I was off grid during most of the big 20th anniversary celebration here, so I wanted to wish John and the rest of you a very belated happy blog anniversary. You can only write variations on “Manchin and Sinema are killing us” a finite number of times, so my plan for late 2021 and 2022 was to write a bit about some of the traveling I’m doing in rural red areas. As the picture clearly shows, my travel plans took a bit of a hit. I wanted to share a bit of my Omicron experience for any of you who need to travel.
My wife and I had started our travel in the Southwest but we had to drive back to the Dakotas for some family issues. Then, on New Year’s Day we left -17 temps to travel back South. At some point I want to devote some time to writing about the National Park Service, but the short story is that we lucked into some campground reservations at Big Bend National Park, so we ended up in West Texas early last week. We travel in a conversion van so the only exposure we must have is some shopping, which could be touch-free. But, since we’re vaxxed and boosted, we decided to do a little bit of eating out non-peak hours, preferably outside. Unfortunately, it was pretty cold in West Texas so we could only eat indoors. We had a total exposure of under two hours mask-free dining indoors, but apparently that was enough.
We arrived at Big Bend mid last week feeling fine. My wife had a night or two with a bit of a dry cough. I had the same a day or so later, and a bit of a runny nose. We’re at a mile of altitude and pretty close to zero humidity, so we both thought that it was a reaction to the altitude, dryness and dust. Since I was “sicker”, I took a BinaxNow antigen test, which was negative. I followed the instructions and took another one 3 days later, which was positive. By then, we were at a hotel in nowhere West Texas, and we decided to find another hotel nearer to services and quarantine for the recommended five days. We’re both experiencing mild cold symptoms and feeling blah, but we’re clearly going to survive without medical intervention. Here’s what I think I learned from my extensive sample of two (my wife and me):
- That Binax Now antigen test was purchased a couple of months ago at a WalMart in North Dakota. They are basically unobtainable in retail settings right now. I bought two boxes (four tests total), so I’m rationing the last two to test us after 5 days of quarantine. My initial negative test is consistent with these tests being less sensitive to Omicron and having a large number of false negatives in general. If you’re feeling bad and get a negative antigen test, I wouldn’t trust it, and the shortage of antigen tests is a real problem.
- West Texas had little to no masking and very little evidence that we were in the middle of a pandemic. The Midland/Odessa area where we think we picked up COVID has a 46% positive test rate and a 47% vaccination rate. In a high-COVID environment, even vaccination, boosters and masking (N-95) everywhere you can won’t prevent transmission if you engage in anything risky, even for a short period of time.
- “Quarantine” when traveling is difficult, and the CDC recommendations for exiting quarantine aren’t going to prevent sick people from going out. The guideline for vaccinated, positive people is to end quarantine and go out with a mask on after 5 days “if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving.” Neither of us have had fevers, and if we had gotten positive PCR tests 5 days ago, we’d be clear to go out by those guidelines, since our symptoms are more-or-less improving. Even people following CDC guidelines will be going out with a mask while possibly being able to transmit the virus.
This isn’t a “woe is me” post — we decided to take some risks given our vaccination status and general health, and we came down with an unpleasant but not deadly (to us) virus. I just wanted to share our experience. Open thread.
I’m sorry you got it and I hope it stays mild.
I feel like I dodged a bullet this past weekend by going to Denver and seeing a concert on my birthday (and one the night before and going to Meow Wolf), but I tested negative on a PCR so I think I’m good.
I figured triple vaxxed + infected in September gave me decent odds, but – man – no one masks in Denver compared to Seattle.
All indications are that vaxxed and boosted make relatively low risk if you’re not old or health compromised.
Although going to Texas is like bungie jumping without a bungie, if you ask me.
Drove through the Midland/Odessa area on the Interstate, August 2019. Even at 1 pm, there were enough oil service rigs to create bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Republican who wants to be the governor of NY. He wants people who refuse vaccinations to work with vulnerable patients.
Typical Republican grandstanding. The US Supreme Court just said it was fine to go ahead with a federal vaccine mandate for health care workers, so it doesn’t matter what the governor of New York thinks.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
People have been very good about masking here in the DC area, at least in DC proper and the Maryland suburbs. According to the charts I glanced at this morning on WaPo it looks like we’re about a week past peak in the DC area. So far as we know neither I nor my wife, who works in health care, has had it yet. We’re fully vaxxed and boosted. We get tested this coming Thursday so we can fly out on Saturday to South Africa to adopt a child.
