COVID Data Update

The latest two-week COVID rates for the Twin Cities and surrounding counties continue to skyrocket.

For reference for our out-of-state friends, Saint Paul is in Ramsey County and Minneapolis is in Hennepin. The other counties form a ring around those two.

My full spreadsheet with a larger chart is here. Weekly data is released on Thursday at 11:00 AM central. (Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, they didn’t release the latest data until Friday, November 27.)

COVID-Free

Happy news.

This morning we received the first of what we hope will be four negative COVID tests. This one was for Andrew. Waiting patiently for Sarah, Griffin, and Maggie. Oliver was non-contagious as of Tuesday, November 17, so assuming these last tests come in negative, we should be free of the plague in our household.

This doesn’t change much, really, since we are basically locking ourselves down until the state numbers descend, but at least we can go shopping if we need to.

Hopefully, this will be our closest brush. Fingers crossed!

Update: We were expecting the results for the rest of the family this morning. With each passing hour, we became more nervous that this post was premature. Finally, at around 8:00 PM, we received all three additional results: negative, negative, and negative. So the full family is officially in the clear.

Griffin’s First Piano Recital

Griffin has been taking weekly piano lessons at the Walker West Music Academy since February of 2019. He had a few lessons in person and then, as the state locked down for COVID-19 in mid-March, started doing them remotely via Skype. He had his first recital yesterday evening; it was a virtual event where he played “Oh! Susanna.” One fun element of the virtual format was that friends and relatives from around the country could attend. We hope that he will get a chance to do more of these. See below for a trimmed video of Griffin’s portion of the recital. Listen for Oliver who makes an unintended cameo part-way through.

The full recital is available on YouTube. The audio gets a bit funky due to the streaming, but it’s fun to see all the different kids at different levels of skill.

Friday COVID Update

We just sent off vials of saliva to the testing company. We hope to be double-confirmed COVID-free at the beginning of next week. (This is our second test since we may have been exposed via Oliver since the first test last week.) No symptoms. We’re doing well.

Sunday Update

Andrew and I have received negative Covid test results, and we are waiting on Maggie and Griffin’s. We will assume if we do not receive a phone call today (which they are doing for all positive cases) that we will get a letter in the mail telling us they are negative. Because they are minors, we did not set up a Health Partners online account, and we thought we had set it up when we got our appointments to test that all of our test results to come to my online account, but that didn’t happen since we know Andrew’s test result went to his online account.

So here’s what we know: our sore throats started a day or two after we found out Oliver had been exposed at school, and before he was tested. We’re sure we can rule out Covid for the sore throats. We also know that Oliver remains asymptomatic. We also know we will continue to quarantine, and check in with our own doctors to get guidance on when that will end, and whether we should get tested again.

We are relieved. We feel lucky, for now. One thing that I’m noticing that is bothering me, perhaps more so now that we have been going through the tumult of having one person in our house Covid positive: there is an awful lot of “Karma’s a bitch” kind of stuff going on when folks who are high profile (and usually anti-mask) test positive. What I know is that we did everything we were supposed to do. We masked. We washed hands. We did not see people willy-nilly without masks on. We did not go to large events. We did not eat in restaurants. We have been ultra-conservative with my parents and not wanting to expose them. We made the decision to let Andrew teach in-person hybrid at school because of all of the precautions they have in place. We made the decision to send Oliver to preschool because of all of the precautions in place. And we still ended up with a Covid positive kid. It bothers me that there are anti-mask folks out there, and I am mad at them and the lack of a unified federal response, and I do think there should be consequences for actions. But what is the solution here? How are we supposed to live like this? No one deserves Covid-19, full stop.

Anyway, I probably have more thoughts on this that I can’t articulate right now. But I wanted to share our relief with those who have been supporting us and caring for us and keeping us in their hearts. We really appreciate the support ❤️ And we especially appreciate all of you in healthcare right now, putting yourselves at risk day after day. We are doing our part by staying home, masking, and not having contact with others. We hope you’ll join us (figuratively, not literally 😜 ). ❤️

Waiting

It’s Saturday, and we’re still awaiting test results for the four of us in the family who got tested on Wednesday. We remain either asymptomatic (Oliver and Griffin), or mild symptoms (Andrew, Sarah, and Maggie) with very mild sore throats and mild headaches that come and go. It’s hard to know if they’re actually symptoms, or if it’s stress, or something else entirely.

I went for a walk alone last night, the first since we found out about Oliver’s exposure on Election Day, and his positive diagnosis a week later on the 10th. From the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve been angry about the way this country has been handling it, sad for the families who have been going through this with loved ones, horrified for those who have experienced deaths of loved ones. And on my walk last night, I felt the weight of it on a more personal level, allowing myself to feel the heartbreak of all of this, while watching an achingly beautiful sunset.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I am. Logically, I know that the odds are with us, but as we’ve seen over and over again, this is an unpredictable virus. I’ve been trying not to let fear get the best of me over the past 8 months. (EIGHT MONTHS.) There really isn’t a usefulness to fear if it drags on for so many months. Fear is supposed to get you out of danger quickly, but this has been going on for far too long for that to be useful. But now that it’s past my doorstep and into my house, it’s hard not to think about what our lives could be in a few short weeks.

Hopefully, we’ll know more soon, but even with a negative or positive diagnosis, it really is just a waiting game. We are trying to eat healthily, sleep when we’re tired, drink lots of fluids, play with each other, and not get on each other’s nerves too much. You know: normal pandemic life. We are grateful for support, love, and offers of help from those around us. Right now, we’re doing ok, and we’ll post more as we know more.

Still overwhelmingly grateful for this life, and the beauty I witness daily.

Stay safe, friends. Stay home. Mask up.

The latest news from Sarah and Andrew.