|Quarantine days: busy but separate.|
|Paper wasp nest|
Quarantine: On Monday we learned that our young grandson, Jamie, had tested positive for COVID. We were with him and his family just the day before during church and afterwards at our house. We also had been with his family frequently the previous week as my sister and daughter were visiting for the double birthday party and other gatherings. A chain reaction of quarantine and testing followed:
- It is likely that the disease came to my daughter's family via a cousin who attended the birthday party. He had a runny nose at the party and had relatives on his mother's side who had COVID, which we didn't know at the time of the party.
- My daughter, a teacher, had to inform her school and get a substitute. She has since tested positive and will be out of school for at least ten days.
- Daycare, where Jamie goes, had to close for two weeks. All the parents who have children there had to find alternative care for those two weeks.
- Preschool, where brother Ian went on his first day of school, had to close. I'm not sure for how long. Ian also tested positive.
- My sister tested negative, but worried that she had brought the virus home with her and transferred it to our mother, who is 92-years-old.
- Our younger daughter, who traveled back to California after spending less than a week with us, also tested negative, but had to go through a big hassle to get the testing done.
- Jamie was the only human not wearing a mask at church last Sunday. Several people sitting near us have tested. One couple let me know they tested negative. The pastor and another couple are still waiting for their results.
- All the children and their parents who attended the double birthday party had to be informed and they had to start their own quarantine time awaiting testing results.
- Don and I tested on Friday, five days after our last (but not first) exposure. In the meantime we have been quarantining. I had to cancel a dental appointment, reschedule book club, and we had to miss a concert we were looking forward to attending. We should get our results on Monday or Tuesday. Every cough, headache, or achy muscle becomes suspicious. Are we sick? So far, the answer is no.
- After the bad news of Jamie's diagnosis, my daughter and her whole family have tested positive for COVID. The adults were vaccinated and the children had very mild symptoms. No one has been very sick or not for very long anyway. Thank goodness.
- Jamie's other grandparents did get COVID, perhaps at the party or a few days before. But they seem to be on the road to recovery, thank goodness.
If you are unvaccinated and think it is no big deal if you don't get the vaccine, check out the list above. Look at all the ramifications and people affected by one little kid sent to a birthday party even though others in his family were positive for COVID. You are not an island unto yourself. Your decision to not vaccinate has and will cause a big hassle for dozens or hundreds of people, at best, and could cause serious illness or death at worst. Do it. Do it for your children's or grandchildren's friends and their families, if you are unwilling to do it for your family. Help by being part of the solution!
Quarantining means eating what we call "Covid meals." These are meals made from ingredients we already have around the house without a trip to the store, even if the meal components don't match. Sometimes the meals end up delicious, like last night when I made a pot of soup from ingredients found in the cupboards and the fridge. It was a stormy night, just right for the first soup of the season.
Split Pea Soup with Indian Spices, Vegetarian
Ingredients: 1 bag split peas, rinsed; 4 cups vegetable broth; 1/2 onion, chopped; 1-2 cups carrots, scraped and sliced; 1/2 cup Basmati rice, uncooked; 1 T. curry; 1 tsp. cumin; 1/2 tsp. black pepper; 1-2 tsp. salt, to taste.
After rinsing split peas add them to 4 cups water and 4 cups broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for a at least an hour or until split peas are soft. Stir occasionally. When soft, use a stick blender to blend the soup into a puree, or transfer a portion of the soup to a blender and puree it there. This is an optional step, the soup will taste the same if you don't do it. Soften the vegetables in a fry pan with a bit of butter or oil. Once they are nearly soft, add the curry to the pan. This allows for the aromatics in the curry to rise and it gives off a wonderful scent. Add the curried vegetables into the pureed soup and add other spices and the rice. Cover the pot and cook on simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Adjust spices. Serve with a slice of naan or whatever you have on hand.
Shopping made easy: We actually did some grocery shopping on-line for pick up at the store this week. It was the first time we've shopped this way since the pandemic began and it was painless.