We did go out to eat a couple times in Michigan (Grand Rapids) when I was home visiting family for Christmas. Seemed to dodge infection both times but people are not nearly as good about masking in Michigan as they are in this area. I’m OK getting Omicron and it seems inevitable that I will eventually – or get whatever further mutated variant comes along next. I just don’t want to get it between now and next Saturday because that would mean we miss our court date and I have no idea how long that would set the process back.
Well, one way to get the fourth vaccination – just the more risky way. Glad it was very mild.
Hope you and your wife feel better soon. Positive test rate > 30% here, so I’m keeping various kids home until the teens are boosted (Yesterday and today) and the pre-teen gets the second dose (next Wednesday). Pre-teen felt a little crummy Tuesday and had a negative at-home test, but needed a lab test to go back to school. We decided she’d have an even higher chance of exposure at the clinic given the positivity rate, so we decided to quarantine the 5 days *as if* she had Covid. Not a bad way to get a 5 day weekend!
Bad luck. I do miss eating out. I’ve eaten in a restaurant maybe 4 times in the past 2 years, all post-vax, low caseload and in nearly empty establishments.
I’ve had to travel for family reasons both pre-and post vax and have been lucky.
Nice that you had the more photogenic test kits, the ones we have include a little vial of fluid you dunk the swab into, and then a boring little test strip you soak in the vial. The Binax ones seem made for social media.
Glad it’s seeming mild. Be well.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?:
Grandstanding is the perfect word to describe what he’s been up to.
I work for a school district in Camas, WA with about 7,000 students and a lot of staff spread across six elementary schools, two middle schools, and three high schools. Up until this week they were doing in-house rapid testing of students and staff who had been in close contact with positive cases or who otherwise needed to be tested.
This week they finally gave up and moved all the testing to the football stadium which has a roof so it is under cover but still open air. And all staff and students are directed their for their rapid test. Apparently they have enough tests to test anyone who needs it, but not enough to just give out to everyone. I guess it makes sense. There is plenty of parking and it is cold and windy here this time of year so an open air test site in a football stadium is a pretty safe place to have likely Covid positive folks line up. It is important for staff to get positive tests if they are going to take sick leave because the district has a separate leave category for Covid quarantine that doesn’t count against your normal sick leave days. Which means everyone off for Covid needs to get a positive test result to submit to HR.
I’m seeing about 25% of my students absent but that isn’t necessarily all Covid-related. We are still 100% open but some of the surrounding districts are temporarily shifting to virtual or hybrid learning due to staff shortages. District next to me is currently rotating their schools through open and closed cycles because they don’t have enough bus drivers and substitutes so each school is open every other day and virtual every other day in order to keep them all staffed. They plan to do that for 2 weeks and hopefully get back to normal.
Pretty sure that CDC guidelines are to wear masks indoors (in public) even if vaccinated, so I’m not sure what this means.
Edit: Also meant to express hope that you and your wife continue to make a full recovery.
Omicron is making a mockery of us–three shots helps prevent death but not, apparently, infection. Which sucks.
Definitely appreciate this, 4STLM. We were less than 48h from embarking on some travel this Tuesday when we said “WTF, we should reschedule.” It’s giving me the blues, but I also don’t want to get sick. I mean, I sort of accept what guys like Andy Slavit are saying, that we’ll all eventually catch Covid. I’ve managed to probably only have had the flu twice over the years, and at some point – not to sound magat but rather realist – I’ll get unlucky.
But even delaying that by 6 weeks could make a huge difference, in terms of access to care if it goes badly.
We ran out and grabbed takeout last night. Even with the new vax/test requirement for indoor dining in Minneapolis, I was kinda stunned by how many people were inside the joint eating. Nope. Nopity nope. Your story reenforces my resolve.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
@Baud: Thanks! We’re excited but it’s a stressful process and with that layered on top of the pandemic stress I can’t say I’ve been sleeping all that well all that often the past couple weeks.
