Christmas, Interrupted

Today started off slowly. Stacey went in super early to work, to try to finish up things so that she could leave early. Shane had a route to do, and was going to be gone for a few hours.

Liz and I had a lazy morning, and were talking about running a few errands during the day while everyone else was out. And we had rough plans to hang out with my mom and dad, later this evening… with all of us probably watching Shang Chi after dinner.

My sister’s family tried watching it on Disney a few days ago, but the video kept locking up… so they never even got to the bus scene!

Also – the plan was to have my mom and dad teach us how to play Mahjong officially (seeing as how I did a very poor job with it over Thanksgiving).

As Liz and I were getting ready to head out, I got a call from my sister. She was on her way home, but had some bad news: Jasmine had tested positive for Covid.

Before our arrival, after finding out Jasmine had a fever and wasn’t feeling well… Stacey took Jasmine to get tested. She got two tests, which was surprising to me: one Rapid, one PCR.

Before we left Chicago, we learned that the rapid test came back negative. Since rapid tests are what most airlines use for travel, I figured this was just fine (it’s what we used for our flights to and from Scotland).

Stacey hadn’t heard back yet about the PCR test, but I figured that would come back negative as well. But I figured wrong.

On hearing this news, Jasmine ended up staying in her room. And Liz and I had to do some quick math, to figure out what to do.

To make things more complex, my mom and dad also stopped by right before my sister pulled into the driveway. And so she had to explain to them what was going on, and we all had to kind of figure tings out pretty quickly, on the fly.

Sadly, this is as close as I got to spend Christmas with my folks. My mom came inside the house briefly, to drop off some N95 masks and some food for us… but then she went right back outside.

After a quick huddle, Liz and I figured it would be best if we headed back to Chicago. As much as we wanted to stay, there were a few risks involved. While our contact with Jasmine was limited, we were somewhat close (I did get to give her a hug at one point).

So whether we got it or not remains a question. We could remain in Indy a bit longer, but staying potentially increased our chances of contracting Covid.

Another risk: if we developed symptoms or started to get sick, Stacey potentially would need to them take care of us and/or we’d be unable to make it back to Chicago until we recovered. And in terms of self-isolating, we’d all end up having to restart the clock based on the last person to exhibit symptoms.

A lot of confusing scenarios there, if we chose to stay. So it seemed easier/better/safer if we excused ourselves, and headed back to Chicago. Which was really unfortunate, because we literally just got her yesterday.

Not only that – being in contact with someone who tested positive meant that we needed to self-isolate. And it also meant that we’re going to be missing out on spending Christmas with Liz’s folks in Valparaiso, and seeing her side of the family for Christmas dinner. So a double loss for the holidays, her family as well as mine.

It came down to a difficult decision, that many of us have been making since 2020: sacrifice our own wants and desires, in order to reduce spreading the coronavirus to others – family as well as strangers. Stay home, until we can be sure we are not making things worse by being out and about in the world.

It’s incredibly unfair, and it’s not a pleasant choice at all. But Liz and I are both of the mind that this is really the only option. That this is the responsible, adult thing to do. And as difficult and unpleasant as it is, to put others before ourselves. At a time when everything is all about being around others.

I’m glad we had just a little time with my sister, and her family. I wish we had more, but we made plans to try to visit one another again in a few weeks… after we all are in the clear, and can hang out once again, safely. So we’re not missing Christmas with them, it’ll just be a little delayed.

We were pretty busy after this: we drove to Valpo to drop off gifts, since we won’t be seeing folks for Christmas dinner. Then we arranged to pick up our bunnies early. We ordered Instacart delivery while on the road, ordered Chinese food to be delivered, and timed out all this stuff to arrive soon after we got home.

We’ll be looking up timelines and when to test, and all that jazz soon. But for the next week or so, we’ll be back at home. Not working from home, but I guess it’ll be vacationing from home.

Related:
Covid Vaccine: Booster
Flight, Interrupted

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