I should be fishing


Wednesday morning my daughter comes home crying. She has been housesitting for a friend and just learned she is positive for COVID. Yes, we are all vaccinated, yes, we are firm believers in science, yes, we wear masks indoors, and yes, we have followed the rules.


But we have also just attended our second Tuesday night Farmers Market, flown to Georgia and completed a tour of middle America ending in Torch Lake Michigan where, other than at the airport, my black Target mask sat unused in my bouch (bro-pouch, better than man-purse) for three weeks. Plus, the two wine tours last week where I wore my trusty white bandanna but only pulled it up over my nose at the one winery (Deerfield) where masks were required. I had just finished season 2 of Outer Banks and my real motivation for wearing the bandanna is to look as cool as John B.


And really, now, when we’re all ramping up for the schoolyear and there’s a two-day Restorative Justice Training and Coaches meeting and city party and film festival and the Mermen are playing on Saturday and Packjack and I are playing tennis on Friday and what about my end of summer solo fly-fishing trip to the Stanislaus River Campground and you get the picture.


But none of that matters because parents are only as happy as their least happy child (I think that’s how the saying goes) so we sequester my daughter in her room, designate the downstairs bathroom as hers and start the family quarantine.


First step is to get the exposed tested. I call the county COVID hotline twice and learn that there are two drop in sites available today, both in Santa Rosa. Since my first and last COVID test in the beginning of May http://valleytalking.blogs.sonomanews.com/2020/05/06/day-48-test-now/ testing has improved but also become privatized meaning the county still contracts through LHI but private companies now offer tests as well. Drug stores have rapid tests for purchase (CVS $26.27 for 2) and many places have drive through tests where the original three-day test is free but rapid tests cost $159.


I find a private company at the outlets in Napa whose website says drop ins are welcome. We go, we get there as the one and only worker is going on lunch, we wait, we get in line, we wait, we get to the front of the line, she asks for our appointment time, we have no appointment time, it said drop in on the website, we drive back to Sonoma untested and in silence.


I call the county a third time and they set me up for a 9:45 appointment in Santa Rosa on Thursday. I email my principal that I will not be attending the Restorative Justice training and the SVHS athletic director with a list of what I was going to cover at the coaches meeting. All are supportive but I still feel like a failure somehow. I cancel Friday tennis and film plans and meetup at city party plans and anything through Sunday because I will not know my results for 2-3 days which I know means Monday.


Thursday morning, we drive down Arnold past Altimira and I see one of my colleagues walking into the library where I know the Restorative Justice training is happening. I’m not too bummed because I will now have three undisturbed days to work on curriculum planning (evaluate learning loss, listen to students, crawl before we walk or run) because that’s the drill.


But the drill is completely voluntary. No one would kick me out of the training if I went, my symptoms are a minor cough, some muscle aches, a little fatigue, runny nose and some digestion problems which I will not talk about because it’s never appropriate to talk about happenings below the waist (the world will be a better place if we all think this way). But these symptoms might also be normal, I am smelling and breathing fine and have no fever but better cautious than exposing the world, right? Science.


This is where I would insert a rant against the anti-vaxers who, because of their selfishness, have perpetuated this pandemic. I won’t get too condescending but I will say that if you are not vaccinated at this point then please reconsider for the good of humankind. If humankind doesn’t matter to you then understand that 97% of current COVID deaths are happening to the unvaccinated. If your own death doesn’t matter to you then, well, I don’t know what then.


At 9:45 we pull into a parking spot at 1400 Dutton Ave in Santa Rosa. The swabbing is less painful but still not pleasant but after the Napa denial yesterday my wife and I are just happy to be getting tested. Thursday pivots from trainings, meetings, city party, Tom Petty cover band and movies at the Sebastiani to reading a new book and watching the Olympics. Sound familiar?


Plus, everything is getting all Koyaanisqatsi again, as I’ve said, the unknowns are the hardest part. Should I continue planning our trip to New York for the US OPEN over Labor Day? Will I be officiating my niece’s wedding in San Diego in October? Will school and the golf season start in person? Will I need to tell everyone I came in contact with in the last 10 days that they have been exposed to COVID? And if the test is negative, am I really going to resume normal activities after 7 days as the county recommends?


Thursday afternoon a friend of my daughter’s (also vaccinated) gets a positive test and I am fearing a local outbreak. Friday morning, we decide to go to the beach and stop by the one CVS in Petaluma which I know still has rapid tests available. We mask up everywhere, take the rapid test sitting on the beach, both get negative results and breathe a sigh of relief.


We won’t resume normal activities until we get negative results on Monday confirming the rapid test results. We are taking exposure seriously and you should too.


Plus, there are four convenient local vax sites this week, no appointment, no ID, no hassle:

Wednesday the 11th Adele Harrison 11-3, El Verano 6-8.

Thursday the 12th La Luz 4-7

Saturday the 14th Sonoma Community Health Center noon-3


And local tests all week at the Fiesta Plaza Kiosk, 18615 Sonoma Highway. Make an appointment through the county or at curative.com.



Let’s do what we can, err on the side of caution, continue to trust science and above all, unify to fight the enemy which is COVID and not each other.













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