I had a scare this week. I’m in CA for a few months, which is pretty Omicron-rich, and, while I do not eat in restaurants and basically have little contact with anyone, other than lunches outdoors, I do grocery shop more than I should. And so, when, on Wed. afternoon, I felt suddenly tired, with a bit of a sore throat and the snuffles, I was sure I’d picked up the ‘rona. But, the PCR swab I’d taken Tuesday night came back negative, and after a kind of buggy day on Thursday, a good night’s sleep leaves me feeling basically OK. Took another test yesterday morning, and I’ll wait until that result to feel confident that what I have (if not allergies) is some stray cold bug, but so far it looks like I dodged.
I will say this: Palo Alto is pretty damn serious about masking. But the testing thing is tricky. No antigen tests to be had in any local drug store, and the (required by my host institution) weekly PCR tests take from two to four days to get results. Two isn’t terrible, though one could infect a fair number of folks even being careful. Four days is basically theater.
Well, I was going to say, at least you’re in the Trans-Pecos, which is wild, lonely, and beautiful, but then you had to go (across the Pecos) to Midland/Odessa, one of the dreariest areas in Texas. Ah well.
@dcbaok: Oh, I miss eating out so bad! But it will have to wait. Last night I watched the Zoom town hall our local hospital does to brief us on current conditions, and one of the doctors said that if you eat indoors at a restaurant to just assume that you were exposed, it’s just that bad now.
He said the hospital was “reaching the breaking point”. They’ve set up the field hospital and converted a ward to be ICU. Crisis standards of care and they can’t transfer patients because there’s no place to send them. He said if you can just quarantine for the next couple weeks to do so.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: hope it goes as smooth as possible!
The false negative rate on the at home tests is frustrating.
My family all got sick, and we managed to spread to my brother and sister and dad. My sister never tested positive, but had all the symptoms. Other folks did test +, so we know it is real.
It’s a mess, and all the conflicting recommendations about isolation vs quarantine vs symptom free make it worse.
Oh, then I had a crown break off, and I need to go to the dentist.
Gin & Tonic
My dear wife is consulting today at a smallish regional hospital in the Northeast. 13 Covid patients, 11 of them unvaccinated, 8 of those in ICU. She’s right on the verge of giving up working in disgust (she doesn’t “need” to, but enjoys her occasional hours.)
Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix
Yeah, I think the CDC is just re-emphasizing that you need to wear a mask.
Nobody was masking in East or North Texas either. Dallas proper was about the only place during our trip where people showed any indication of taking the pandemic seriously. Black and PoC, that is, White People even there were the vast majority of those going unmasked.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix
@Citizen_X: The amount of litter in the ditches in the Midland/Odessa area is staggering.
a delusional kristen sinema plans to run for president as a centrist.
I’m vaxxed and boosted and I went to Kansas City to visit my family (fortunately all vaxxed and boosted) over Christmas. But I was nervous — not so much for myself, but I just don’t want to be a carrier. On the hour and a half flight between Chicago and KC, I wore a surgical mask under my N95 for another layer of protection. My sister and I also double masked in the grocery store in KC, where mask wearing was about 50/50. I felt a lot of camaraderie with other masked customers, though.
Stuck in quarantine in Texas? In Midland?
I believe this comes under the category of cruel and unusual punishment.
West of the Rockies
Republicans collectively have anti-social personality disorder. Seriously.
Getting a test is weird. I’m on the Southside of Chicago, and I work in Melrose Park. The testing line rarely has more than five cars here in MP, and the Binax tests are plentiful in every Walgreens I’ve been in.
I know this isn’t possible, but part of me really wishes that unvaccinated sick people who go to the hospital could be moved to an outdoor field “hospital” where they’d be seen if time and staffing allowed. The rest of us that followed the rules shouldn’t be paying the price for these unvaccinated idiots.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: Holy cannoli. Congratulations. That is awesome.
@2liberal: Who’s paying her to siphon off votes from Biden?
Glad you recovered safely, MisterMix.
BTW, for those of you wondering why noted atheist Krysten Sinema was wearing what appeared to be a cross necklace for her speech, yesterday, apparently, it was an IUD necklace. The dangling part was a goldish IUD.
It is not clear when the GOP go after birth control. if she will get matching earrings.
Glad your symptoms are mild — speedy recovery!
