them. When Jesus was crucified alongside two thieves, he says to one of them, according to Luke’s Gospel, not ‘That’s what you get,’ but ‘Today you will be with me in paradise.’ Schadenfreude is not a Christian value. It’s not even a loosely moral value. …

“Indulged in regularly, schadenfreude ends up warping the soul. It robs us of empathy for those with whom we disagree. It lessens our compassion. To use some language from both the Old and New Testaments, it ‘hardens’ our hearts. No matter how much I disagree with anti-vaxxers, I know that schadenfreude over their deaths is a dead end.”

Been struggling with the schadenfreude compulsion throughout this pandemic, especially with all the anti-vaxxer and anti-masker noise out there. So glad that Fr. Martin says something about it in today’s New York Times.

I sense a link to today’s epistle reading here.

Lots of COVID-19 schadenfreude out there. It’s understandable, in a way. But I’m still convinced that schadenfreude is a sin.

And yet part of me wants to see “Sing 2” just to see how far Bono’s career has fallen.

Neither positive — nor pregnant, I’m guessing.

Still slightly ill, but feeling much less foggy than yesterday. Logged into work and did more or less a full day.

I honestly doubt that whatever is ailing me is That Virus. Still, I did my due diligence and checked the CVS locations that offer testing within a 10-mile radius of me; they’re booked through the end of the week. I mentioned this to an East Coast friend of mine, and she offered to overnight me an at-home COVID test tomorrow from her stockpile, since I can’t seem to get one around here. I’m taking her up on her offer,

Haven’t tested for COVID since a year and a half ago, just before my June 2020 colonoscopy. I hear the tests aren’t as invasive as they used to be, and that they don’t always require you to swab the surface of your brain. Fingers crossed.

Called in unwell today. Throat hurts. Head hurts. Sinuses and eyeballs hurt. I don’t think it’s The Virus That Shall Not Be Named.

Helps that C is home from his last Wisconsin work jaunt. Going to lie down and read and catch up on Jeff Tweedy’s SubStack newsletter.

I can’t decide whether it’s healthy to follow a Twitter epidemiologist who alternates between latest developments in terrible COVID strains and rage over people not taking any of this seriously.

This is what happens lately when my work day gets extra-stressful: I forget to eat. And then MyFitnessPal gets cranky on me because I didn’t log enough food for the day.

Probably not the best thing to just have a cheese stick for breakfast.

The New York Times says I am not flourishing. Find out if you are.

If I had seen this on a proof in the newsroom back in the day, I would have burst out laughing like I did when my husband showed this to me this morning: “Well, thank God we can all come back inside after all these months.”

The husband picked up stickers after his second COVID-19 shot yesterday to make up for my sticker shortfall after my own vaccination. I love him.

The losing battle, Week 15: Same old, same old

Another week, another 2.4 pounds lost. Now at 247.4 pounds. That’s a 12.6 percent loss since I started all this in January. At least another 70 pounds to go.

I’m not as blasé about this as I might sound. But I just realized that I forgot to post my update yesterday; this time, I didn’t delay it because I wanted to get a decent weight to log here. I just plain forgot. Maybe I can blame that on post-vaccine brain fog.

Meanwhile, I think I’m largely past the COVID-19 vaccine side effects now. C, however, is dealing with the same kind of hit-by-a-truck aftereffects that I woke up with Saturday. On top of that, he has a 101-degree fever.

I’ve always been envious of C’s good health and fully expected him to lord a lack of side effects over me. I didn’t want him to go through this, especially since it seems like he’s got it worse than I did over the weekend.

Advil Dual Action is my new best friend. Between that and a nap late this morning, the second-shot achiness dissipated enough to let me run a few errands. Still sluggish this early evening, though.