My son was diagnosed with Covid earlier this week. I can hear him coughing from his sealed off bedroom as I type. He said he feels like he's played five baseball games straight with only a ten-minute break between each one. His sister is fine for now but is quarantined from school until at least May 6 and I have to stay home from work for the same time. We each have selected a separate part of the home in which to sequester.
When it comes to my son's diagnosis, let's be honest - there is no way he could have achieved this on his own. We have so many people to thank! Instead of writing each of them individually, I thought I would thank all of them here.
1. Thank you to all of the parents who told their kids that wearing masks at school is pointless and an infringement on freedom. Your kids listened and wore their masks under their noses or even their chins like champs. Special thanks to the parents of the kid who called my son a "liberal" because my son double knotted his masks to make sure they were secure.
2. Thank you to the schools who stopped doing daily temperature and symptom checks a month ago despite the vocal opposition of the school nurses. On a related note, thank you to the parents who sent kids to school with symptoms because they knew the schools no longer were checking.
3. Thank you to all of the people who don't wear masks while in stores. There are so many of you, but I specifically would like to mention my state representative and my state senator as well as two city council members for their leadership on this detail, as I've seen all of them out shopping without masks. As supposed champions of the private sector, I am surprised that they would be so disrespectful to the posted requests by private business owners. But, hey, my elected officials are full of fun surprises and inconsistencies.
4. Thank you to all of the churches who have welcomed congregants back into crowded auditoriums. Sure, spreading a highly communicable disease in tight quarters is an interesting twist on the call to love your neighbor, but OK. Special shout out to the church that told those who wanted to wear masks that they could sit by themselves in a separate room and the service would be broadcast to them on a TV. And another special shout out to the church whose members regularly protest outside the women's health clinic in my town but who don't require any masks or social distancing at their services. Being consistent in your pro-life message isn't really needed anyway.
I sat and cried in the clinic when he got diagnosed this week. We mask up indoors. We distance. I haven't hugged my parents in a year and a half. I got teased for sitting away and by myself at the kids' games. So, my tears were those of anger and frustration. I'm mad that my family's health is reliant on others to do the right thing. I mad that friends who have been SO CAREFUL for a year and who have serious health risks in their family also just found out their kids have tested positive due to exposure at school.
But now that I've gotten those sarcastic notes of appreciation out of the way, I have some genuine thoughts of gratitude to share as we deal with a positive Covid test more than a year into this pandemic.
1. Thank you to those who don't follow Covid protocols . . . really. It has allowed me to have important conversations with my kids about how we should look out for one another and how we are all connected. We have discussed what I expect from them someday as adult members of whatever community in which they choose to live. Think about others. Take care of people. Look what happens when you don't.
2. Thank you for the vaccine. I've only gotten my first dose so far, but that should give me at least 80% protection against Covid. While I'm keeping my son in his own space and we are wearing masks when I need to be near him, at least I know that I'm more safe around him than I would have been a month ago.
3. Thank you to Woodmont Baptist Church for modeling Christian compassion and sense of service to one another over this past year. Woodmont has been my church home since my girl was a baby and although I'm not plugged in like I once was for various reasons, I still love so many of the people there and how they care for our city and continue to care for and check on my family. They waited a long time to reopen, still serving people and worshipping in multiple alternate ways, and even now the church requires masks from the moment you step out of the car and throughout the service. And, families remain distanced from one another in the pews. The result? There has not been a single positive test traced back to the church since the pandemic started. It works.
4. Thank you to the many friends who have offered to bring us groceries or help in any way they can while we are inside and quarantined. The Moore Trio is loved and well cared for. And thank you to the friends and family with whom I've vented and cried over the past few days through calls and texts. It's nice not to feel alone.
And look, I'm not saying that my son is sick as a direct result of any particular person in my town not wearing a mask to buy groceries. Sometimes people are still getting sick despite the best efforts of everyone around them. And, we haven't been perfect. This pandemic is rough and not over and could strike any one of us.
But my tears this week stemmed from the fact that my son is one small piece in a much larger collective puzzle we have in our country. They stemmed from resignation to the fact that I can take steps to protect my family but then have to leave the rest in others' hands. I guess it's like that every time my family gets in a car, except that I imagine there aren't multiple other drivers on the interstate voluntarily taking their hands off the wheel or driving with faulty brakes in the vicinity of my kids. As a wise woman with whom I share a lot of DNA said to me this week, humans are a part of an ecosystem with one another and that comes with responsibility. We need to be responsible.
Statistics bear out that my son likely will feel better soon. My daughter avoids her brother as much as possible on most days, so hopefully she is virus-free now and will remain that way. I trust that both kids are getting the schoolwork done that they can at home and will be diligent about getting caught up on the rest when they return. This week and next will be just another part of our experience from this pandemic that we can recount with stories around the table in thirty years. But I would have been just fine without this story to tell.