This is very timely. We’re hitching up the trailer in two weeks and heading south, then west, then up the Pacific Coast and back. We’re the same as you, triple vaxxed and careful. Your advice on not going to a restaurant indoors is good.
I’m worried but we’re not changing our plans. We were on the road for the last two winter/spring peaks and made it OK. Omicron will probably make it more difficult.
As an aside, one of my friends, who is more cautious than me, got it at the end of December.
FYI, my voice sounds raspy and my throat is a bit sore. But we only have one at-home test left and I am worried about holding onto it for the kiddo.
Got the message last night that Spawn’s school has so many positives among students and staff that they are closing for a week and going to synchronous. Spawn is very sad, and we have a big snowstorm coming over the weekend, so I went out and bought a lot of groceries. Made sure to get the Spawns some frozen pizza and cupcakes, because I am that kind of mom.
We’ve been doing twice-weekly surveillance testing (pooled PCR) for a while. Mandatory for students in the dorms, strongly recommended for everyone else. Positivity rates aren’t all that bad, around one percent for the last week, which is pretty good considering that LA County is racking up about three hundred thousand confirmed cases every week right now. Mask guidance has steadily escalated from “wear masks inside” to “wear surgical or N95 masks inside” to our current “wear N95s or equivalent”, and people seem to be pretty good about that.
This is paywalled, I believe, but I’m glad these scam pop-ups are getting looked at by states and the feds:
COVID-19 Testing Chain Opened Pop-Ups Across The US. Now, It’s Temporarily Closing Amid Federal Investigation And Mounting Complaints
Fake results, non-reporting to states, Lamborghinis. This definitely isn’t the only one of these fish in the pond right now.
Block Club Chicago is an outstanding local news org that’s broken some big COVID fraud stories. They had a report on the sketchy pop-ups that have appeared around the city, and there’s already legal pay-off happening.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?:
How exciting! Safe travels and best wishes.
@frosty: My neighbors are just back from a month on the road in Ohio in their Class A.
They did fine. Wore masks when necessary. No restaurants. Interacted with no one except masked grocery clerks.
RVs are, seemingly, a good way to travel with low COVID risk.
Oh goody, another presidential candidate with a personality disorder.
In the reality-denial zone, I just learned that our f**ing Minneapolis Boat Show is advertising that they don’t require proof of vax or test for attendance. The show starts Jan 20th, one day after a vax/test for Minneapolis restaurants takes effect.
I suppose, maybe, the Convention Center isn’t gonna sell their usual shitty rollerdogs and vinyl cheez ‘nachos’ but holy MFing superspreader event.
End stage capitalism must be obeyed.
If you haven’t, try the California Pizza Kitchen frozen Margherita pizza – pretty good for frozen.
@2liberal: It’s all about the grift. Trump showed how you can make hundreds of millions running for president because a lot of people will just throw money at you. And when she is done she can pivot to Fox News to represent progressives as Alan Colmes is no longer around. They have Glenn Greenwald to speak for all of us but he isn’t a true Fox Blonde like Sinema.
And if she manages to somehow tank Democratic chances, Fox will happily throw millions at her to be their token progressive during the next GOP Administration.
@Yarrow: My proposal the other day was to the effect of a gymnasium style ward of cots, with some moon-suited nat’l Guard medics keeping an eye on ’em.
If they’re early in the course of illness and there’s enough supply, OK give ’em paxlovid or whatevs. Otherwise just prone ’em, maybe an 02 annular or a modified CPAP if they’re in really rough shape.
*Under 18s who have shitty parents who block the vax should get proper care, as should of course anyone for whom vaccination is medically containdicated.
the binax test itself isn’t any less sensitive to omicron, the protein it detects is the same in omicron as it is in all the other variants. the issue seems to be getting a good sample since omicron grows in the upper respiratory tract instead of the nose. cough a few times and do a throat swab and you’ve definitely increased the chances of an accurate test.
@RaflW: My wife and her medical team proposed building tent hospitals in all regular hospital parking lots so all the unvaccinated staff can go take care of all the unvaccinated patients. Win-win.
So has everyone in the Midland/Odessa area had Covid already? I am trying to make sense of a 46% positive test rate. Surely the people there have noticed that half of them are sick, or they all are, or have been? Or do they just get Covid, and ignore it, and go about their usual life until it goes away? It seems weird to me.
