Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Delta dawn

 Checking my email this morning, I saw a "heads up" from the chair of the zoning board on which I serve. These usually involve pending applications, but this time it was to let us all know that she'd gotten a positive test for Covid-19 when she was getting ready to travel to Canada. She was vaccinated in April, and is asymptomatic. We don't sit close together at meetings. No one sneezed, coughed, guffawed, or shouted. But the case we concluded most recently was the toughest one we'd ever faced, and required multiple continuations lasting more than two hours each time.

I made immediate arrangements to get a swab rammed up my nose this afternoon. Because I've technically been exposed, I have to take the long form test, which takes 2-5 days to give results. What does this mean for our shorthanded shop? I haven't heard back from upper management. However, because I have invested in shop-level tools for years, I can do a lot of work from home. That being said, there's a few things I don't have. Bleed kits, for instance. And I don't have the spare parts, lubes, and cleaners in shop quantities. If I were to be pinned down here for an extended period, the business would have to recreate the main shop as much as possible here at the leper colony. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

In case anyone reading this has been lulled into some degree of the false sense of security permeating the nation right now, let me suggest that we should all return to a higher defcon immediately. At the shop we are all vaccinated, and had relaxed mask requirements in keeping with the public mood and the state's relaxation of vigilance. However, noting the surge in cases not only in the hottest spots of sociopathic unconcern in the name of "freedom," but in our own relatively protected state, we'd been discussing whether to tighten things up.

Whatever the results of today's test, I'm covering up again and avoiding any place where people don't. Given the national laxity, that means avoiding any place with people in it. Can't avoid the grocery store, but I'll be back to shopping like I'm trying to retrieve essential items from a building filled with toxic gas.

Maneuvering against a disease that exhibits such a wide range of results among its recipients is a lot harder than dealing with a tangible foe, or even a disease that has a smaller range of clear-cut symptoms. If Covid made everyone who got it start bleeding through their eyeballs within hours, and coughing up actual chunks of lung within a couple of days, we would have had less trouble convincing people to take it seriously. Sure, there would have been holdouts, but they would have helped to weed themselves out much more quickly.

The tired point bears repeating, that disease prevention goes further than individuals protecting their individual selves from infection and whatever damage it brings them. My friend is fine. She had no inkling that she had been spooged. She just got the test as a routine part of getting clearance to travel. Her result also bears out the wisdom of testing everyone before allowing them to put others at risk. We've settled on certain categories that qualify as riskier, for which we're grudgingly "allowed" to test, by the freedom fighters who safeguard our liberty to be sociopathic assholes.

No comments: