Pandemic Diary #73 – travel, omicron, classes (2 Jan 2022)

it’s 2022! here’s hoping it’ll be a great year compared to the bletch of 2020 (oh god has it been nearly two years already?!) and the meh of 2021

jeez haven’t diaried in a while

am in GA, flew back. only half-heartedly attempted to quarantine around parents. i did get a proper n95 mask though, and (mouthwash? according to parents? i guess omicron is more upper respiratory but ???), stripped off a layer of clothes, and hot shower when i got back. kinda wore a mask the first two days but still had meals together so,

i guess since we are all roughly at max strength for our boosters (2-3 weeks ago), and omicron is the most transmissable but possibly less deadly, so i’ve been laissez-faire. i guess if you want to only spend a week at home, then it’s not really compatible with actual quarantine. my parents both work remotely, so the risk of starting a community cluster is relatively low.

took a quickvue test ~ day 3 (~84 hrs in). at-home antigen test, analog readout – you read the stripes, if just blue shows up you are tentatively negative, if blue and pink show up you almost certainly have covid. got a negative result. will test again pre-flight tuesday. at-home tests are hard to find online but still pretty available in-stores. appointments for professional tests are one-week out scheduled.

got guilted/dragged into indoor lunch… -___-;; sketchy, GA vax rate is ~50% (MA is ~75%, malta was ~90%, for two shots). mom did not go b/c immunocompromised, last last new years she got pneumonia and sepsis and a stay in the ICU from a holiday dinner. place was spaciously fairly empty at least. 2-3 empty tables between occupied ones. stressful. i realized my main concern actually now with catching covid, post-vaccination, is having to wait two extra weeks to get better before i can catch a flight back to boston. i can’t keep slipping two weeks of progress everywhere, and definitely unproductive in a stressful way at home.

parents have made changes: no longer shower after get back from stores. and no longer need to decontaminate groceries.

risk levels are changing. i will take a class in spring, have to teach two classes in that case. unlikely it’ll be remote. tested weekly. but still, classes with maybe a hundred+ students… (? i think? no idea how it works since haven’t been to class since 2019). very different environment than, as senior grad student, going in to lab and interacting with at most the same 10 people. don’t feel great about it. i think i’m going to really hate the first quarter of 2022. need to figure out something to look forward to. maybe life will surprise me.

ankle is doing better. maybe there was a mini-fracture and it healed, who knows, doesn’t matter. still achy-painful 6.5 weeks in to walk up and down the stairs more than a few times, but not enough to stop me from going downstairs and snacking lol.

(went home for new years, landing at the wrong end of terminal A & having to walk 26 gates felt like a marathon, stopped multiple times)

more new cases in a week in the US than at any time during the pandemic. ICUs on divert status. a little tired of the added friction to see people, to consider people’s circles, masks, check if people are okay with one thing or the other, just tired and want to not care about the future, and savings goals, and career ladders, and life trajectories, and how people perceive me, and whether i’m spending my time in an optimized way

well, also it’s late so i’m tired

happy 2022

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