I hope you and your wife recover soon and can resume your travels.
We went to an NHL hockey game last night. Thought hard about it, but we didn’t want to blow a second set of tickets. Masking was really good and we didn’t really feel threatened, but I’m hoping for the best.
@steve g: They are probably only testing the truly sick. Not any random person who walks in asking for a test.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: Congratulations. I hope everything goes smoothly for everyone. I’m sure your anxiety level will reduce when you’re back at home with your bundle of joy.
@Kent: Honestly, I think we should dual-track lots of things. Southwest Airlines seems like the preferred choice of anti-vax pilots & management. Fine. The three legacy majors could be ‘boosted & masked only’ and I’d be way more likely to travel.
I’ve developed some kind of allergic reaction to something-or-other that periodically gives me post-nasal drip, so I wake up congested and coughing, with a sore throat. The symptoms are generally gone by mid-day. I got tested at work the first time this happened, and the test came back negative. So right now, if I have those symptoms, I figure I’ll just wait to see if they persist more than one day before I get worried.
I’ve had all the shots – vaxed, boosted, flu shot – but I’m 65+ yo and have diabetes, which makes me wary of getting even a “mild” case. Not to mention Long Covid, don’t want any part of that.
A friend and I might go out this weekend – to an outdoor event, though, and we’ll be masked if we go.
Got some bad news, a former coworker and ski bud got a late cancer diagnosis. Not too late, but late. Chemo and surgery, but surgery is delayed due to Covidiots. Grrrr.
@Yarrow: there’s no appeal for her. She’s just a ridiculous person who hasn’t helped anyone
Whole family vaxxed. Wear a mask almost 100 percent of the time. 10 second passing interaction with a neighbor – who tested positive the next day (she was feeling sick the we interacted – I didn’t know) – with no mask and we all woke up with COVID on Christmas morning. We’re still not 100 percent back. Worse part is my son has Crohn’s and we stopped his treatment when the pandemic started because a) it’s an immunosuppressant and b) requires a 3-4 hour in-patient infusion every other month. Now he’s showing what may be early signs of a flare up and, if it is, I’m sure COVID triggered it.
Most people are assholes. Thanks, neighbor.
Very, VERY mildly symptomatic so I just did the antigen test. Waiting impatiently for 10 minutes (Dangerman not known for his patience and that was for you WG). Three minutes to go. Fuck Manchin and Sinema. I hope their payoff checks clear. Assholes. Ok, now 2.
ETA: Negative. Fuck them again and repeat.
@The Dangerman: So what happened?
We got tested at work on Wed. Negative. We can get tested once a week. Which is good, because I have to go to PT 3 times/week.
Updated Frost: Good maskers make good neighbors.
Hang in there and wishes for full recovery ASAP.
Shit. I was looking forward to the time off. Sleeping in. Seeing nobody (major curmudgeon here). But, noooooo….
@The Dangerman: Be careful what you wish for. just sayin
@Served: The article didn’t throw up a paywall for me.
Good reporting by Block Club Chicago.
Home tested positive this AM, I woke up yesterday with a slightly stuffy nose that cleared up fast, but I’m counting my day 1 as probably Wednesday.Vaxxed & boosted. I can’t even call it a head cold, just some sniffles. I’ve been seeing how just swabbing the nose can miss Omicron & result neg, so I swabbed both the back of my tongue/throat (quite gaggy) and my nose. And here we are. I feel well enough that I could go to work if not for the contagious period. I love Phizer.
The Brits, masters of mockery.
Same as it ever was.
I’m actually a bit surprised that nobody has come up with a “testing” system that always produces negative results for the convenience of anti-social people who want a negative result as an excuse to do as they please. If you’re going to produce fake vaccination cards, fake test results seems perfectly reasonable, too.
@OGLiberal: My biggest fear is infecting someone else, although I’m over seventy myself. I care for my grandchildren often, so it’s not worth the risk. I’m sorry and I hope that it’s not Crohn’s acting up.
Tomorrow, I’ll venture out to see if there are fresh vegetables, and fruit at the local Fresh Market. Since the Atlanta area is expecting snow and ice Saturday night into Sunday, it’s doubtful. I’ll be fully masked and distanced. In fact if the store is busy when it opens, I’ll just not go in.