Anti-vaxxers: I was home all week and found myself jumping down rabbit holes of information about anti-vaxxers -- how to talk to them, why they do it, and a likely and sad outcome. Here are a few things I found to share:
- "Changing Your Mind About Vaccines; People Can Do It, For a Number of Reasons" (Salon)
- Why won't some people get the vaccine when it would help them and others?And is there anything we can say or do to help move them in the direction toward vaccines?
The answer lies in psychology. Part of the problem is that people will contort logic in seemingly absurd ways to maintain a high opinion of themselves. According to cognitive dissonance theory, humans instinctively need their beliefs to be in harmony with one another, and will work to correct perceived "dissonance" (inconsistencies) in their beliefs. Since most prefer to avoid lowering their self-regard, people are more likely to come up with elaborate rationalizations to maintain a current position than acknowledge that view may be in error. This is especially true when the position is important to them, such as the millions of Americans who view being anti-vaccination as crucial to their identity. ../
- Experts say that it is important to de-escalate the intense emotions that can arise during conversations about touchy subjects. When people are stressed, they are more likely to dig in their heels for neurological reasons. As neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor told Salon in June, "When we dig our heels into something that we are emphatic and passionate about, we are using our limbic system, our emotional system." To change someone's mind, you have to do so in a way that does not crash into these psychological impulses. "When trying to change the mind of someone who is stressed, we actually need to do one of two things: either reduce the stress hormone in the brain by making a connection and reducing negative emotion first or slow down the process delivering ideas in very short bursts that the brain can slowly process." This is why, quite often, the people who change their minds tell stories in which they did so at their own pace and in a supportive environment.
- I found the whole article very helpful and recommend you read the whole thing.
- I also learned the stubborness with health directives we are experiencing is not new. Check out these two visuals. The first is from a newspaper printed during the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic. The second image relates to smallpox vaccine hesitancy in the 1930's, from a series called 'Health in Pictures'. (I checked for authenticity here and here.)
- Sorry Anti-Vaxxer--- a website dedicated to education about the horrors of COVID infections. Many of the people listed on the site decided too late to get the covid vaccine and went to their graves sorry.
- A student named Hillary put up a Tik Tok video and she did some quick
calculations to show the value of getting vaccinated. Undoubtedly, it’s
not perfect. It is simplified and nobody denies that. However, it is
reasonable and gives us a quick look and overview of the value of
getting vaccinated. TikTok video. Watch it!
Quarantine days countdown: My daughter has to keep two young children happy and busy. She posts a quarantine day count every day with a photo or video of the day's activities. One day she and Ian played with a feature on her phone and made a little video. (See photo below) It makes me laugh every time I see it. They bake, do art projects, go for walks or bike rides. She also posts videos of Jamie and whatever he is doing or learning to do. The still shot is taken from a video of Jamie who has just learned to climb up on the couch crawling toward the remote control.
|Goofing around with Mom|
|Learning a new skill: climbing onto couch.|
Reading and blogging during quarantine: I've surprised myself at how little I feel like reading these days but I've caught up on quite a bit of blogging.
- Finished this week:
- Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis. The second book in the Chronicles of Naria series.
- A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. A past Pulitzer Prize winner.
- Currently reading:
- We Begin At the End by Chris Whitaker. Audiobook. 10%. Potential book club selection.
- The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. E-Book. 5%. Another potential book club option.
- The Hours by Michael Cunningham. Print. 75%. A past Pulitzer Prize winner.
Random funny thoughts:
|My sister sent me this because my dog has mastered 'the look.' In fact, he could be the model for it.|
|The hypocrisy is what gets me.|
|George posing in front of the TV again this week. Notice the cat art on the wall behind him. Fred must have been too busy inspecting the printer to stop and pose for a photo.|
Unrelated to quarantine--Good news:
- Listening to stories or music can synchronize the heart beats of the listeners. If you wonder if reading aloud to your children is important, here you go! (Good News Network)
- Cows in Germany are being potty-trained to help save the planet. For real! (Good News Network)
- I dare you not to laugh when you look at the finalists for the Comedy Wildlife Photos. I can't decide which one is the funniest. I think it is a toss-up between the racoon kids, the dragonfly, and the seal. which one do you like best? (Goodnews Network)
Good News: It is Sunday Morning and my husband and I just heard from the lab. We both tested negative for COVID. Quarantine over!