Covid comes to Tatooine

                So, this is entirely anecdotal, but it seems to me like it’s getting real with Covid lately. I know it has been intense in many parts of the country over the last six months, but it seems a bit more unavoidable lately. We’ve been treating it as a clear and present danger in New Mexico, but a part of me kept thinking like Luke Skywalker. It’s all such a long way from here.

                I had guilty thoughts about Covid in those first months. I was treating it like it was real, but I kept thinking, did I actually know anyone who had been sick? Did I know anyone who had even tested positive? I certainly didn’t know anyone who had died. Then this last month, we had a nurse come by to do assessments for life insurance. No, we aren’t worried about dying from Covid. The only correlation to the pandemic was that I finally had time to make the arrangements. Over the conversation, the nurse told me her mother had died due to Covid. I realized that was the first even second-degree connection I had found with a Covid death.

                But in the last three weeks, it has hit home a bit more. Our babysitter tested positive, and we were lucky not to have anyone else in the family get it. Once we heard she had been exposed, we immediately told her to stay out, got ourselves tested and warned the kids’ school. As a precaution, she had been wearing a mask when driving, and I’d like to think that was the deciding factor in protecting the kids. It gives some illusion of control.

                What we couldn’t control was the fallout. We had to tell the school of course, so that meant a two-week quarantine order for our family. This was when I was just getting over the months of quarantine dating back to March. I love my little monkeys to death but being stuck in the house for even longer was not productive or enjoyable for anyone. Day care was not an option if there was even a chance they might have been exposed to the virus. We went into emergency planning mode. I considered just knocking off and taking them to visit grandma until the start of the next school session in late October. In the end, I decided to bite the bullet and just have them at home.

                It wasn’t that bad of course. Once I settled down and became a rational being once again, I realized we only had eight school days to get through. I resisted thinking of it in terms of hours, minutes, and seconds. We watched TV, zoomed with friends, and generally recapitulated those halcyon days of absolute quarantine from the spring.

                But when the day came to go back, it wasn’t over. We got an email the night before they were to return saying that a teacher had been exposed. I could only send back one of my kids. Then another email came the next day saying that we couldn’t even do that. School would be closed until the fall session. We were planning a trip to see grandma (in a green zone by New Mexico law), so I thought I would change our flights to a bit earlier. United supposedly has a no-change-fee policy. When I tried to invoke it, they happily informed me that I would only be on the hook for a four-hundred dollar per person fare difference. Thanks, United!

                I decided to stay and weather the storm at home. There are only five more school days until our trip. I can do it. I won’t say my mental state has been top shelf, but I’m getting through the final stretch. The last straw in Covid seeming manifest has been the revelation that Donald Trump has it. My first thought was to remember the scene in The Stand where even the president gets the Superflu. If we can’t protect the chief executive, who can we protect, right?

                But the guy wasn’t doing anything to protect himself or anyone around him. He created a culture of going without masks and even went so far as to make fun of Joe Biden for his distancing measures. Like a lot of things with the administration, the positive policy has been less dangerous than the example set. Millions of Americans are exposing themselves by not wearing masks because of a culture that only lib-tards wear them. I’ve been continuing to live my life during the pandemic, but wearing a mask seems like a bare minimum, with very little cost. When we were driving through Wyoming this summer, we got dirty looks from people because of our masks. Why? Who does it hurt?

                Anyway, regardless of how little the president has done to avoid the virus, it still marks a saturation point to me that he caught it, that my babysitter caught it, that teachers at my children’s school got it. For months, our actions have just been precaution, or solidarity with more heavily hit areas. Now that has changed. Even out here in the Outer Rim Territories Covid has become a manifest reality.

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