It’s bad all over Texas. Our suburban Austin county, pop. 609k, had over 8,000 new cases last week. Over 20 percent of the total number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic have been in the last two weeks. Given the relatively high (for Texas) vax percentage, it is almost literally true that there are only two kinds of people here—vaxed and infected.
I’ve gone back to having groceries delivered, and the trip to OKC next weekend for the Punch Brothers concert is off. The next scheduled event (a college baseball game in late Feb in Waco) is still on, for now.
Gin & Tonic
From what I’m seeing on the Twitters, the Ohio Congressional
gerrymanderingredistricting plan is thrown out, and “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli has been fined $65M and barred from the pharma industry for life.
These were separate cases.
@MazeDancer: Good to hear, but we’re starting with a month in Florida in February and March. Ugh. Crossing fingers that Omicron will be ramping down by then.
I bet I have all of you beat. I went on a cruise that began on December 23. We all passed the pre-embarkation Covid test, and then two days later my son started showing symptoms and tested positive on Christmas day. He had to isolate the whole rest of the trip. We were tested as well and were negative — on the same day, 24 and 72 hours later. No symptoms whatsoever. My son’s symptoms resolved within three days, but cruise was following 10 day isolation guidelines from CDC. We were not allowed to disembark in Mexico. They also asked us to mask 100% of the time we weren’t eating, which we had already been doing (most people weren’t but they started to when they were told about the positive cases — which wasn’t just my son). We did make sure to go in and out of a U.S. port to avoid changes in border controls, but we still weren’t sure what was going to happen for air travel when we got back to Tampa, so we rented a car. The CDC changed its policies so we could have flown, but since all of our flights were canceled anyway because of Snowmageddon in Northern Virginia we took the rental and drove home.
So far as I can tell, the biggest issue with Omicron is that it is so infectious and so many people are going to get it that even if it is milder the “small percentage” who get sick is going to be a lot of people. Mostly unvaccinated and unboosted, but still, a lot of people.
Anyway, I don’t know why there is so much focus on cruises. If we had been at home I don’t know if we could have even arranged for a timely test, whereas, the cruise tested us every other day and we get results in 45 minutes.
Best of luck with the covid – fortunately it sounds as if you are doing well.
Judging from wastewater DNA monitoring data, it looks as if the south SF Bay area probably hit the peak last week.
Similar experience as us – exposed on Christmas Day..thanks in-laws! Wife had cold-like symptoms a couple days later, originally tested negative so didn’t quarantine from us. Tested again a few days later b/c she had plans and that one was positive. None of the other 3 in our house (including me) had any symptoms or tested positive. Really weird.
We also had trouble finding tests and had to piece them together from friends/family. Now we are stocked up just in case.
I tested positive on New Year’s Day — welcome to 2022! I still can’t figure out how I was exposed, but two more tests confirmed the result. I live alone, and didn’t go anywhere for Christmas as I’d just finished a grueling semester in my master’s program and all I wanted to do was sleep, eat and watch TV. I did go to the grocery store a couple of times that week, and did laundry in the basement of my apartment building, but had a tightly fitting KN95 on at all times. So who knows? Omicron has been rampant in NYC, and it apparently really is that contagious.
The good news is that as other commenters have noted, I wasn’t very sick — sniffles, mild body aches, headache, lethargy. I stayed home for 10 days to be on the safe side, so hopefully I didn’t pass it on. But shit. This damn virus.
Because cruises, by their nature, involve lots of people crammed into a small space with no way to escape if someone is sick. They were notorious for spreading germs even before COVID.
@Roger Moore: Yeah, but as an empirical matter, with mitigation measures, I don’t think that cruises have been more dangerous than average.
Sorry to hear you’ve been infected, glad to hear it’s mild. Wishes for a speedy recovery
Didn’t CDC just alert us that sixty-some current cruises had had covid outbreaks?
Mike in NC
We used to enjoy an ocean or river cruise every couple of years, but all indications are that virtually every cruise ship is a floating Petri dish, so no cruising for us until COVID goes away.
I don’t know why there is so much focus on cruises
One reason is that, at the very beginning of the pandemic, a couple cruise ships were the notorious original superspreader events. (A Navy vessel too, IIRC). First impressions.
