My father’s birthday is in two days. I still can’t believe he’s gone and it has affected my motivation. Gatlinburg burned right after he passed. He took us there when we were kids and stayed there once a year when snowbirding to Titusville every winter in his retirement. That would have hurt him. Then Trump took office and the world burned a bit. It’s been civil chaos. Then this pandemic took isolation to a natural level. Right now I trying to understand when it’s safe for my family who caught Covid to return to their routines. Dad used to help me figure out logistics of things.
Harvard says, “In July 2021, the CDC recommended that anyone who is fully vaccinated and comes into contact with someone who has, or is suspected of having, COVID-19 should get tested three to five days after exposure. In addition, you should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until you receive a negative test result. If you are vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine, but you should isolate if you develop symptoms or receive a positive test result. Previously, the CDC had said that someone who was fully vaccinated only needed to get tested after exposure if they were experiencing symptoms. The change follows new evidence regarding the Delta variant, which shows that people who are vaccinated and then get infected (breakthrough infections) can spread the virus to others, perhaps to the same extent as those who are unvaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated, a 14-day quarantine remains the best way to avoid spreading the virus to others after you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. According to CDC guidelines, you may discontinue quarantine after a minimum of 10 days if you do not have any symptoms, or after a minimum of seven days if you have a negative COVID test within 48 hours of when you plan to end quarantine.”
So, Dad, if my brother, nephew, brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and stepson got Covid and got sick, then when can we see them? We were all together ten days ago. One got sick the next day, one got sick three days later, and one got sick four days later. I’m vaccinated, boosted, and have had no symptoms of anything (except a slight pain in my ass). I tested negative before contact, three days after contact and seven days after contact. I went to two places just yesterday and wore a mask. Your son-in-law has also been testing negative, but he did drop off an oxygen sensor to—
You know what, I figured it out. I just needed to take a breath and talk to someone rational. I’m going to write you a poem for your birthday this year. I still have Whitman, Sandburg, and all the books you gave me. And I even read the wild ones you warned me against, because what else would I do with her madness? It is in me. I’ve pointed the tips on her leash outward at least.
Dad, you would not believe this: scientists corrected a gene mutation in a live animal. My head is spinning, but no one I know really finds this kind of thing interesting, except my husband who marvels with me but you know how fast the marvels go. I can’t commandeer his mind with my associations. I read a cool piece on biocentrism and it reminded me of a song I wrote not long after you died called Hurricane Irene. I do wish I’d studied math to the extent that you did, but the logic equivalents of words has always suited me better. I’m sorry about my silence. I’ve been working on a formula. I need to keep Mom in the room, too. Early mom. Really wish you two had found a way to smile about your time together. I understand now why you didn’t smile more at us when things fell apart. We’re all human.
I’m going to read some things out loud to you just in case you can hear me. Of course you can’t, but then again, what do we know? It can’t hurt. And talking to you makes me feel safe, loved, and valued. I love you.