Omicron: Here, There, Everywhere

It’s Thursday and I am watching the pendulum swing back and forth on the grandfather clock in my living room. A fire blazes in the fireplace, orange flames flickering, as the clock strikes 5 pm. The sky is gray outside, there’s a chill in the air, and it will be dark in less than thirty minutes. The patio door is open a crack so our dogs can go into the backyard. I have a blue blanket draped over my lap to ward off the cold.

Our next-door neighbor just called to say that two members of her family have tested positive for Covid. Sarah’s family has been sick for a week and they are currently awaiting their test results. One of my students on Zoom today said his mother and sister are currently recovering from Omicron. I am grateful we all have vaccines and boosters, which makes contracting this illness less scary. Still, nobody wants to get sick, and that includes Ray and me. I am hopeful Sarah and her crew begin to feel better soon. It’s a bit worrying that their illness keeps dragging on and on.

Yes, dragging on and on. That’s how I feel today. This pandemic keeps dragging on and on, and I’m definitely tired of it. I certainly know I’m not alone. We all want this event to be over and done with so we can reflect on it in the past tense. However, after looking up a map of infection across the U.S. right now, it appears there is a high rate of infection pretty much everywhere with the exception of a few counties in Montana, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. The end is not yet in sight.

At least many people are now vaccinated and therefore are just getting sick, but not dying. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there are still many unvaccinated people who are at a greater risk of hospitalization and death. That also means that it’s time to stay really careful in other areas of your life. This is not a good time to slip and fall. It might be tough to get into the hospital for treatment. I will refrain from climbing up on stools and ladders for the time being.

The bottom line, I suppose, is this continues to be a difficult time. It is not as grim as it has been, I will grant that, but it is far from where we’d all hoped to be by now. I guess we’ll all just keep on keeping on.

Stay safe, my friends, and wear your masks. You don’t want to get sick or, worse yet, find yourself heading off to the hospital for more urgent care. And let’s offer up a special thanks for all the overworked health care providers. They all deserve our deepest gratitude.

I’ll be checking back with you again tomorrow.

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