And that is partly because the ventilation scheme for most ships is very apt to spread airborne infectious diseases. See the serious pre-pandemic shipboard outbreaks of Legionnaires and norovirus for context.
I grew up in Midland, Texas. It is a miserable town. I left and have never looked back. I’d reenlist with the Marines before I would move back to Midland.
Got my PCR done this afternoon. Hopefully will have the results in 24 hours.
Whatever I have, my wife has the same (she’s a bit more sneezy than me). Interestingly enough neither kid has had any symptoms.
Today is day 7 and I’ve got a dry cough, no fever, slightly stuffy nose.
@Roger Moore: Just don’t swab your nose, same end result.
Washington Post just now:
The website is up, but just has a message saying “come back next week” more or less.
@Gin & Tonic: Did Shkreli do something else stupid recently? Or is this all still stemming from past bad behavior? Either way, good that he’s now banned from that industry. Although banning him from human interaction in general remains to be accomplished.
Gin & Tonic
Italian TV airs a report from the Donbas. Its lead refers to “terra contessa” – i.e. disputed territory [between Ukraine and Russia.] WTF? This territory is not “disputed,” it was invaded and occupied by a hostile neighbor.
@RaflW: My recent experience is that Southwest requires fully masked the whole flight and still isn’t selling alcohol. Delta, not so much on either topic. Pilot’s preferences be damned, I prefer Southwest.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: Congratulations and good luck with your trip!
WH.gov COVIDTest.gov fact sheet.
@joel hanes: We had norovirus. Not from a cruise or any travel. I don’t recall any restaurant food in that time period either. Came on in the evening. It was 90 seconds to realize that both ends were going volcanic and how do you manage with one toilet. Answer: Empty the garbage can on the floor. Was erupting every minute all night and into the morning. My partner did the song and dance the next night.
We are never going on a cruise.
And with an airborne virus that’s as contagious as measles, but more deadly, in a closed air circulation can. One that can be fatal or cause long term serious damage. Uhn NO!
Very glad everyone has been okay but concerned about Amir.
But it’s a relatively tiny slice of well-heeled people who are mostly hurting themselves if things fall apart.
@Dan B: Yikes! Both bathrooms have a trash can next to the toilet so we’ve been doing it right!
@Aunt Kathy: This makes me wonder. A few days before Xmas, I woke up stuffy and sneezy. Tested negative. Symptoms totally gone the next day. I waited 3 days to re-test, still negative so spent 2 days with the in-laws…no adverse effect for anyone. About a week after Xmas, again woke up stuffy and sneezy with no other symptoms whatsoever. I didn’t test this time because the same thing happened…next day, no congestion at all. Spouse, nothing.
No idea what these events meant. I don’t have allergies beyond very mild effects in the fall to ragweed.
@HinTN: I was thinking about how SWA pilots seemed to be reacting to vax rules, and SWA’s honcho testifying against masks while apparently syptomatic but not test-positive at Congress.
Until my most recent flight just before Xmas, Delta F.A.s were, in my experience (10 previous segments since getting vax’d) pretty firm about masks being up and worn properly. My partner is probably flying SWA in February as it’ll be more convenient for his needs. It’s fine. They’re all just airlines and they all have weaknesses.
Yes, Delta has served booze for a while, but has not to my knowledge had very many drunk and disorderly pax.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: Oh, I love happy news about new babies and children! Hope your travels go smoothly.
But I feel compelled to point out that no parents of small beings sleeps well through the entire night. Consider your recent sleep issues practice for the years ahead.
I thought the feds mandated masks on all public transportation, ground or air?
Flying w/o seems very dumb.
Ella in New Mexico
Home antigen tests are practically useless given the narrow range of timing in your infection they MAY result positive as well as their really poor track record with Omicron false negatives.
I’ve literally seen 8 patients this week, symptomatic as all Hell,get two or more negative results on these damn things only to be PCR positive when they finally can get tested.
I really hope the Feds don’t waste money on mailing them to every home. What they should do is start mailing out KN95 masks and funding more PCR testing.
At least until this virus morphs back into something we an detect with Binax, might as well use them for kindling.
I contracted the Omicron variant at a neighbors Christmas party and fortunately was thrice vaxxed and only had to contend with a cough and nasal congestion for about a week. I don’t even want to imagine what my experience would have been unvaxxed!