November 1, 2020
Day 237 of a pandemic
Day 8 of a 14 day quarantine
Last Sunday, my dear friend James and I spent thirty minutes in my car together. We went to see a house decorated for Halloween. The next morning he called to tell me his sister tested positive for COVID-19. He had seen that sister on Saturday. The good thing is when he saw her they were wearing masks. And when he and I were driving around, we were wearing masks. We had all been very careful! Still, the CDC and my own work’s COVID-19 protocols recommended a 14 day quarantine and a coronavirus test.
On Tuesday, my work hosted a ‘lunch and learn’ on COVID-19. Initially, it was going to be vaccine focused. Since the positivity rate is increasing in Chicago, Illinois and the country, it focused on continued measures to stay safe and stop the spread. I asked specifically when after exposure, should a person get tested. The answer, from one of our doctors and public health expert, was 5-7 days.
On Friday, I got tested in a Lakeview COVID-19 Express Care. It was a former car dealership converted into a drive-up test site. Although I was ready to pay $150 for the rapid test, I didn’t pay anything. I’m happy to report either my insurance (which didn’t pay for my flu shot) or the government paid. And as tests go, I feel a pap, a strep and the GRE are much worse. Long q-tip swabs in both nostrils twice, one for the rapid, one for the regular test. I found out two hours later I was negative. And I just found out an hour ago, the second test confirmed negative too. Still, I have another week of quarantine.
Nine months ago a ’14 day quarantine’ would have been scary. Now, it’s minor modifications on my pandemic life. In the last week, I have only left my condo six times: grocery delivery, Amazon pick-up, food delivery, outdoor walk, COVID test and liquor store curbside delivery (I had to get wine for election night). Josh and I moved back to Zoom workouts. My weekly dinner, with some combo of the same 5 pandemic podsters, didn’t happen. James and I canceled drinks outdoors to see Bob’s decorations. And although my annual Halloween trick or treating at Magnolia Manor was off, if I hadn’t been exposed, I would have gone up for the Andersonville parade.
Quarantine or pandemic, 2020 has sucked. My life has drastically changed. I am a mask-wearing, hand-washing, 6 feet+ distancing shut-in. I usually love this time of year: Halloween, Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas and New Years. Yet, I know this year is going to continue to suck. Friends and family traditions aren’t going to happen. Holidays are going to blur into all the other monotonous days of this relentless bitch of a pandemic. And I’m lucky! Unlike millions of Americans, physically I’m fine. I am employed. I can work from home. My bills are paid. I am healthy, COVID-19 negative, comfortable and white. And there is still a chance something good can happen in 2020… the end of #45’s tyranny.
I pray to God Trump will be defeated this week. He is a horrible person. His presidency has been divisive, destructive and criminal. I believe he will stand trial for many wrong doings. I feel ‘crimes against humanity’ should be added to the list for his failed response to this pandemic. I’m cautiously optimistic about a Biden-Harris win. I have a puzzle and wine to get through Tuesday night. I’m hoping it will be a blow-out! I want my fellow Americans to stand together and say NO MORE to the lying, reckless, narcissistic, greedy, hateful, cruelty that has governed this country for four years. I want this election to restore my faith in humanity and kindness.
Still, I have a lot to be grateful for over the last two months…
*After three months on the market, my place didn’t sell. It actually didn’t even show. I almost had a showing last weekend but the gal blew it off. It was a fun couple of months imagining a new home. And lucky for me, I do love my place!
*Except for this week and last week on Zoom, Josh and I have been training on the rooftop at 7am. We’ve only had one rain day and one cold day where we worked out in my place.
*Zoom meetings have continued with regular Sunday evening check-ins with family and sporadic friend hangs on Saturdays.
*I joined our virtual conference team. It’s been both fun and time-consuming 24/7. I love the work and the team. I’m proud of the project!! The conference starts Wednesday. Although it’s healthcare worker focused, there are plenty of great sessions that will appeal to anyone and it’s free. Sessions will be on-demand through November.
Click here to REGISTER
Here is a sampling of what I recommend for anyone:
Nov 4 at 11:30 a.m. EST – The Art of Perception: Seeing What Matters: The speaker is an art historian and lawyer who has trained staff at Interpol, FBI, French National Police and Fortune 500 companies.
Nov 4 at 2:10 p.m. EST A Mindfulness Moment: My friend Karen is leading a twenty minute reflection. Perfect for these stressful times!
Nov 6 at 1:00 p.m. EST Emerging Stronger with Disruptive Innovation: I’ve heard Eric Langshur speak at last year’s technology leadership workshop. He’s fascinating.
Nov 6 at 3:30 p.m. EST Digital Deception Virtual Magic Show: A family-fun event! Who doesn’t love magic?
Nov 10 at 3:30 p.m. EST Achieving Health Equity: I’ve attended two workshops with Dr. Jones. She is a passionate and thought-provoking speaker.
Nov 11 at 3:30 p.m. EST Spirits Lifting Spirits A Holiday Mixology Workshop: My guys Tommy J and Collin B share tips and tricks for making cocktails, mocktails and adding pizzazz to your coffee.
Nov 12 at 1:00 p.m. EST Humor, Resilience and Change: Paul Huschilt shares tools for navigating change and stress.
This virtual conference is going to be epic: over 70 presenters, over 40 presentations, over 7 days!
*I’ve read/listened to 2.25 books: Kate Mulgrew’s “How to Forget” (My second book by Kate. I’ve loved her since “Ryan’s Hope” and her voice is so soothing), Samatha Irby’s “Wow, No Thank You” (Jen sent me this clever, collection of witty essays. Smart, witty, hysterical! I love it), and Sue Monk Kidd “The Book of Longings” (I’ve read a lot of Kidd’s books. They are always thought-provoking.)
*I donated blood, completed 5 puzzles and hit level 4635 on Candy Crush.
I continue to be comfortable and grateful. The next couple of months are going to be pandemic-intense. Stay safe! Stay healthy! Even though holidays won’t be the same, we can still reach out to people we love in new ways to share comfort and joy. It’ll all be okay! 2021 will bring a new president, a taming of the pandemic and fun adventures. And remember, you can do your part in stopping the spread by wearing a mask, physically distancing and voting. As always, have courage and be kind!